Planning ideas for teens

With school quickly approaching, I would like to help my two boys set up a planner. Their teacher started to last year, but did not follow through. I think it would be a great skill for them to learn now instead of struggling through their early adult years.

I am thinking their planners would each include school (little to no homework at their small private waldorf school), chores, extracurricular activities (sports for one, music for the other), contact information.

Any ideas or suggestions?



Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

great idea, but make it theirs

I agree that planning skills are great at any age.

"The Organized Student" by Donna Goldberg is a wonderful book with ideas that have worked for me. Some key points: Don't foist your own system on them, they have to decide what works; If it works, it's good, even if it consists of garbage bags inboxes.

The bottom line is that you shouldn't be thinking about what their planners will look like. You can give some suggestions, hold them accountable, and let them decide what's best.

I guess I'm just looking for

I guess I'm just looking for a starting point, like what kind of hardware would be good to beging with. I use a 3 ring portfolio binder, but I know that probably would not be appropriate. It's the only thing I have used, and a smaller 1/2 size version, which is why I am looking for direction. Thanks for the suggestion of the book. I'll take a look at it.

If you want something premade to get their feet wet,

and if they are below high-school age, Franklin Covey online has school agendas that my daughter has used for the past 5 years. They only have three types left: primary (for very young k-2 or so), elementary for (3-5th grades), and middle school (6th-8th grades). They are already sold out of the high school one.

They are spiral bound notebooks with month-at-a-glance and weekly calendars. The younger versions have spaces for each class each day and room for spelling words. There is space for their contacts, and there are little lessons about time management and planning for each month.

You can just go to the website and do a search on "agenda" or "premier", if you are interested.

How 'bout this ?

These templates are for students:

kid's planner

Be careful with the planner idea. For years (and I mean years) my sons' teachers forced them to plan and organize their (the teacher's) way. As a mother it made me very frustrated. Sort of like an adult being a "pile" or "file" person and being forced to do the opposite of what comes naturally. I
do not like when adults think the only way to get to C is by going from A to B. Not everyone takes the same path to the same result.

My kid's HATED the clutter and pictures all over the Franklin Covey Premier for kids line and one school they attended made them use it. It was a horrible distracting planner for them (and me)

If they are young, I would not force "scheduling" on them, but,
to just write down basic homework (math pg 1-2) or "make bed" for a chore is okay. I used a chore cart on the fridge where they checked off...

I also have found with having all boys, they like no nonsense and basics.

All my children are in high school now. They use a Mead five star (8.5 x 5.5) planner that looks just like a Mead notebook (chosen by them). Very simple weekly and has monthly calendars as well. Monthly is where all there plans/appointments, due dates go, weekly they have only school assignment notations and such. Each one of them uses it a little different.

sorry I forgot to log in

for the previous post-bethellen


Thanks for all of the thoughts, comments, suggestions, and links. I really appreciant it! I just wanted to say that there are no worries about my pushing a system onto my boys. Really, if you knew me IRL, you would know that I am the least likely to try to control my children. I really just want them to have the opportunity to try out different organizers while they are young and hopefully have it better figured out going into adulthood than I did. It took me years to even be slightly successful with an organizing system. However, I do know that I will always be modifying, changing, and hopefully improving my system.

Thanks again!


Time Planner Idea

If you come up with a custom daily page, make sure the time slots end at 9pm. If your daughters ask why, tell them that they won't need to plan beyond then, because they'll be home. >:)

Mean ol' Dad

Better yet...

pre-print "Bed-Time" or "Curfew"

>:D Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaa !

'nother mean ol' daddy
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


9pm? wow you guys are nice. My kids are in bed by 8:30. LOL ( I WISH!!!! )

And then there is the extreme ...

