Developing Time Management and Organizational Skills for the Transition Back to School
Typically, summer breaks mean late nights, sleeping in, a slower schedule, and less of a need to stay organized. Here are some tips to help you and your student get back into a routine for the fall school year:
- Start by gradually adopting a sleep schedule to best prepare your student.
Teens tend to stay up later, and even if your teen wants to go to bed later than the rest of your family, make sure everyone is aware of a “lights off” time in which electronic devices (e.g. phones, laptops, game consoles etc.) are stored and turned off for the night. This way if your student wants to stay up later – they can choose options like reading or other activities that are quiet. Helping them get into this mindset of a night-time routine will help them adjust to when their schedule forces them to have a stricter bedtime in the fall.
- Invest in the tools your student needs to keep academics organized: different colored markers, binders, and notebooks; highlighter pens; and a calendar or whiteboard.
Like time management, organization often serves as a reflection of learning success. As one might imagine, a well-rested teen with strong note-taking skills, clearly labeled binders, and a detailed homework schedule will likely perform better. See if their teachers have posted material lists and talk to your student about what tools would be beneficial for each class. If it appears that your student’s English class will be doing a lot of reading, have them pick out a highlighter to use for highlighting significant moments in books. Or if your student has a teacher who strictly enforces an organized desk, find pencil cases that help your student keep their pencils and pens together.
- Designate a quiet space in your living quarters—whether it’s a desk, fold-up table, or the dining room table—to establish a learning environment without distraction.
While your student may have done “school” at your kitchen table last year, take the opportunity before school starts to prepare a quiet zone for your student to work on homework. After a year of working from home, and doing school from home, you and your student may have some new ideas to make your home workspaces better suited to your home.
Not only will being intentional with you and your student’s organization and time management this fall help them start the school year off strong, but it will also help them start off with confidence. How are you helping your student get organized for the fall?