Tips for Breaking Large Projects into Smaller ones

Large, or long-term projects, can be a daunting task for children. They need to learn how to manage their time and divide the project up into smaller parts and focus on each part. Parents can help their children by showing them how to break a large or long-term project apart.

1. Look at the project requirements: read the instructions carefully and see what the final project needs. For example, a term paper might need the final draft, the bibliography, the rough draft and note cards. A science fair project might need to have the project board, visual aids and a paper written.

2. Determine the order: now that a list of the project requirements has been made, determine the order that they need to be completed. For example, a term paper obviously needs the note cards before the rough draft and the rough draft before the final.

3. Set deadlines: many projects come with deadlines the teachers set, for example they may want to see the topic idea before starting on the term paper or the rough draft might be due before the final. Next to the list of project requirements write down the due dates. If the teacher has not set any, then set some that are feasible.

4. Gather supplies: this can be the first of the deadlines. Make a list of all the supplies needed for the project. Buy them all at once so there is no rushing around at the last minute buying or searching for supplies.

5. Calendar: write down the due dates on a calendar. It is often easier to see how much time is left before the project is due. A date might seem like it is a long ways off, but by looking on the calendar it keeps it fresh in a person’s mind and shows how many days are left.

6. Concentrate on the task at hand: the complete project must always be kept in perspective but by dealing with and concentrating on only the smaller tasks and reaching their deadlines, the project will not seem so overwhelming. Once a smaller piece of the project has been completed it can be crossed off the “project requirements” list and a child should recieve praise for it. Take at least a day in between finishing a smaller project to rest and regroup.

7. Organization: some smaller projects might require their own supplies list or their own project requirements. Make a list that reflects this. Write down the project requirement and underneath that, write down any other smaller projects required to complete that or the supplies needed, don’t forget writing the deadline for that requirement.

Following these simple tips can greatly reduce the stress a child may have placed on them due to the large or long-term project. A bunch of mini-projects is easier to look at and work on than one large project. And, it will ensure that the final project is completed on time.