• Teaching Time Management in Your Homeschool

    October 10, 2019 | Tracy Glockle
  • ips for teaching time management | self-learner | home based charter near me

    As home educators, teaching our children to learn independently is high on our list of priorities. We want our children to be self-learners, to love learning and be motivated to launch on that adventure on their own. But becoming an independent learner involves a number of important skills. If your child has trouble learning on his or her own, it could be the result of a weakness in one or more of these important skill areas. One particular skill that is top of the list for a child who is ready to be an independent learner is time management.

    Tips for Teaching Time Management in your Homeschool

    Teach a sense of time by starting small.

    For a younger child or a child who struggles with a weak sense of time, five-minute increments might be a good starting point. For an older child, fifteen to twenty minutes might be realistic. If your child is having trouble, try less time. Give your child a specific task, set a timer, and let your child know you will check back to see how he is doing when the timer goes off. Or, ask your child to try to complete a single page or a single section of a math worksheet in the allotted time. Gradually increase the time your child works independently as your child is ready. If your child begins to have trouble again, drop the amount of time back to the point of your last success.

    Use timers to teach your child to be aware of how much time is passing.

    In other words, avoid negative associations when the timer has gone off. If a child did not complete the task in the amount of time, ask how much more time he thinks he will need and set the timer again. The goal is to teach a sense of time passing, not necessarily to race the timer. 

    Label assignments with how long you think they should take.

    Once your child can work independently for 5-10 minutes, you can begin writing suggested times for assignments and allowing your child to time himself: math (20 min); spelling (15 min); etc. Your child will then set his or her timer for the suggested time on the checksheet or assignment planner. You can also have the option of allowing your child to simply record how long an assignment took. Gradually, you will shift the responsibility to your child by asking how long he or she thinks the task will take. The start of a new term or a new school year is a natural transition time. Write suggested amounts of time for most of the subjects but leave one or two assignments for your child to write in an appropriate amount of time. This trains your child to be able to think through realistic expectations for himself.

    Keep track of transition time between subjects.

    Transitioning from one activity or subject to another is where distractible kids can quickly derail. Rather than a realistic 1-2 minutes, the transition from subject to subject can often last 20 minutes to an hour with multiple distractions. Set a stopwatch and record how long it takes to transition to the next subject. Encourage your child to see if she can beat her personal best time. The point is not only to keep them on task but to build an awareness of time. Most of the time, children aren’t aware that they’ve just spent fifteen minutes looking for their favorite eraser or telling a joke to a sibling.

    Keep time management multi-sensory.

    We understand that kids learn best with multi-sensory approaches, but often don’t think about the need for that same multi-sensory input when teaching about time management. Does your child need to see time passing? Does your child need to hear a warning 1-2 minutes before time is up? Does your child need a time management tool that vibrates to keep them on task? There are a number of time management apps and tools to help. A couple of recommendations, especially for kids with ADHD, is the Time Timer or the vibrating watch for kids.

    Education is about more than just academics; it’s about teaching our kids to love learning and to succeed in life. Teaching the skills of time management and learning independently doesn’t just help us get through a school day more easily; these skills help your child to learn for life.