Archive for September 21st, 2010

Kids often have difficulty staying “on task” when it comes to their homework or other not-so-fun activities. However, time management is a key lesson and relates to everything they do in life.

As in adult life, kids work best when they know what is expected of them. Get them into a routine (which takes 14-21 days to create) of starting their homework, practice, or chores immediately after school or at least a set time that makes sense. To help them make the most of their time be sure they have a clean, organized, well lit space to work in with no distractions from their objective.

Depending on your child’s age, amount of homework or responsibilities there are a variety of methods you can use to keep them on task. An egg timer works well for small assignments. If it is larger, break it down into more manageable chunks – this can also help them organize their thoughts. As they see themselves completing each part they will know the progress they are making and it may seem less daunting. 

One of our on staff moms finds the Time Tracker to be a fun and helpful tool. “You set the amount of time you think your student should take to complete a task and it counts down.  There are a variety of sounds/voices that you can set to go off when time is almost up, as well as when the time is completed.  There are also green/yellow/red lights to give a visual cue on the time left.  The idea is that hopefully kids will want to “race” and beat the clock. It’s kind of pricey, but it helps to relieve parents from having to keep nagging and puts the responsibility on the kids!”

When your child completes their tasks in a timely manner reward them with something age appropriate. It doesn’t have to be money – it could be a sticker, a treat, some special time with mom or dad, or playing a video game. It must be something your child values. Once these time management habits are established you can spend less time managing your child and more time enjoying them.

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