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Should your child use a digital or paper planner? Is this even the right question? Planners are SUPER important, yet we often have students who do NOT know how to use them effectively. Here I’ll tell you EXACTLY what you “should” be asking in order to set your child up for success.
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A question I get a lot from parents and students: “Is it better to have a paper planner or an electronic planner (i.e. Google Calendar)?“
Here is my response: it doesn’t matter. I don’t care what type of planner of my students use. I have preferences that I use with most of my students that struggle with executive function (these are not the same recommendations I would make for a student with strong executive function.) All I care about is do they use it and are they learning to build the skills for planning? Is it an effective and reliable system for tracking the tasks and responsibilities one needs in order to achieve their goals?
I’ll say that again, the words I’m choosing are very specific. Is it an effective and reliable system for tracking the tasks and responsibilities one has to track an order to achieve their goals or get done the things they need to get done for their bigger goals? The simplest planner I ever use with anybody is I will suggest a notecard (1 flashcard). I’ll teach them to stick it in their pocket and just write the stuff from the day that they have on it. This is how they ease into it. That’s one method. There’s a lot of nuance around that I’m not going into in this video and how I make that work. And then I get kids who use the school planner, the monthly calendar, which is the one I usually get kids on. (Or the Google Calendar). Once we get into using Google Calendar or the paper planner, I teach them all about how to plan. How do we make it effective and reliable? These are very big skills.
So hey, what’s up? My name is Seth, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m an executive function coach out of Boulder, Colorado. I help struggling students navigate this thing called education. And if you haven’t signed up for my website SethPerler.com, I send out a free blog every week, and I’ve got tons of free resources for parents, teachers, and students struggling.
But people want to know the end-all-be-all planner. Do I use the electronic one or do I use the paper one? And I really don’t care. It’s usually a combination. What’s really important is what I said before; that it works. But it’s also important they’re buying ownership where the student has been a part of the process of creating the system and building system out. So it’s a very complex set of skills in order to learn how to plan, and people want a simple: here is the right answer. I don’t have that for you. I will give you a real answer: it takes time, patience, persistence, and doing exactly what I talked about in terms of building a system that’s reliable and effective at tracking the things you need to track. So with that, this is Seth with SethPerler.com. Check me out online, hit the thumbs up this video if you like it, and subscribe. Or leave a comment below if you have any thoughts about this. Also this Friday, August 23rd, 2019, we have a free executive function online 3-day summit for parents. It is good. Check it out an executivefunctionsummit.com. Take care.
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