In my recent post “Short and Sweet” I mentioned briefly that my high school daughter likes to stick to one subject all day, everyday, until she completes the work and then “write it off” or write the exam and conclude that subject for the term.
I called it an “immersion” approach because she focuses on that one subject exclusively until she completes it.
One of my readers wrote me this question:
“I have a high school son who (studies) like this as well – studying one subject or book completely before moving on to another. But the challenge we have is keeping him “on track”. He gets immersed and ends up hitting the end of the school year with 2 courses incomplete or not even begun. Do you have a suggestion on how to monitor or pace the immersion method? Thank you in advance.”
This is what I shared:
“Like your son, my daughter has also miscalculated her time in previous years and faced the awful reality that one or 2 subjects were neglected or that she did not have enough time to properly complete the course.It all boils down to breaking up the full course and some simple planning.Basically we have a golden rule:Short goals prevent big disasters.“
- Use a year calendar and mark out all the semesters/ quarters/ terms and school holidays.
- Plot out the exam dates or weeks at the end of each term and allow for a few study dates for each exam.
- Calculate the number of weeks left per quarter.
- Divide out the subject(s) into these remaining weeks.
- ALL SUBJECTS MUST BE COMPLETED PER TERM OR NO HOLIDAY! This has been the biggest motivator to completing each term.
- Plot out enough time specifically for portfolios/ projects.
- If a project is completed during normal school days, you can allocate fewer portfolio days
Monitor & check work off
- Hold monthly monitor meetings. Don’t leave it too long to discover that the whole semester is lost!
- The child ticks off all the work done. It is a good motivator.
- Mom can sign off exams and portfolio projects.
- Break subjects into smaller “chunks” if work falls behind. Instead of monthly meetings, hold weekly meetings, and if need be, daily meetings until the work is caught up.