Planning for Success
For many of us, time management can be a challenge. As a parent, it becomes increasingly important to learn how to manage time efficiently and effectively. Between running a household, working full-time, and taking the kids to their extracurricular activities, we strive to meet all of our goals and commitments while trying to keep a balance in our lives.
At KnowledgePoints Learning Centers, we know that children are not any different. Children have the same amount of hours available in a day and, just like adults, some accomplish more things than others. Our goal is to provide parents with some key time management strategies that they can use at home to ensure their children are managing their time for success. These strategies will help your child plan and schedule activities, be on time, remember important events (like project due dates!) and complete tasks.
1. Understand the Meaning of Time
Many children today struggle with the meaning of time because they have grown up in the age of the digital clock. To make time real for children, put up an analog clock or buy them an analog watch. The numbered face, moving hands, increments of hours, minutes and seconds are more visible and work together to create a whole picture. You can also come up with interesting ways to give your child an accurate sense of time. For example ask your child: “How many cartoon characters can you list in a minute?”; “How long is your favorite song?”; “How fast can you race across the backyard?” These activities can be used to train your child to recognize the passing of time.
2. Get Organized
Designate an organized work space for your child that is conducive to learning. As you know, a lot of time can be wasted if your child’s desk or work space is not organized. To be most productive, children need sufficient space, adequate lighting, school supplies and an established routine. Setting a regular study time for your child will ensure homework and projects get the priority and attention needed for completion.
3. Utilize a Planner
For a planner to be most effective, make sure your child uses it and updates it daily. Your child should use his or her planner to keep track of homework assignments, school projects and other special events. The best planners have sections for daily, weekly and monthly calendars, as well as a section for an address book. In the beginning, you should set aside forty-five minutes to an hour to discuss its contents, purpose and how to break down big projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
4. Outline Responsibilities
Prioritizing responsibilities can be difficult for a child. Help your child identify items that are his or her top priority being careful not to postpone small or low priority activities. Then assist him or her in making a “to do” list. When tasks are completed, make sure they are checked off the list so that your child feels a sense of accomplishment.
5. Avoid Overload
Once your child begins practicing time management it will be easier to get things done and keep tasks from piling up. However, some extra tips to help prevent overload include: a good night’s sleep, time for rest and relaxation, short breaks, and avoiding procrastination.
6. Practice Effective Study Strategies
Every lesson has a purpose and homework is given to help your child understand the lesson that was taught in class. Discuss homework assignments and projects with your child so that they are clear on its importance and understand the time it will take to complete the assignment. This is critical for children when they need to complete a report, research paper, or class presentations. Keep up on assignments and have your child review class notes and “to do” list daily.
7. Be Flexible
The unexpected happens and your child will need to be able to fit it into his or her schedule. It is important that children know how to rearrange their schedule when necessary, where to go for help on assignments and who to ask for assistance when they arrive. Overtime, parents can empower their children to make decisions or changes on their own when necessary.
8. Keep Goals in Mind
With so much going on, children sometimes lose sight of the big picture. When necessary, help them remember what is most important and instill in them the importance of keeping a positive attitude.
There are many benefits in time management. Those who manage their time well seem to accomplish more, get better grades and are more satisfied with their life. By implementing these Eight Time Management Strategies, you can give your child the tools they need to plan for success! For more information on study skills and tutoring services to help your child achieve academic success, contact your local KnowledgePoints Learning Center.