Just the other day I took my life into my own hands and wandered back into the dark and somewhat dingy confines of my teenage son’s bedroom. Expecting to find him diligently working at his desk, you can imagine my surprise when I found him laid out on his bed watching Netflix on his phone. When I asked him the obligatory parent question, “Do you have any homework?” I was regaled with a somewhat convincing explanation as to why he had “plenty of time” to finish his work and how there was nothing due the next day. By the time I left his room, I was almost convinced that there was no reason for concern; however, just at that moment, the wise words of my mentor from The Citadel rushed back to me: “If you do homework every night, you will never be overwhelmed.”
I work with students every day who almost have me convinced that there are not enough hours in the day to complete the tasks on their list; but, if many of those same students were completely honest, they would admit that they are not as efficient as they could be in how they use their time. As Holden told me about tests that were days away and quizzes that he didn’t need to worry about until next week, I couldn’t help but think how much easier those tests and quizzes might be if he spent some time every night preparing for them.
Let me go on the record now and say that I was a horrible procrastinator, but time has shown me the error of my ways. My hope is that I can save my children from falling into the same bad habits. Our current educational system emphasizes the importance of math and science, along with English, history and a host of other relevant courses; however, little emphasis is given to how to succeed in those classes. I am not talking about a student’s ability to comprehend the material. I am referring to how a student can best go about not only comprehending the material but retaining that level of competence as well.