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How to Kick-start Your Child’s Time Management Skills

March 7th, 2011by Jessi Arias-Cooper

How to Kick-start Your Child’s Time Management Skills is a post from: a Parenting Blog

time management skillsFor many children, the hardest part of studying or completing homework is simply making time to do it.

It’s far too easy to delay studying or doing homework when the pressure isn’t on. This is why so many students leave assignments and study until the last minute – they don’t start until they have to. Consistently successful students understand that good grades come from efficient time management all through the year, not just when the pressure of exams is weighing on them.

Time management skills will become increasingly important as your child advances through school, and a necessity during their college years. By helping to train your child in the art of organizing their time, you will ensure they’ll be much more likely to complete their homework on time and do more than enough studying for their exams.

Setting aside regular time to study is essential.

When your child sets aside time to study in advance, it’s like he’s already decided that he will do the work. It’s like going for a run – the hardest part is just deciding to do it in the first place!

If your child has an afternoon free, with no plans or commitments, it’s going to take quite a lot of motivation to move him from the couch to the desk. On the other hand, if your child has already decided that he is going to spend an hour on schoolwork, he will have to change his mind (and schedule) if he wants to procrastinate.

We are all creatures of habit. We generally want to know what’s happening, and when. If your child knows what’s coming, he’ll fear it less. If he knows beforehand that he spends an hour each day from 4 till 5 on schoolwork he’ll be more likely to sit down and do it.

Help your child set aside time with a study timetable.

A study timetable will give your child a schedule that he can stick to. Once it’s written down he can visualize when he’s going to do his schoolwork. Putting it in writing makes it official.

You can start by making a simple chart that just maps the hours available after school and in weekends. First, block out all the time that your child has other activities or will be busy.

Your child’s workload will depend on his age, the classes he’s taking, and the teachers that he has, meaning the number of study hours required per week needs to be calculated on an individual basis.

Next, sit down with your child and get him to show you how he would like to spread these hours out. It’s very important that it’s not the other way around! Letting your child have a say in when he’ll do schoolwork (given it’s a sensible say!) gives him a positive feeling of ownership, and in turn he will feel more committed to his plan.

Finally, an expert tip.

Once your child has made his study timetable, get him to stick it on his bedroom door for everyone to see.
This way everyone knows when your child should be studying. It gives him a sense of responsibility and will compel him to stick to it!

The Study Gurus are Clare McIlwraith and Chris Whittington. Their aim is to show parents how they can help their children reach their academic potential. They’re sharing their years of studying and tutoring experience at


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