When the free time of summer fades and the school year begins, adjusting to school schedules, sports practice, music lessons and dance recitals can make the fall an intimidating time of year. Sometimes it feels like an impossibility to complete all that’s on the plate. And maybe it is impossible. Maybe there are too many commitments and something has to give. Obviously school is not an option. There is an easy system though, to help manage your time.

  1. Get a large month-at-a-glance calendar. I know planners are good for day to day assignments, but being able to view the month’s commitments all at once, can help you be better organized.image
  2. Write on your calendar all the known activities for the month (i.e. long term assignments, sports, music, holidays, family commitments, etc.). If you are sharing this calendar with anyone else in your household, be sure to each use a different color.
  3. Plan in homework time around the commitments now listed on your calendar.
  4. Break down long term assignments into even parcels with interim due dates and mark those dates on your calendar.   This practice of breaking large assignments down into small doable parcels eliminates the stress of managing the by whole package all at once. *See the Tip below.
  5. If you are unable to meet your scheduled due dates, you may simply be over scheduled and it may be time to rethink your commitments.

*Tip:  If you are assigned a novel or large reading assignment to complete by a certain date, divide the total number of pages to be read by the number of reading days you have available. Mark the calendar where you are to read to each night. This helps make the whole assignment far less daunting and completable.


Good Luck! And let me know how this works for you. I welcome your feedback and questions.

Stay tuned for my next post: Completing homework in half the time!



There are numerous areas in the home where homework can be completed,


but the most successful spaces are where students can remain focused without distractions (i.e. No telephone, television). The traditional desk is certainly not necessary, and a portable supply box can make any space functional.


Many students like to work on the kitchen table where a parent is available to answer questions. This is fine, but wherever the space is set, it must be clearly defined and able to be used without interruption.


  1. Make a tool box of desk supplies. Ensure everything necessary is only an arm’s reach away. (i.e. pens, pencils, paper, erasers, tape, scissors, etc).
  2. Select a distraction free space where materials can be safely left in place when a break is needed.
  3. Headphones may be used if listening to music helps with focusing. Be sure they are attached to a well charged device and all other bells and whistles on the device are turned off.

Note: Portable homework space such as the kitchen table, must be cleaned up when work is completed. All assignments should be returned to the homework folder which should be returned to the backpack. All supplies should be returned to the supply box and safely stored for the next time it’s needed.



As students head into the new school year after a lengthy summer vacation, they are often pumped to succeed. They arrive with new backpacks, binders and an array of assorted school supplies. How to manage all of this can sometimes be challenging especially for those with lockers and who move between classrooms throughout the day. As an executive functioning coach, I have developed a few tips to make life easier for these students.


  • There is no need to carry all your supplies with you all day.
  • Tape your schedule inside your locker door. Check the schedule and take only what is needed until a break when you can return to your locker and exchange supplies.
  •  Use a 2 pocket homework folder to store all your  assignments (Left pocket mark To Do, Right pocket mark Completed) Bring this folder  with you to every class and home with you everyday.
  • At the end of the school day, check your homework folder and take only that which is needed for night’s homework.                 image

Stay tuned for my next entries on Managing Homework

Blog author: Barbara Schilling Hurwitz is an educator, family coach and author. She has published two books and is currently working on her next novel.

Click on the titles below to link directly to her books.

Skills & Strategies: The Interview Workbook- A Student Guide to the Admission Interview

Pandu Two lives from very different lands become dangerously entangled in the South Pacific.