The past year has brought new challenges to students. Time management is harder when spend part of your time learning at home instead of solely in a classroom, and it’s extremely common to notice academic work struggle a bit. As one of the mot common questions we are asked, it’s overdue that we create a post outlining tips you can do today to help your child with their time management.
- Create a home workspace with your child. We can’t recommend this enough, especially for younger children. Creating a space that helps them switch from ‘home’ mode to ‘school’ mode will eliminate many of the barriers and distractions to learning. What makes a good workspace? First, keep it clear of distractions. No TV, toys, or shared spaces, if possible. Second, make sure it is fully stocked on school supplies. If that includes a laptop, try to keep the laptop in the workspace. Wandering to a comfy couch or bed with schoolwork will lead to a potential nap time! Finally, have your child help with the set up. If they get involved, they are invested in making a successful study space!
- Help them Adhere to their Schedule. It’s easy for a child to create a schedule. The problem is that sticking to the schedule is not as easy. Help your child adhere to their schedule in any way possible. If their phone is a distractor, offer to keep it while they have uninterrupted work time. If they need cues to ensure they are hitting their study time goals, be their timekeeper! A simple egg timer can keep your child focused on work and not time. Finally, work to make the family’s schedule fit with their study schedule. Don’t plan trips for ice cream or schedule piano lessons at 6 if that’s the time your child has set aside for studying. Giving weight to their commitment emphasizes that you, too, take it seriously.
- Schedule in rewards, too. Reinforcing successful uninterrupted work and study time is key. If your child plans 30 minutes of studying and succeeds, encourage them to take 5 minutes to get a snack, do something active, or record a TikTok or two. Succeeding academically doesn’t mean sacrificing enjoyment, just bringing balance to the day.
- Create a gameplan for school days. Imagine going into a football game without studying the other team’s depth charts, season stats, or game footage? It would be a set up for failure. Students can benefit greatly from planning their school day. Does your child forget textbooks and assignments? Create a checklist before leaving the house and plan out trips to lockers between class. Does your child run late for class? Have them commit to checking in with a peer in their classes who is consistently on time. It doesn’t even have to be something their peer realizes; just make sure they say to them to be in class on time! Does your child come home with classwork that never got finished in school? First, have them identify breaks in their days that can be used to organize their work and get ahead. Homeroom and study halls should be used to ensure they are leaving in-school work at school. Second, do they have difficulty focusing in class? Have them commit to separating themselves from distractions during independent work times. Talking to friends is tempting, but creating physical distance with a different seat or even by facing a different direction can make the difference.
- Talk through struggles. Many children feel as though their difficulties with time management are unique to them. In reality, they are struggling with skills that take time and practice to learn. Talk through it with them and ask them what works and what doesn’t. Strive to continuously improve and hone their time management skills.