As parents, you know that managing your limited time can be a bit of a juggling act. As you work to find balance in your life, don’t miss-out on the opportunity to help your kids learn to do the same. We set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to immortalize our top 7 time management tips for kids.
1. Help Kids Plan
How can your kids manage their time if they aren’t thinking strategically? Does this mean your kids need to be militant schedulers? Not really. Planning can be a very simple process. If your kids play sports, they can keep track of their practice schedule. Kids can learn to be aware of things such as when they need to leave for school in the morning, when it’s time to do homework and what time your family has dinner. If needed, you can help them create a checklist to make planning easier.
2. Make Time Make Sense
Time management starts with time awareness. Help your kids become aware of time by being their designated “time-keeper”. Give them a watch and ask them to keep time and schedules in mind. You can help ease them into this by incorporating time statements into your day. For example, instead of saying “It’s time for bed”, you could say “It’s 7:30, time for bed.” You can also get them into the habit of keeping track of how long it takes them to complete tasks.
3. Create Calendars Together
Here’s an area where technology has really made our lives easier. With a virtual calendar shared with your kids, they can be aware of your schedule and make you aware of theirs. Include academic as well as extracurricular activities. Make a habit of adding things into the calendar and verbally reinforcing them, and pretty soon your kids will learn to do it on their own. For younger children, chore charts can be helpful.
4. In-home Study Corner
Having a dedicated study area can help them stay organized, which will save them time. Clear rules like “no food and drink” will make tidiness possible and help reduce distraction. Allow them to take ownership of how they want to organize the space and tidying up on a regular basis will help keep it from getting cluttered. The study nook will soon become a place for focused learning.
5. Set a Bedtime
According to The Sleep Foundation, Kids ages 6 to 13 need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per day – hopefully all at once! Try your best to set a bedtime and stick to it. A well-rested child is certain to be better at time management than a sleepy one. A regular bed-time can also help children to become more aware of their time.
6. Give your Kids a Voice
Kids are people and they get stressed just like the rest of us. This can make it more difficult to get things like homework done efficiently. If your child is struggling to focus, try asking them to voice their concerns. Feeling heard can lessen the anxiety they may be experiencing and help them be more productive.
7. Tame the Technology for Better Sleep
According to Mark Rosekind, PhD, former director of the Fatigue Countermeasures Program at the NASA Ames Research Center and president and chief scientist at the scientific consulting firm Alertness Solutions, “One of the most simple but important reasons technology affects our sleep is cognitive stimulation.” Put simply, our tech activates our brains which makes it harder to sleep. When we want to sleep, we want our brains to deactivate. This takes time, so as a general rule, put the tech down at least an hour before bedtime.
If you are looking for ways to give your child an academic boost, you're in the right place! For more information on how Kumon can help your child improve their math skills this school year, visit a centre near you.