How to manage school work over summer break

Summer is HERE! The smell of chlorine, grass, and hot asphault is in the air. Joy to the freaking world!

You might be reading this because you were sent home with a dreaded packet of reading or math or science or history (or all four) to be completed by the end of summer. Before you get all huffy and mad about the work- I emplore you to STOP. I’m about to spit some truth you are NOT ready for but need to hear.

SUMMER HOMEWORK ISNT ACTUALLY THAT BAD. WHAT MAKES IT BAD IS THE DREAD AND SEVERE PROCRASTINATION THAT ACCUMULATES WITH IT.

That statement may be a bucket of cold water to the face. In my *many* years of tutoring, I have found this to be true 99% of the time.

‘Okay Paige, thanks for calling me out,’ you may be thinking, ‘now can you actually help me without the sass?’ Yes I can! Lets get to it.

  1. START STRONG. This is your first and most difficult task. Give yourself a week off of from school and then start your work the second week of summer break. The sooner you can make a habit or plan, the better your summer will be. Additionally, once the work is actually started, chances are you will realize it is not as bad as you thought it would be. If you wait a month, or two, and let the dread BUILD, even if the work isnt that bad, your fear and poopy attitude will make it seem far worse. I cant cite any specific scholarly articles on this but you and I know its true.
  2. Make your OWN handwritten list of every assignment you need to do. I know you may have seen the list, but once your write it down you have a more tangible sense of how much has to be done.
  3. Determine the order of assignments if it hasnt been made explicit already. If there is no specific order, make one.
  4. Divide said list into however many weeks of summer you have left. Be concious of vacations and dont count those. In your planner, write the assignments you need to have done week by week. If planners aren’t for you, write it in your calendar on your computer, or anything you ACTUALLY CHECK
  5. Find a time of day that you are generally not busy and nothing is happening. Whats going on at 10am on Tuesdays? If you’re not working, probably nothing. Night person? How about 9pm on Monday nights? Set aside 2-3 time slots in your week that you know you wont have FOMO, wont be horrifically distracted, and can commit 2 or so hours.
  6. Get to work! Progress week by week and stick to your studying schedule. Every Monday, take a moment to see where you’re at. Don’t fret if you’re a little behind schedule.
  7. The week before school starts, double check to see that you have everything done and nothing was missed. It is shocking how much you can forget over the course of summer, and you very well could have missed a detail when you made your list.

Bonus:

  • Use this time to visit some coffee shops you’ve been meaning to try! This dosent have to be a miserable process of locking yourself in your room for hours like you might have during the school year.
  • Ask someone to hold you accountable. If your friends are in the class or classes, ask them if they want to get started on it with you as well. Hopefully they’ll bite, but be prepared for a big ‘NAW DAWG’
  • Keep track of your progress in a tangible way. Have a big mirror in your room? Grab a whiteboard marker and mark your to do list on the mirror. Do not attempt this with anything but a whiteboard marker!!
  • Turn off your phone for the 2-3 hour sessions of homework. Crazy, I know, but if you’re going to set aside the time to sit down and work, ACTUALLY WORK. No instagram between problems or questions.

Summer homework is a drag, yes, but it should not have to be as big of a deal as it is often made to be. Practicing not dreading but doing is the best way to use your time and actually enjoy your summer. Don’t let the homework get the best of you.

A final note: most teachers can tell if you did it all in the four days before school started. Summer homework is a fantastic opportunity to start the school year with a good grade and a buffer in case you struggle later on in the semester. Squandering this opportunity is frankly foolish.

Good luck! Have a studious summer!

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