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“Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise.” – Sophia Bedford-Pierce
The term “Time Management” is rather broad – for a concept which all people struggle with, regardless of our age, titles, or list of responsibilities. Students are not the only ones who could benefit from a more structured routine. In fact, I have found that the influence of parents and the rhythm created in the home is the greatest factor in a child making progress or not. Most of Triumph Tutoring, Inc.’s clients initially contact us looking for some support – and for guidance to help their child improve their grades during a recent down-fall. However, once we discuss the child’s academic status and daily routine in its’ entirety, I often find that not only is structure lacking, but also the parents seem overwhelmed as to how to enforce defined expectations at home. Many may not even realize the correlation between time management within the home and performance in school or character building.
This is when it’s time to set priorities straight. Children of all ages need structure. They feel secure when they know what to expect, and what is expected from them. Here’s how YOU as a parent can help:
- Have a set after school schedule. Make sure that when your child gets home, they have some time to unwind, have a snack, and transition from the school day. This time should be about an hour in length.
- Homework time is non-negotiable. Designate the same time every day for your child to work on their homework. Once they have had an opportunity to relax, remind them to begin working on current assignments. Even if your child has no homework, they should still utilize this time for reading, working on a long-term project, reviewing their calendar, etc. By enforcing your child to still set aside this time for “working,” you are teaching them self-discipline and the importance of being proactive.This is a life skill that they will need long after their academic career has ended.
- Shut Down Technology. We live in a world that has confused the value of what is urgent versus what is important. Technology is great – but it also has its place. Ipads, cell phones, computers, video games, etc – have all contributed to a generation that has lost the value of social graces, imagination, and the art of time management. When we allow our children to simply “power up” the ideas of others, we are not encouraging them to think creatively. Additionally, by always having information at our fingertips, we have diminished the value of seeking out answers and “getting lost” in something more tangible. Designate a time for using technology, but give your child the opportunity to manage their time and use it for something that leads to more personal growth.
- Provide a Balance. Once the previous steps are complete, prioritize family time. Make sure that you and your children communicate and interact each day outside of the context of academics. Remember, the process of learning is not exclusive to the classroom. YOU are your child’s greatest teacher. They look to you as a role model for how to conduct themselves, accomplish goals, and find enjoyment in mutual activities.
Academic performance is directly linked to the structure within the home. While teachers are responsible for educating your children in terms of knowledge, parents need to provide an environment of consistency at home that supports the structure created at school. Rather than viewing school work and structure as an imposition to home-life, embrace the peace that routine may bring to your family. Teach your child to find fulfillment and joy in the task at hand. For an all-too-brief time in life, being a student is their sole focus. Make the most of this chapter, and teach them about priorities. Life isn’t always about the just completing something in the immediate. It’s about defining what is important – and becoming a person of integrity. Influence them to not just make the time pass, but to make the time count.
If you’d like more information on how to implement an effective schedule in your child’s life, contact us today! I’d love to meet with you and find out how Triumph Tutoring, Inc. can help your family get on the path to success!