One of the best ways you can help to improve your child’s time management and organization skills is to model effective time management yourself. By taking a goal and backwards planning, which is listing out all the steps necessary to achieve that goal and mapping out a timeline to achieve those steps, you can help your child take the anxiety and stress out of upcoming deadlines. A fun goal you and your child can work on together is getting preparing for summer break. After all, it is only three short months away!
First, you and your child can brainstorm what kinds of camps, extra-curricular activities, and academic enrichments programs he or she would like to attend. Many of these programs have important deadlines and applications that can take time to fill out. By doing some preliminary research, you can help your child create a calendar of application tasks and deadlines. It’s always important to keep in mind, “What will this experience provide for the next step in my child’s academic journey?” and for high schoolers, “How will this look on a college application?” Among the other considerations are enjoyment, cost, and time commitment. If your child needs to recover credits, help him or her find out which schools offer the exact class needed for credit, and do a little research to see what other families have experienced with that program.
Next, you can help your child prepare for the end of the academic year by noting all the finals for each class he or she is taking, and creating a study plan for each test. A study plan may take as few as two or three weeks, or may be something that starts right away, depending on the difficulty of the class. By simply committing to a little bit of study every day, many children can significantly improve their chances of performing well on a cumulative final.
Lastly, and this is the fun part, take some time to create a vision board for the summer. What are some travels that you would like to do as a family? Are there destinations your child learned about this year in school? What skill or hobby would your child like to add to his or her repertoire? Have fun with it by using multimedia and visual representations, and post this vision board in your child’s room, or in the family space. It’s never too early to start looking forward to, and preparing for, summer!
John Posatko, M.A.Ed.
Director of Education