The Most Important Item on Your School Supplies List

by Zena Smith

plannerAs students look for ways to make the most of the summer vacation they have left, parents are making mental checklists of everything that needs to be done before school begins.

Near the top of that list, of course, is “back-to-school shopping.”

Anyone who’s shopped for school supplies knows it isn’t always fun. Deciding between wood pencils or mechanical can only be so entertaining. What supply shopping does provide is a great opportunity to shape your student’s education by deciding which tools they’ll be using to lo learn.

This doesn’t mean buying the most expensive option, but rather the ones that counts most.

One of the most underutilized and underappreciated school supplies is the student planner. Schools don’t always require them, students don’t think they’ll need them, and parents often view them as an unnecessary expense.

But in reality, the student planner may be the most helpful learning aid you can give your student. Aside from helping them to remember assignments and meet deadlines, being active with a student planner helps students develop a number of other real world skills:

  • Discipline
    The simple act of writing in a planner every night quickly becomes a habit. And no parent has ever claimed about their student developing a habit of being organized.
  • Organization
    Students practice spatial organization skills by physically writing assignments for several classes in the space of one page. They also become comfortable with effective multi-tasking as they track various projects at once.
  • Goal Setting
    By writing down project due dates that may be months away, students reinforce the concept of working toward a long-term goal. Progressing day-by-day through each page of the planner provides students with a tangible, visual reminder of the way a distant deadline draws nearer.
  • Time Management
    When students see that the tasks they had planned for one night did not get accomplished, they develop a better sense of their own workload and productivity levels. Being aware of your limitations and pacing yourself accordingly is the easiest way to be sure you have enough time to finish projects, review for tests, and make the grade.

At the end of the day, a planner is a small investment that can have a tremendous effect on your student’s life skills and education. Whether their school requires a planner or not, we encourage our parents to make this school year, the year your student learns to plan!

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