School Guide

Simple tricks to teach your child effective time management

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Dec 24, 2020, 08:29 AM

Time management is essential for any person to better function, contribute to society and make the most out of every day. Benefits of good time management include reducing one’s stress, increasing productivity and better ability to prioritise important matters, among others.

It is for that reason that Westlake International School (WIS) believes it is best to train the skill of good time management when children are young. This is to ensure your child has a smooth transition from childhood to adolescence and adulthood.

Consequences of lack of time management skills

The lack of time management skills can be noticed even in children. It can lead to:

1. Procrastination: Projects or schoolwork can end up being left till the last minute, and children start feeling stressed out when deadlines get closer. In the end, they may hand in rushed work that misses the mark in terms of quality. 

2. Lower grades and test scores: Knowing how to manage your time is one of the keys to unlocking success. If children find that they're having trouble balancing between their activities and their study time, chances are their grades will start to drop. 

3. Chronic lack of sleep: Sleep is extremely important for children. When they stay up late playing catch up, their sleep time is reduced and that not only affects how alert they are the next day but their ability to absorb new information in class.

4. Unhealthy eating habits: When your child stays up late catching up on assignments, the tendency to snack is high. In addition to that, he may play catch up on his sleep and snooze through breakfast, completely throwing his eating schedule off. This is dangerous as it could lead to medical problems.

5. Lack of punctuality: If your child can’t manage his time, chances are that he is always running late for things, even if you’re screaming at him to “hurry up!”. Punctuality is important as it's not only your schedule that is affected, but others as well, such as those you have made appointments with.

Besides these, the lack of time management can also take a toll on a child mentally, socially and at times, physically. For example, the constant stress of trying to finish tasks aimlessly can burn him out unnecessarily, while the inability to complete tasks reliably can negatively affect trust in relationships with peers or even with you, as their parents.

Tips for teaching time management to children

Hence, parents and schools need to teach children to manage time well. While teaching methods differ depending on a child’s age and maturity, nevertheless, here are some general tips in teaching time management to children:

1. Make time management fun let children create and decorate their own timetables, make it a game to complete mundane tasks, use kid-friendly time management tools such as magnetic schedule boards, apps, etc.

At WIS, we introduced a schedule for boarders to follow after school that balances academic and after school leisure/sports activities. Most boarders come back from school to an evening of sports and extra tuition classes - depending on teachers/private tuition arrangement by parents followed by a shower and dinner. After dinner, boarders have some preparatory time to do their homework and revision. Twice a week teachers come in for academic coaching to assist students.

2. Show them how to measure time before they learn to manage time, they first need to understand the concept of time. Children need to know what 5 minutes, half an hour and an hour feels like, and how much time it takes to complete their activities.

3. Manage time together as a family Learning is most effective when the teacher acts as a good example, and when the class applies the knowledge together. Parents can create a family calendar so that everyone can follow their respective schedules, showing children that time management is an important part of life.

WIS adopts a scheduled 1.5 hours of preparatory time after dinner to ensure boarders manage their time wisely with revision and homework. This is also where our Academic Coaches, who are teachers, come in to support boarders. Each and every one of our boarders are mentored and tracked by both Boarding House Parents and Academic Coaches on their progress. 

4. Don't overschedule, and schedule free time Scheduling too many activities for your child can burn him or her out. It could backfire on your aim as they will view time management as being a chore. Remember to include downtime and playtime in their schedule to ensure they are well-rested and energised to tackle the day. 

5. Help them establish priorities A child may find difficulty differentiating the degree of importance between different tasks especially when working towards goals such as in The Duke of Edinburgh Programme here at WIS, along with exam revision and their personal life. However, teaching them to complete tasks step by step will help them to discern between more important tasks and less important ones.

At WIS, we have found that the use of a planner in school helps students manage their time wisely, prioritise well and stay focused.

At the end of the day, time management needs to be applied. The best way to help your child get a good grasp of time management is to be an example yourself.

If you have been emphasising the importance of a schedule but fail at time management, your children are going to pick up on the inauthenticity.

Time management is all about spending your time in the right places and on the right things.

Seeking a school which incorporates both academic and life skills into its curriculum?

Westlake International School (WIS) is nestled within the Kinta Valley mountain range in Kampar, north of Kuala Lumpur. WIS believes in nurturing powerful learners with wholesome character with the partnership of parents and the community. With the dedication of caring and competent teachers, WIS students discover that learning adds colour and beauty to life. With great facilities and curriculum, WIS aspires to ensure its students will be given the guidance to become better people academically, mentally and morally.

For more information, call 05-467 2222 or email to [email protected].

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