Is your student struggling to find enough time in their day? Between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and family commitments, the average student has a lot on their plate.
How can you ensure that your child is able to complete everything on their to-do list while still having time to relax at the end of the day? It all boils down to time management. By teaching your child about time management principles, you can encourage them to become more productive and make the most of their 24 hours each day.
Why is time management important for students?
Time management is an essential skill for kids to learn as they get older and take on more and more responsibilities. Effective time management has numerous benefits for students:
- Reduced stress: Time management can help your child tackle difficult tasks and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Improved grades: It’s not uncommon for students’ grades to slip because they don’t have enough time to complete their assignments. By managing their time more effectively, students can get all of their course work done without waiting until the last minute.
- Better sleep: Time management can help your student eliminate the need for late night cramming.
- Increased independence: When students learn about time management, they also learn about accountability. They are encouraged to make mindful choices about how they spend their time and to take responsibility when that time is mismanaged.
Time management habits for kids
Here are several techniques students can use to manage their time more effectively, along with tips for how parents can help make these habits stick.
Keep a planner
Encourage your child to keep a planner or agenda that lists the due dates for all upcoming homework assignments. It may also be helpful to list things like extracurriculars, chores, and school events.
Using a planner helps your student stay on top of tasks and reduces the likelihood of them forgetting about an assignment. At BASIS Charter Schools, our students use Communication Journals to keep track of homework and other tasks.
Make a family calendar
In addition to having your child keep an individual planner, you might want to make a shared calendar for the entire family. This calendar does not need to be as detailed as a planner, but it should list the major commitments each family member has for the week or month.
A quick glance at the calendar should be able to tell you when each family member is busy. This gives your child an extra reminder for upcoming events and encourages them to be mindful of others’ schedules, too. Consider getting a dry-erase calendar you can hang on your fridge, where everyone will see it!
Focus on high priority tasks first
If your child has an especially busy week coming up, consider helping them rank tasks in order of importance. That way, your child can prioritize the tasks that matter the most. For example, a five-page history paper that is worth a large percentage of your child’s grade would take priority over practicing for an upcoming band concert.
Set aside blocks of time for studying
Finding time to work on homework is made easier when your student follows a consistent routine. Consider setting aside a block of time each school night during which your child can study without distractions.
Maintain focus by splitting tasks into smaller chunks
It can be hard to focus on a single task for a long period of time. To keep your child engaged and productive, try breaking up tasks into smaller pieces.
For example, instead of sitting down and completing a whole math worksheet in one sitting, can you split it up into two or more parts? Not only does this improve focus, it can also prevent your child from feeling overwhelmed. Completing four batches of five math problems feels less daunting than completing 20 problems all at once.
Set time limits
Does your child lose track of time easily? Try setting timers and alarms to indicate when your child should wrap up what they’re doing and begin working on something else. This goes for both fun activities and activities that might be viewed as chores. Playing video games all afternoon can eat into your child’s allotted study time, but conversely, spending longer than intended studying for an upcoming exam can cut back on your child’s relaxation time and leave them feeling stressed.
Factor in buffer time
When determining how long a task is going to take, be sure to leave room for some extra buffer time. This practice encourages your child to start tasks earlier and finish them with time to spare. It also protects your student from missing deadlines due to unexpected mishaps such as technical difficulties.
Starting assignments early could improve the quality of your child’s work, too. If your student has to rush to finish an assignment at the last minute, they aren’t able to give it their best effort.
When teaching your kids time management skills, it’s important to be realistic and acknowledge that no one is perfect. Sometimes, tasks will fall through the cracks and your child will not be able to get to everything. Be sure to congratulate your child’s efforts and, if needed, work with them to find new time management solutions.
Learn more about the BASIS Charter Schools network
At BASIS Charter Schools, we empower our students to achieve their best every day. Our acclaimed curriculum is designed to fuel critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. Throughout our primary school program, students learn crucial time management skills that prepare them for the accelerated pace of middle school and high school.
To learn more about our network of high-performing, tuition-free, public charter schools, find a school near you and schedule a tour today.
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