Submit your assignment on time – in 10 easy steps!

Each term some students struggle with submitting their assignments on time. There’s so much to consider – planning, time management and seemingly never-ending research and reading! But with a lot of planning and the same amount of effort, your teenager can ensure that they submit their assignments on time by following these 10 easy steps:

Understand the requirements: Read the assignment instructions carefully to understand what’s expected of you. Note down the due date, formatting guidelines, word count, and any specific requirements. At this stage, if your teen is unsure of what the assignment is about and needs help getting started, get them to ask for help ASAP! Don’t let them leave it in their schoolbag until one week before it’s due!

Break it down: Break the assignment into smaller tasks or milestones. This could include researching, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing. Even better – assign timelines to these tasks. For example, outlining could be done on Day 1, Days 2-7 could be researching, etc.

Set priorities: Determine which tasks are most critical and prioritize them. Focus on completing the most important parts first. For example if it’s a Chemistry report – make sure you organise and complete the lab work first!

Create a schedule: I would argue that this is the most critical part to ensure your child gets their assignment in on time! So, first off, help your child to allocate specific time slots for each task in their calendar leading up to the due date. Be realistic about how much time each task will take. This is particularly important for younger students or students with ADHD who often struggle with good time management.

Set deadlines: Assign deadlines for each milestone or task. These deadlines should be a few days before the actual due date to allow for unexpected delays or revisions. Keep your child accountable by following up each deadline and reward them if they meet their deadline!

Stay organised: Keep all relevant materials and resources organized and easily accessible. This includes lecture notes, textbooks, online articles, and any other materials your child may need. Tailor this organization to your child’s age. Younger children may prefer paper and a filing system. Older, more tech-savvy students may prefer digital copies. Whichever method you choose, encourage your child to file things properly in their computer drive. You’d be surprised how many students don’t have this basic skill! For more tips and inspiration check out this YouTube video on how to organise your computer files.

Seek help when needed: If you encounter difficulties or have questions about the assignment, don’t hesitate to reach out to your professor, classmates, or tutors for clarification or assistance. And the sooner, the better!

Regular progress checks: This is where a parent’s help is invaluable! Monitor your child’s progress regularly against their schedule. Of course, age is a factor – younger kids will need more monitoring, older kids less so. If you find your child is falling behind, adjust their plan accordingly and allocate more time to catch up.

Review and revise: Once you’ve completed the assignment, set aside time for thorough review and revision. Check for errors in grammar, spelling, and content coherence. All assignments have draft dates so make sure your child submits a draft! Your child’s teacher will use this draft to address any issues before the final submission and to give them time to fix anything to maximise their final score.

Submit as directed: Make sure you follow the submission guidelines precisely. Whether it’s through an online portal, email, or in person, ensure that your assignment is submitted correctly and on time. You’d be surprised how many students muck up this last hurdle, particularly if submission is time sensitive! Encourage your child to set an alarm on their phone so they don’t forget.

In your own experience as students and parents, a lot of these tips may seem like common sense – and they are! But life gets in the way and our children need consistent guidance and planning skills. Over time, these skills will become second nature but in the meantime, you will be there to make sure they stay on track.

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