“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
~Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Being overwhelmed by homework and projects can immobilize anyone, no matter what their age. Teaching our children to take things “bird by bird” is a good lesson in time management. By dividing projects into smaller chunks that can be done over a couple of hours, days or weeks helps children learn how to pace their work, reduce stress, and allow more time for fun.
In fact, I’m going to use this tip the next time I write an article. I won’t let the vastness of the writing project overwhelm me. I’ll take it word by word and bird by bird.
By Claire Gawinowicz, Certified Parenting Educator
For more articles related to school issues, go to: https://www.centerforparentingeducation.org/programs_articles.html#nschool