The first time I realized I needed to work with my daughter on time management was when she came to me about 15 minutes before we needed to leave for piano lessons in a PANIC. Her piano teacher had assigned a definition worksheet for her to complete over the course of a week and it was due in 15 minutes. I was hurriedly trying to get things ready to head out the door – you know the scene. I really did not have time at THAT very moment to help her with her worksheet. If she had asked earlier in the day or early in the week, I would have had plenty of time to happily sit down and go through it with her.
The result – she was embarrassed to tell her piano teacher she hadn’t finished it, and I realized I needed to do a better job of training her in time management. This time it was her kind, forgiving piano teacher – next time it could be a college professor who won’t accept late assignments or even a boss who sees missing a deadline as a reason for termination!
Here are a few ideas to help you teach your homeschooler the life skill of time management.
How to Teach Your Homeschooler Time Management Skills
- Provide a schedule/planner and show them how to use it.
- Sometimes we just buy them one or have them download it on their device and expect them to know how to use it. That is not always the case. The rest of these tips will illustrate the “how-to’s.”
- Give deadlines even for “mom-graded” assignments. Stick to the deadlines! You are not being mean – you are training them for adulthood.
- Train them to break up large projects.
- Complete most difficult tasks first.
- Have them consider what times of day they are the most productive.
- For example, I am a morning person. The best time for me to write or study is first thing in the morning. In college during busy exam weeks, I would go to bed early and get up at 4:30 am to study because that is when I was the most productive. That is when my brain worked the best. If I tried to study at 10:00 pm, I wouldn’t not remember anything I read because I would be half asleep. I would save chores for evening time. Your student may be the opposite and that is fine – have them find what works best for them!
- Help them discover their learning style and the best ways for them to complete work and study based on that learning style. Time is valuable and you want to be able to make the best use of it! The VARK questionnaire is a great online tool to determine learning style.
- Minimize distractions!
- Yes, we can all survive without our devices or checking social media every 10 minutes. Encourage them to turn it on airplane mode or at least silent for an hour at a time in order to get some work done.
- Tell the other people in the house (kindly!) that they need a calm atmosphere to study/work.
- Make sure the room is not too hot or too cold.
What tips do YOU have for teaching time management? Do you struggle with time management personally?
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