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These days, children are given more extra mural opportunities than ever before and gone are the days of a child simply going to school in the morning, playing their sport immediately afterwards and then doing homework in the afternoon. Children are encouraged by school, parents and peers to immerse themselves in extra mural activities, and the options are as varied as the character of the child. From violin lessons to break dancing classes, from amateur theatre to club rugby. The list of options is both exciting and daunting.
Somewhere between school commitments, sports practice and extra mural activities, homework and, ultimately, exam preparation must fit in. As lovely as it is to have a holistic child, academic progress must not suffer and showing a child how to manage their time correctly is a life skill that will stand them in good throughout their life.
Here are a few tips on teaching a child how to manage their time efficiently.
Show your child how powerful a diary is. Many forward-thinking schools are opting for a homework diary instead of the traditional homework book. Having a diary allows the child to get perspective on how limited time is. Encourage your child to own the diary. Let them personalise it by writing in birthdays and school holidays, sticking in pictures and covering it in plastic. The more time they invest in personalising their diary, the more likely it is that they will use it throughout the year. Finally, use the diary. Encourage them to note down their marks for tests, write in sporting and extra mural achievements and ask them to comment on their activities: a picture/sentence of how the test/achievement made them feel can aid in motivating them to work harder. Although writing daily feelings down can be therapeutic for a teenager, it can also cause monstrous personal harm if in the wrong hands so ensure that they have a separate diary for daily activities and a journal for thoughts and feelings if need be.
If a diary is beyond your child, and it often is for teenagers, a schedule poster can act as training wheels for a diary.
Here are some tips:
The poster must be large (A3 minimum) and pinned up where they study.
Encourage your child to create their own poster so that they are forced to vest interest in their time management and exercise their computer skills.
School and fixed commitments must be written in first and then the remainder of the time can be allocated.
A day should be broken down into different time-blocks, such as before school, after school and evening. See downloads: Study Schedule Poster Example
Days should be crossed off as they pass, which helps the child to monitor their progress, or lack thereof and they feel in control of their schedule as they are able to rearrange things as their busy life unfolds.
The importance of teaching a child the life skill of planning their time to achieve the best results they can doesn’t need to be emphasised. The encouraging and subtle monitoring of their process will help develop this daily task into a subconscious habit for life.
Download our free study schedule now!