After the time in lockdown, no one seems to be disappointed that we are back to the craziness of the school year schedule. However, the early morning wake-ups, busy school days, increasing homework loads, and evening sports practices have presented a renewed need for time management skills.
Is it too early to start teaching your children the importance of effective time management and organizational skills?
We can all agree there are times when it is so much easier to just manage it all for our children. But we can all also agree that, in the long run, we are not doing our kids any favors by failing to teach them “how-to” manage their required tasks.
Consider a Kid-Friendly App
The O-waves app is a favorite in our house as it provides an excellent visual for daily time use. On the app, each day is represented by an O that is composed of several different colors. Each color represents a specific activity. The amount of the O that is a certain color is determined by the length of time it will take to complete a task. For example, half of the O may be green, to represent time spent sleeping. There are so many time management apps out there, but this is a great one for kids because it gives them choices and it offers an interactive visual. It is important for children to learn that time is fluid, but that choices have consequences. They can visually see that they will need to do homework for thirty minutes and then they will get to use technology for 15 minutes.
How about an “Old Fashioned” Table Timer
Did you know a sense of urgency and grasping the concept of time does not develop in the average child until third grade? By using a table timer (they have so many fun colors and character versions on Amazon), your child can work on a challenging task, like math homework, for five minutes and then take a five-minute stretch break. A table timer keeps your student off technology while allowing them to feel a sense of control over the amount of time they have to spend doing a less than desirable task, like reading.
Definitely try a Planner
The mental connection that is formed when a child writes a task greatly increases the chances your child will stay on top of their work. My kids love to use a different color for each task they need to complete and cross it off once it has been completed. The practice of writing and checking off an item is a life skill that will serve your child well. If your child is too young to write, you can do the writing and they can do the crossing off. Get your children involved in managing their own to-do lists and creating time-management habits.
Executive functioning skills, like managing homework and extracurricular activities does not come naturally to children. It can even become an undesirable goal for a child. However, modeling, encouraging, and teaching your child how to manage their time will empower them to become a successful human being. If you are frustrated with your child’s time management skills, we at Advantage Tutoring would love to help. Every one of our sessions includes teaching students how to manage their own assignments. If everything you have tried is just not working, let us help!