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Teaching Kids Time Management

These practical tips help equip your child with the life skill
of managing their time efficiently that will stand them
in good stead in the future.

No one can deny that time management is a crucial life skill and mastering this paves the way for future success. For upper primary kids and teenagers in particular, juggling school work, preparing for tests and exams, attending enrichment and tuition classes and engaging in other extra-curricular activities can be overwhelming. When you start your kids young in planning their own schedules and prioritising their time and activities, it sets the groundwork for time management when they are older.

Setting a Time for Waking Up and Going to Bed

The children waking up and going to bed on time

Sticking to a regular time especially on school days for both getting out of bed and into it builds discipline. Waking up in time for school teaches kids to acquire the good habit of being punctual, for instance. Going to sleep by a certain hour also ensures your child gets adequate sleep to feel rested and have enough energy to last them during the day.

Organising Personal Items

The child packing her bag and getting ready for primary school

Much time is wasted if a child has to rummage for items such as stationery or school books. Trying to get out of the house in time for school can be a constant mad scramble if your child can’t find their uniform or socks and shoes.

That is why getting one’s personal items in order first is essential in ensuring that time is used efficiently and deadlines can be met. Allocate a dedicated area for studying and provide your child with adequate space, shelving and filing facilities. A good habit to inculcate in your child is to make them pack their school bags and have their uniform and other items ready in the wardrobe or closet before they retire for the night.

Drawing Up a Timetable or Using Other Time Management Tools

Drawing up timetable and other time management tools

It’s important to involve your child in this process. Buy them a diary or calendar that’s useful for their needs — it can serve as a day-by-day, weekly or monthly timetable. They can use different coloured pens or pencils to write in the activities and timings and colour code them according to the type of activity. Stickers can be added to mark special days or occasions. For those who are tech-savvy, they can use apps to plan their schedules.

In the run-up to school tests or exams, help guide your child in planning how much time they should set aside to study for each topic. For topics that are more challenging, it’s only logical to factor in more time. Be realistic and avoid cramming in too much study time at the expense of breaks. Breaks are important for your child to recharge their tired brains.

Avoid Overscheduling and Allow for Free Time

Family making time for a run in the park

Being over-zealous in packing in too many activities within a finite time frame can backfire. You may have the best intentions in wanting your child to succeed, but they will become resentful if they are not given any downtime to pursue their own interests.

When children have their own free time, they can gain much by relieving their stress, having the time to think and recharge and mingle with their peers. All this is essential for their emotional well-being.

Regulate Time Wasters

The child using tech gadgets during school breaks

We all know just how important it is to keep a tight rein on our child’s use of social media or tech gadgets. Once they are addicted to these diversions, it’ll be an uphill battle weaning them off and it also pretty much derails the best laid time management plans.

Be strict in rationing their use especially before and during their school tests and exams. However, ease up on the controls during the school break or even use the promise of more screen time as a reward for meeting deadlines, fulfilling targets or achieving small successes.

Blog author LCentral team of English specialists

Behind our team of dynamic teachers is a support team of English specialists and curriculum experts, who are responsible for the development and delivery of LCentral’s programmes. The Curriculum Support Team is committed to ensuring that all teachers fulfil their teaching potential. The team provides teachers not just with curriculum support but also with ongoing training and professional development.