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Stamford Mom: How Can I Encourage Teen To Use Planner?

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Do you have a question about your middle or high school student’s studying practices? S4 Study Skills , an area leader in providing evidence-based study skills and test preparation workshops for students, will answer questions from The Daily Voice readers each week. If you have a question, please submit it here or email

Q. My ninth-grader won’t use a planner because he says he can find all his homework assignments online. What can I tell him? Jen C., Stamford

A. Finding homework assignments on your classroom website is a good start. However, a listing on a website doesn’t plan your schedule, determine what assignment needs immediate attention, or account for an away-game with a math test looming tomorrow.

Using a planner is the key to staying organized and on top of all your work and commitments. With a planner, you can map out exactly what needs to be done and when, and you can see the bigger picture at a glance: Which weeks are you really busy? Which weeks allow you a bit of extra time?

Without planning, days and tasks can become overwhelming, and your student will be more prone to cramming — the absolute worst way to study. Getting into the planning habit will help your student feel in control because he will know exactly what he has to do and when. Feeling in control of one’s time inspires self-confidence. Using a planner is a great visual and practical tool for your student to manage his time.

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