I promise, these links go to nothing rude or nasty
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


Things like that are the reason I don't have kids. Because I would actually use those links. ;)

planning aids

Since the plans of others are most likely the reasons my plans get messed up, I actually thought ygor posted them as a planning aid. Although this week I think I am my own worst problem and would have to use them on myself. I will not go to bed. I must stay up and watch the olympics. In my part of the world the games are on live all night long.



That's what the DVR is for. I've set mine to record the sessions that contain events that I awant to watch, and then I watch them the next evening after work, or when I have time. Weekends have definitely been Olympics catch-up time for me. Watching it this way also lets me fast forward through commercials and events I don't especially care about that are shown ahead of or between the events I want to see.

"I want to live in Theory. Everything works there."


I'm hoping to be able to watch them online... anyone tried this yet? i've missed so many of the events i wanted to see >.<

my artwork | my blog

Got a Usenet type news account ?

I've seen video downloadables in and alt.binaries.multimedia
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Olympics Online

I've watched quite a bit of the videos at the nbc site. No problems at all except that the commentators are often typing in their comments as the events happen, which they seem to hate doing. It does make it easer to read the commentary on the computer while I'm watching the games on TV though.

Obviously, I need to plan for the next Olympics a bit better. Obviously, I need to sleep instead of work.

would have loved this!

We had a school issued planner one year... and I can remember using something else. I can also recall being excited and 'hacking' a notebook the first week of junior high to fit my new needs...

I think encouraging kids to keep track of deadlines and such is a great idea! :) I really hope my future offspring gets bit by the planner/office supply bug like I did... then we can shop together <3 (oh the thought of a mini-me! ... lookout Matt!)

my artwork | my blog

school planner

I'm so lost in this nested thread, ugh. but. want to make some comments and ask a couple questions:

first of all, I think planners for school are a good idea, but it's utterly frustrating, because they only tell my three teens

1. what the assignment is
2. when what parts/end is due.

it doesn't do a THING to tell my daughter how much of an assignment she ought to comeplete tonight, what she shoudl be doing NOW.

there isn't any concept of TIME in those planners

sorry for YELLING but I'm so frustrated.

I can't tell you the number of times my kids say at 4:30 no homework, and then that magical memory happens at 9:30 - then all three of them are vying for the computer to type their papers!

our schools require planners, and for my seventh grader, teachers require I sign it, but my DD is still turning stuff in late, missing stuff, etc. she already lost her algebra book once, she left one of her instruments on the bus, and lost a packet of papers I signed.

my point about the planner is I think the teachers just think everyone has an executive funtioning brain - NOT in our home!

those books on ADHD brains, are good, but again, it doesn't help us manage our time.


First thought: use a project template ?

Example - pp 39/40 of the Classic Core template
Then you can try dividing the assignment into smaller parts.

This assumes a LARGE assignment versus the kind that is due tomorrow and involves reading a chapter or three or doing a few pages of math problems.

If I was home when the kids got in, I would ask them to show me the agenda and go from there.

I'm just shooting from the hip here. Hope some part of it helps.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

My third grade son just

My third grade son just started at a new school and this school begins in kindergarten using a planner. They write all of their assignments and extra activities in it along with homework. There is a place for teachers to make notes to the parents and vise versa. I think it is a great idea to start them learning to keep their assignments, etc organized from the beginning when they are just learning everything. That way it is just a part of them as they grow.

can you give me some insight

can you give me some insight into waht we're missing here? so when the kids write their assignments down, what are we missing?

alot of my high school boys' assignments are multi part. yes, the math is just the next set of problems, but english, can have several open assignemnts with diferent stream of due dates.

when they were little we did the stopsign thing. yellow meant yellow alert, due date coming up, green meant I think it's good to go - red meant due dates.

can you tell I have ADD by the way I'm grasping for understanding?

A different planning concept...

