Solid Time Management Skills for Middle School Students
Between school, extracurricular activities, spending time with family and friends, and getting enough sleep, today’s students are busy (and so are their parents!).
Learning to manage the limited study time they have will help your children use their time more efficiently and learn more effectively. Good time management skills also help keep stress at bay: a stressful project becomes much less so if the proper amount of time is set aside for it.
Taking a proactive approach to time management and study skills will help your child develop lifelong habits for success in school and work. Teach your child effective time management skills by doing the following:
Create a Schedule
A schedule helps provide structure to keep your child on track to meet due dates. A schedule that is task-focused, consistent, and manageable will help them improve their focus, work toward concrete goals, learn accountability, and internalize a study routine. It will also help them gain greater control over their time and work more purposefully and confidently through their assignments.
Work with your child to develop a schedule they can stick to. Estimate the time needed for each assignment and block it off on the schedule. Whenever possible, try to have your child work on assignments earlier in the day (right after school): if they wait to start until later in the evening, they will have less time and energy to devote to their assignments.
Remove as many distractions as possible so your child’s attention is focused on the task at hand.
Choose a study spot that is free of television, video games, or other potential distractions. Have your child turn off their cell phone and sign out of social media accounts as well. Use these things as rewards for finishing the tasks of the day.
Staying focused will help your child learn more effectively. It will also help them finish tasks more quickly so they can move on to the next one or have more free time in their day.
Set Goals and Prioritize Tasks
Set specific goals for each day — how many pages to read, math questions to complete, and so on. Help your child prioritize tasks to ensure the most time-sensitive or important work is completed first.
Setting and achieving small goals will give your child a sense of accomplishment and help them keep the momentum moving.
Work On Assignments Early
When setting a study schedule, include due dates so your child can see when each project is due and learn to plan ahead to finish their work on time. Sit down with them each week to review upcoming assignments and tests and schedule time to start working on each project well before it is due.
Learning not to leave assignments until the last minute is a vital part of developing healthy study habits that will serve your child throughout the rest of their schooling as well as in their future career.
Break Big Projects Into Smaller Tasks
One way to help children learn to work ahead is to break assignments and bigger projects down into smaller tasks, each with its own due date. Then create a to-do list and block off time on your child’s schedule to complete each task. Broken down this way, your child will have big daunting projects completed before they know it!
This time management skill helps prevent overwhelm, procrastination, and last-minute panic.
Work On One Thing at a Time
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t actually help you accomplish more.
In fact, multitasking can actually hinder productivity by reducing your ability to pay attention and comprehend what you are doing. Multitasking requires you to quickly shift your attention between multiple things, making it difficult to focus on any one of them and slowing down your performance.
In the end, multitasking is simply not an effective way to learn. Help your child avoid the pitfalls of multitasking by learning to focus on one task at a time.
Have your child take short breaks throughout their study time: 10-15 minutes for every 30 minutes of work, for instance. Trying to work on one thing for too long can actually cause the mind to wander more. Taking breaks gives your child the opportunity to recharge and come back more focused.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Speaking of recharging, make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Sleep helps refresh their mind and body so they have more energy and focus to do what needs to be done each day. Middle school children should get 8-12 hours of sleep each night, depending on their age.
When determining your child’s study schedule, include a cutoff time each night as well as a set bedtime. Getting into a structured routine like this ensures your child has time to wind down at the end of the day and get the sleep they need.
Brain Training Can Help Improve Time Management Skills
Brain training can help your child keep better track of their schoolwork. Strong brain skills (e.g., logic and reasoning, attention, processing speed, memory, and visual and auditory processing) will make learning, remembering, and organizing easier and faster.To learn more about how your child can benefit from brain training, contact LearningRx today!