Friday, February 20, 2009

Get your child organized!

Get your children off to a new, organized start this year by using Merit’s Planner to help your children decide when they’ll complete their homework and chores, and learn how to monitor their progress.

When your children know that you are actively aware of their day-to-day responsibilities, they’ll be more prone to completing their tasks and being honest. Ask your children to enter in their planners, all classes, after-school activities, appointments, and other scheduled meetings. With all seven days displayed in equal columns and each day divided into 15-minute increments, the Merit Planner gives students the opportunity to plan when they’ll do homework, study for tests, and hang out with friends. Most kids are unrealistic about how long it will take to complete homework assignments or to study for tests. Typically, they underestimate by 50%. By asking your child to block off time in his planner to complete each assignment, he’ll begin to see how much overall time is needed to get everything done by the end of the night.

The biggest problem for most students is planning how to do a large project. Most kids wait until the eleventh hour and cram to finish it way past their bedtimes. Besides causing unnecessary stress for the entire family, your child isn’t learning how to produce quality work – he’s just throwing it together to get it done. By using the Merit Planner, students can plan ahead. Simply enter the project due date in the planner and work your way backwards. Assign short tasks to do each day and then show your child when he actually needs to get started in order to finish it on time. This gives the students the opportunity to schedule tasks for big projects around regular homework, practices, and social events.

After your children have entered in their Merit Planners scheduled activities and blocked off time to get work done, all they need to do is that day’s tasks. Because it’s all blocked off at the actual time they’re supposed to be doing it, you can help monitor their progress. As they complete each task, they will highlight it to indicate that the job is done. They’ll enjoy this wonderful feeling of highlighting tasks as they get things done throughout the day. Unlike a homework or chores list, the Merit Planner allows the students to designate time to do each task. That way if there is too much going on in one day, your child can cross off the task and move it to another day.

Have Family Meetings once a week to motivate your children to use and follow their planners. By reviewing their progress and making sure that they’ve completed homework, studied for exams, and finished chores, you can reward them with privileges. When they ask if they can play or go out with friends, simply ask to see their planners. If everything for that day is highlighted, then they’re free to go. If not, just tell them to ask again after they are done. To make sure that they don’t erase tasks to hide them from you, check their planners often so you are aware of what’s going on in their lives.

You’ll find that your children will become better students and more responsible when they use the Merit Planner. If you would like guidance in teaching your child how to use the planner, set up an appointment with Merit’s Advisors. You can purchase the Merit Planner at

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