Saturday, January 10, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day: Wise Time Management

One reason students don't do well in school is that they fail to manage their time. They have vague ideas about when to study and how much time to devote to study. Study time must be scheduled and honored. Get a time management worksheet, available on line. Just google “time management worksheet,” and print up a copy. There are several of these sheets offered free; pick one that you think will work best for you. Fill it out. Several print books have time sheets included. I love the one in "Becoming A Master Student" by Dave Ellis. The book is worth buying, reading and studying. Back to time management sheets. Where do you spend your time? Put aside time for cleaning house, sleeping, shopping, and work. Don't forget class time. Be aware of hidden time pockets. Often things on your list take longer than expected. People writing out these charts will factor in cooking and eating time, but forget clean-up time. They might factor in time spent at work, but forget the time it takes to get to and from work. What about unexpected phone calls? It also takes time to get to and from an on-ground class. Factor in, at least an hour a day to study for each class. You might need more than just a tine management sheet. I have a day planner to pencil in appointments. I also keep to do lists. The to do list might be daily or weekly. Everyone's schedule is different, so all of our time planners will look different. Some people like to keep everything in electronic planners and others like the paper planners best. Find out what works for you. If you miss an appointment or have a day with too may projects, adjust your schedule. How often do you fill out these time sheets? As often as necessary. Before signing up for new classes is a good time. You might want to redo your time management sheet right after school begins. How is it working? Do you need extra time for an algebra class. Often history and English classes are heavy on reading. Did you plan enough time for all that reading. I often renew my time sheet at the beginning of each new season. I check my daily planner every week to make sure I don't miss any appointments. Recommended reading: "Time Management From the Inside Out," by Julie Morganstern.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day: Watch Less TV

Decide to watch less television. When Ben Carson came home with a failing report card, his mother limited him to two preselected television programs a week. Carson's grades improved and he went from being "the dumbest kid" in his class to being the smartest. When he grew up, he became a famous surgeon. Note the wisdom of not giving up television completely. We need an occasional break from the books. When my husband was working on his Ph.D, he would watch “Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island” every week. These shows were brain candy after a week of hard study. When I was working my way through college, I watched one television program a week. I watched “Houston Knights' when that was on and then “Wildside.” Those of you who are sports fans can limit yourself to one game a week. If the thought of surviving without television is depressing, perhaps you have an addiction, and you need to work through this. Earlier in my life, when I was going through painful emotional times, I watched lots of television. It kept me from thinking about my problems, but my problems didn't get better until I turned off the television and started to work through those problems.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Intend to learn. So many students want to learn just until test time, and then they promptly forget. Education is expensive and time consuming. Get your money's worth.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

School will be starting again soon. Introduce yourself early to your instructor. Take a hint from journalists who always learn as much as they can about a subject before the interview. Google your instructor. Then make an appointment and go talk to him. Let him know you are a serious student, eager to learn as much as you can. Ask if he has any helpful hints for you. Ask if there is extra reading you can do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Learning Hack of the Day- Get a Head Start

Find out what textbooks you will be using next semester; get a copy. Preview as much of this textbook as you can. Also try to get a syllabus ahead of tine.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Learn something. Most students are now between semesters, but that does not mean we stop learning. Spend school holidays learning American Sign Language, French, or a new sport. The children of wealthy families are encouraged to learn between semesters. The rest of us can greatly add to our intellectual wealth at this time too.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Learning hack of the day: Keep A Journal

Keep a journal. Journals are writing practice, and writing is a skill needed for so many of today's courses and career paths. A diary is about what you did today. A journal can focus on today, a memory or on future hopes. It is more about feelings and reflections than about today's day. There are dozens of ways a journal can help us in our schooling and in our careers. I'll describe some of those in upcoming blogs. For now, let's get in the practice of writing every day. Think of it as being like piano practice or daily exercise. Build those writing muscles.