When my daughter was in school, there were often checkpoints for longer assignments, like papers and researh projects. The teachers gave them a final due date and there were several intermediate dates -- maybe a few days for them to select a topic, a week to do some preliminary work, like a tentative bibliography, another week to get an outline with thesis sentence and topic sentences for the main points, then a rough draft, maybe a preliminary final paper, and then the final due date. Each of these steps would be absolute deadlines, and the teachers would give the students feedback and direction, such as too narrow or too general a topic, need for more sources, need to develop better topic sentences, etc. Part of the final grade would be based on how timely the student met the intermediate checkpoints. I always thought it was a lot of work for the teachers, but it was helpful in keeping the kids motivated and working along the way, instead of waiting until the last minute.

Often there would be a message sent to the parents that this project would be going on, and a slip of paper for parents to sign and return, acknowledging that they were aware of the project and should be providing encouragement and not planning anything that would interfere.

If the student got off-track or didn't get started, the teacher and/or parent would be aware of the problem in time to get them back on track.

There were always grading rubrics (never had those when I was in school) that made it clear what the grade would be based on.

If your school doesn't provide these checkpoints, you could set some up yourself. I found that some teachers were very detail-oriented and had everything laid out, and some left things up to the kids and parental oversight was needed. Actually I think both ways are good -- the first helps kids get organized and the second approach gives the kids a chance to develop responsibility on their own.

You might try setting up something like this on your own if your school doesn't have such a system. Have more oversight for the younger kids, and as they get older still keep an eye on what they're doing, but give them more flexibility.

I don't think this is a student planner issue. Student planners are usually no more than calendars or agendas where important dates and assignments can be recorded. I'd set up a separate sheet of paper for this, with four or five dates for the checkpoints. You could sit down and plan it with your student and agree on the dates, what should be accomplished when. Then keep the sheet where you can refer to it or make a note in your own and the student's planner that you need to meet on this on a certain date.

When your students get a group assignment they could also set up something like this. I was surprised once when my daughter was in a group, and one of the kids didn't do his part. This really brought down the entire project, and the teacher gave all the kids in that group a bad grade, even the ones who had done their parts. I guess it was a good lesson, but a hard one for my daughter. If they'd had some way of checking on the slacker, they could have done his part and gotten a better grade. I guess that was a valuable life experience.


GG, you are right, this

GG, you are right, this isn't a school planner issue! I'm well aware that I'm 'mind blind' to some things here, not seeing first hand what the teachers are providing.

regarding groups? that's so hard! Both my high school boys ran into this, mine are high honor roll kids, and would often be the one in the group that would be penalized the most with a group grade, even tho they had done the majority of the work.

one of the teachers noticed this, and put a different spin on things...she graded my son on the actual bottom line project, and anytime a group member was slacking, the other kid got penalized points. that's a first!

Planners for Children/Teens

Check out the Student Control Journal at flyladydotnet. It's routine based rather than time based. It also is set up a bit like a workbook so it helps them think about what they need to do during the day. Not to mention it's a free download... Always with in budget for those of us with small fry!

Link linkety Link

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

everybody organizes differently

My kids middle school provided planners that the kids were supposed to use. These were home-made-ish - copied and bound. They were 2-pp per week, with the blocks running horizontally - M T W on the left page and Th F on the right. My son absolutely COULD NOT use these pages... down, then across and down - he just couldn't visualize his week that way. He NEEDed to have each day in a column and the days following each other - M column, T column, W column on the left page and Th column, F column weekend on the right page. One year I really had to fight to get permission for him to use the planner that made sense to him. I had to take the school-specific pages (dress code, conduct code, etc etc) and staple them into the front of my son's preferred organizer.

If you think the same way as your boys - you may be able to easily help them get organized.

If, for example, you are a word person and they are visual people, you may need to enlist the help of someone more on their wave length (spouse or other relation).

School, chores, sports, music are good basic categories - but driven by you. You might want to ask your sons what things are important to them that aren't on your list and allow them to plan for that, too. Do they need or want to plan for time with friends? Time to read? Time for computer games?