Homework Time Management Tips for Kids

This horror scene plays out in countless households across the land: "Mom! Dad! I have a book report due tomorrow and I'm not done with the book!" Panic ensues?

It's not just procrastination - it's Student Time Management Gone Wrong.

Most likely, you are familiar with this, or some variation of this malady. A project was assigned four weeks ago, it's due tomorrow, and it hasn't been started. Suddenly your world becomes stress and frustration.

No, time management isn't your child's strength. Playing app games, chasing frogs and shooting baskets are behaviors probably more in their wheelhouse. They're kids after all, who can blame them?

But you can make a difference in your child's time management skills with a few simple after-school routines that take very little time and just a little planning.

Homework Time Management Steps for Kids:

1) Give your child the monthly big picture

First and foremost, this tip: all kids should have a physical means of seeing, scheduling, and planning their time. For this, nothing beats the good old monthly calendar hung in their bedroom or other visible location.

Here are some fun monthly wall calendars that'll make teaching time management to your kids an easier process. Note: Link takes you to At-A-Glance website. If you want to take it a step further, give them a school or student planner like this one for a portable schedule they can always have in their backpack.

Having your child's calendar easily accessible and somewhere you can both see and discuss it will only improve the process of learning time management.

2) Create a homework time management routine

What you are striving for here is to establish a positive habit in your child, and the best way to do that is by creating a daily routine.

The best routine for homework time management is a nightly homework review, like this:
• Sit down with child each day and review their assignments
• Discuss if a project, book report, or exam date has been assigned
• Mark down the due date on their calendar
• Together decide the acceptable amount of work or studying needed
• Spread out the workload over the calendar, writing in daily reminders such as "read 30 min."
• Write in key milestones, such as "report outline complete" or "book half done"

Once your child learns that a little more work each day adds up to much less work at the last minute, your time management lesson is well on its way to success.

Your calendar now offers a visual reminder of their current projects and homework goals. Be sure their calendar also shows other events in your child's life, such as sporting activities or other extra-curricular events that impact their time available. It always helps in planning to know what else is going on.

3) X marks the spot

Here's the most important part of this time management process. Give your child a method for marking their progress. Tie a marker to a string and hang it off your calendar and let them mark an "X" each day their complete their planned activity. Having a calendar full of marks is a wonderful motivator to continue and a reward unto itself.

4) Be consistent

Now, hang on a second... once the routine is in place, your involvement doesn't end. You must hold up your end by performing the homework reviews on a consistent basis, and discussing the progress marks on your child's calendar. If you don't place importance on the activity your child won't think it's a big deal, and will eventually quit before the habit takes hold.

It wouldn't hurt to get your own calendar and schedule a series of homework review reminders as well.

5) Make it a rewarding experience

The best way to reinforce this positive new habit is by rewarding the behavior. Make a point of offering your child an incentive for following their project or homework plan. A weekly treat for a calendar filled with X marks goes a long way, as does a bigger prize for a due date reached successfully.

Once they get in the habit of planning their projects they'll eventually do it for their own pleasure and sanity. They just won't know any other way to do things.

In the end... peace

Give your kids' the right time management skills and you'll get the ultimate peace of mind that you're setting them up for success today, and for the rest of their student lives.

For more tips on student time management and other topics, check out the Day-Timer Success Center and be sure to visit the Day-Timer store for the latest and greatest time management tools and solutions.



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