News from Mathnasium of Littleton
How To Outsmart Procrastination This School Year
Sep 24, 2021
School is finally back in session! Hopefully your child is returning to a sense of normalcy, seeing friends and returning to their favorite activities. However, transitioning back to a regular routine and returning to the classroom after the sunny and carefree days of summer can be an adjustment for most students. You may notice that your child is struggling to adjust again to the school routine and preferring to focus attention on non-school related tasks. One of the biggest obstacles for many students is PROCRASTINATION. Procrastination may seem like a small issue, but especially in math, allowing procrastination to occur can have unpleasant consequences. How many of us remember trying to cram for a test or having to stay up way past bedtime because we chose to spend our free weekend going to the movies or sleeping in? Luckily, there are actionable steps you can help your child take to avoid procrastination this school year. Let’s highlight four simple steps to outsmart procrastination.
(1) Focus on Quality
Contrary to popular belief, most of us do not work well under pressure. We typically need more time than we give ourselves to complete a task well. When completing math assignments, help your child understand the importance of taking pride in their work. They may be tempted to save an assignment for the last minute and rush through to say it’s finished and move on. Show your child it’s better to take their time and work the problems right the first time. This saves them from having to spend more time making corrections, taking time away from an activity they enjoy. Taking a little extra time to put in the effort will pay off in the long run.
(2) Limit Multitasking
One thing that can get in the way of focusing on quality with your math work is distractions. The more distractions your child may encounter, the longer it will take to complete an assignment, increasing the potential for procrastination. It’s a good idea to limit or restrict your child’s cellphone and TV use when completing their math homework. If your child tends to run back and forth to the kitchen for snacks during study time, allow time for a snack prior to studying so it doesn’t distract from homework time.
(3) Get a Good Night’s Sleep
If your child is a night owl, it may be difficult to get them to maintain a regular bedtime. A consistent good night’s sleep gives them the best chance of retaining all the information they learned during the day. Studies have shown getting a good night’s sleep before and after studying helps to prepare the brain first to receive and then retain information. The National Sleep Foundation recommends children ages 5 to 12 get at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night, while teenagers should be getting at least 9 hours of sleep nightly. This wards off daytime sleepiness and prevents the need for a nap when the time to complete homework arrives.
(4) Break It Up
Have you ever heard the phrase, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!" The purpose of this phrase is to remind us we can tackle big tasks by breaking them into smaller parts. If thinking of all the math homework they have to do makes your child anxious, help them take a pause and think about how the day’s assignments can be divided into smaller parts to make it more manageable. For example, if they have six math problems to complete, try working just two problems at first. Take a short break, then tackle the next two problems, and so on, until complete.
If there’s a big math project coming up, this is the perfect time to strategize with your child how to complete it in a timely manner and avoid putting it off till the last minute. Grab your child’s math syllabus and a calendar or planner and break out by dates the smaller tasks that can be completed for the project. This will save you and your child the stress of pulling an all-nighter to complete a project that could have been completed earlier with a little planning.
These tips are beneficial for children of all ages across all math levels. If you’re looking for a trusted partner to help you along your child’s math journey this year, Mathnasium is here! Our center will be excited to partner with you to create a specialized math plan customized just for your child’s needs and math goals. We offer in-person and online instruction for students in grades 2 through 12. Our expert instructors will help you and your child successfully navigate the transition back to school and provide your child with the tools for math success this year. Give us a call today or reach out to us online to schedule your child’s no-risk free math assessment!
All sessions are 60 minutes, masks are currently required for all guests at our center
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