I was listening to Scott Young, who is a productivity and study skills expert, and he made an important distinction on a recent podcast episode.
Many times we confuse tasks with projects.
This is SO TRUE for both parents and students! Many times we create to-do lists, and put down as tasks activities that are actually more complicated projects that have multiple smaller tasks involved. Even things that might seem mundane, like making a purchase, might actually involve a more complicated process of researching that item, understanding different features, comparing brands, reading reviews, deciding where to buy, determining your budget, making the purchase, and then learning how to use/install/implement the item.
It's a whole project! Yet by putting it down as a "task," we oversimplify and underestimate the emount of time, energy and brainpower that will be involved in that one activity.
This is especially true when it comes to school, academics and study skills! Many times...
I've heard the following questions SO many times!
Do I really need to take algebra?
Why do I need to read that book?
Why am I required to study history?
When am I ever going to use proofs?
Am I actually going to use chemistry?
This is a waste of time!
I get it. There are a bunch of subjects that are required for high school that, if you look from the outside, seem like they are completely unrelated to the direction we are headed. So why are they required? How can we motivate our teens to do their best in a subject when we can't name the last time we had to diagram a sentence or complete an algebraic equation?
You Don't Know Where You're Headed
I'm not doing what I thought I would be career-wise in high school. Statistically, neither will your teens. Right now the average person is holding 12+ jobs over the course of their life according to Zippia! The days of preparing for and staying in one career field for life have been replaced with a progression of...
One of the most important skills a student can learn in high school is how to eat a frog.
Yep. You heard me right.
There are a couple of different quotes, attributed to Mark Twain (although more likely said by Nicolas Chamfort), which go something like this:
"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day"
"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."
Okay, now that you've lost your appetite, let's get serious. Obviously we're not really encouraging you to go out and gorge yourself on a poor amphibian, but rather that you should tackle whatever sounds the least appealing first in your day. Getting that unpleasantry out of the way on the front end allows for things to be smoother as the day progresses because you've already got the most difficult part out of the way.
Academically speaking, this means...
Math. The sheer word can strike terror in the hearts of parents and students alike. I’ve been tutoring math for 13 years, and the number of technology tools to help students learn math has grown exponentially. For those times when you need some extra support, here is my top collection of resources for more practice and help (I am not paid for any of these recommendations):
Sometimes all that’s needed is some extra practice. Here are some websites that can allow you to create or locate free worksheets:
Free, pre-created worksheets for every primary concept pre-algebra through calculus.
While not as extensive as Kuta Software, Math-Drills still has a robust number of math worksheets available.
A collection of math worksheets, practice problems and videos for Algebra 1, Algebra 2, the PSAT and the SAT.
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