by Erika Weisensee, Oregon Mom
These days, it is not uncommon for grade schoolers to have several hours of homework per week. As a student’s age increases, so does the workload and the number of extra-curricular activities he or she may be involved in. Learning how to manage multiple responsibilities and do all of them well is a challenge for adults. Needless to say, it can be overwhelming for children.
Faced with a myriad of modern distractions, kids may not even know where to begin when it comes to time management. Parents, however, can provide the structure and the guidance to help their busy students thrive and still enjoy life.
Here are some tips for doing just that:
– Create a family calendar. A while board or large paper calendar is a great way of managing activities and remembering important homework deadlines.
– Create a peaceful study space. Establish a study space in a non-cluttered area free of distractions like television, toys and heavy foot traffic. Have necessary supplies (pens, pencils, erasers, etc.) nearby for convenience.
– Encourage breaks every half hour or hour. A few short study sessions with breaks in between can be more productive than one long, drawn-out cram session.
– Suggest students study the hardest subjects first. When juggling multiple subjects in one evening, it may be best to study the hardest subjects first before tiredness sets in. Offer rewards like a snack or watching a favorite television show when students have made it through some difficult material.
– Schedule fun. All work and no play can make anyone blue. Students may be more motivated to study if they have a fun activity to look forward to.
– Don’t over book them. Experts suggest that kids be involved in no more than two extra-curricular activities at a time. Involve kids in deciding which activities they want to be a part of, and help them just be kids.
Erika is a writing mom and a native Oregonian. She taught writing and journalism at the University of Portland.