Making the Most of Your Time
It is never too early to begin teaching time management skills to your star student. In fact, these are skills that should be adopted early in their education. With each passing grade, school work gets more involved, more tedious, and more demanding. Without proper time management skills, your student may become overwhelmed with his or her workload or miss out on extracurricular activities due to the belief that there is no time.
Discover these lifelong tools and tips to help your student succeed and still have time leftover to fill with meaningful interests and hobbies.
Studying Tools & Time Management Tips
Study tools and time management tips can help your student make the best use of his or her time. Whether you choose to use these ideas or research some of your own, find out what works best for your child and incorporate them now. It is up to you to help instill these good habits early so that they become a lifelong habit that will help your child find success.
- Keep an agenda. Mark down all assignments to complete and when they are due.
- Make a list and prioritize. This list will show all things that the student needs to complete, with the most important (or first due) at the top of the list.
- Designate a specific space for your child to complete homework assignments. This space should be quiet and free from all distractions.
- Organization is incredibly important. So many students fill their backpacks with crumpled up papers and broken pencils. Teach your student the importance of keeping a clean, organized backpack and work area. This way, nothing gets lost and everything he or she needs is easily accessible.
- Create notecards. When preparing for a test or learning some new material, write key information on notecards. Your student can carry these everywhere and review at any given point in time.
- Consider starting with the most arduous task first, while the mind is still well-alert.
- Create a reward system. As a parent, you can lead your student down the path to creating a habit by initiating a reward system. For instance, if homework is completed upon arrival at home all week, a special treat is given.
Remember, you set the example for your special student to follow. Perhaps you can add a few of these to your own daily routine!
What Happens After School
What happens after school is just as important as what happens during school. After a long day at school, sometimes the only thing a student wants to do is to come home, kick off their shoes, and relax on the couch with the television remote. Or, spend time scoping out the latest games, gossip, or trends on his or her tablet. This means homework gets pushed off until later in the evening. And, before you know it, it’s time for bed and then, the whole routine starts over the next day.
Unfortunately, this routine can have some negative consequences in the long run. Sure, it is healthy – and beneficial – for there to be a break between school and homework. But, pushing homework off until late in the evening generally means a sleepy, unfocused student – and mediocre work. If this routine is followed day in and day out, there will be no time for extracurricular activities, and grades may suffer due to lack of focus.
Consider helping your student make wise choices after school. Explain the benefits and the consequences of these choices. For example:
- Completing homework when arriving home from school (or arriving home from extracurricular activities) leaves the whole evening free for other activities.
- The brain is still in active learning mode, so it will take less effort to focus and complete assignments after school, rather than just before bedtime.
- By discovering and joining extracurricular activities, not only is the student adding additional skills to his or her portfolio, but also participating in healthy, social after-school fun.
- A well-rounded person has a lot of interests and enjoys experiencing many things. By conquering homework first, the evening can be spent researching new interests, spending quality time with friends and family, or even learning a new board game.
A child is more than just a student. By keeping priorities in order and making effective use of time, you will help develop a well-rounded and accomplished young person.
Keep Learning Alive While on Break
With the holiday break almost upon us, this is the perfect time to discuss what to do to keep learning alive while on break. Of course, you want your child to spend time relaxing, rejuvenating, and spending free time with friends. However, it is not the time to let the mind sit dormant and the hands to stay idle.
Consider ways that you can keep your child learning while on break – to hone skills or to get a better understanding of the most difficult subjects.
- Buy or make flashcards for things such as vocabulary words, spelling words, multiplication facts, etc. Carry them with you and pull them out when the time is right, such as while traveling, running errands, or even shopping! While catching your child in a relaxed, happy mood, he or she will be more likely to respond to the flashcards than if it were a forced task.
- Research fun science experiments or S.T.E.M. projects that can be done at home. Then, spend some time doing these projects with your child.
- Contact your local library or city to see if there are any educational events taking place for kids during the break.
- Make a sightseeing tour a learning experience for your kids in your own city. Visit local museums, parks, zoos, etc.
- Reading is always a fantastic way to keep the mind active. Read with your child or help he or she discover a book series that can be read and enjoyed over the break. Just be sure to discuss the book with your child to ascertain whether good comprehension and interpretation of the text has been achieved!
There are so many activities that need to fit into the daily life of a child. And learning certainly doesn’t stop once he or she leaves school. It is up to you, as their parent or guardian, to guide them on a journey to becoming a well-rounded, organized, and accomplished individual. And it all begins with good time management skills!