Teenagers have a lot going on, and it can be a challenge for them to keep all of their different activities straight. School. Extracurricular activities. Maybe even a job.
If you’ve had the opportunity to teach your student skills to reinforce time management success from the early learning years on up, then they’re probably starting to figure out how to implement some of those strategies on their own, exploring ways to manage their full lives.
But maybe it hasn’t occurred to you to help your student develop time management skills over the years. If so, there’s no better time than now to help them learn! In fact, the Learning to Reason stage offers a great, natural avenue for building these skills.
Whether you’ve been teaching them all along or they are just learning how to schedule and manage their time well, you can use the tips below to guide them to develop and strengthen their skills and guide them toward time management success.
Time Management Success Tips for the Learning to Reason Stage
As you work to strengthen your student for time management success, it can be a struggle to balance where they are now with where they need to progress toward.
For instance, think first about their daily rhythm. It’s important to realize that teens often work best at different times of the day. While some may bounce up ready to begin in the morning, many require more sleep at this age and may be more alert in the afternoon and evening.
You know that, when they reach adulthood, they will be forced to fit into the rhythm required by school or employment. So, you want to prepare them for that future. But, at the same time, it’s important to meet them where they are right now.
This conflict can make time management training a struggle at this stage. But, you can smooth out the struggle by recognizing that this is the perfect time to both challenge your student to make “adult” decisions while also allowing them the freedom to structure a rhythm according to their immediate needs.
In all honesty, time management success is as much about learning what is needed for a successful rhythm right now than about trying to create the perfect long-term structure (which is ultimately impossible anyway!).
So, how do you teach time management skills that will endure into adulthood while also setting your student up for time management success in their immediate context? Here are a few tips.
- Allow your teen some freedom in creating a personal schedule and building daily routines at this age. Give guidelines, such as what time school work needs to be finished, how late curfew will be, or how much sleep is needed at this age, but then allow the freedom to decide what fits within those boundaries.
- Assign long-term projects and teach your student how to divide them into shorter pieces, working back from the final deadline to decide when each piece should be finished.
- Encourage your teen to learn how to build daily checklists to keep them on track for their longer-term goals. (A High School Planner can help make this easy.)
- Hold your student accountable. As homeschool parents, it is easy to give extensions. Instead, set deadlines for projects and hold your teen to them.
- Purchase a 4-Year High School Plan and show your high schooler how to record information and plan for important high school tasks, such as taking the ACT or SAT. Keeping good records now will make creating a transcript at the end of twelfth grade much easier.
- Have your student help with scheduling his or her own school work for the year by demonstrating how to take assignments and divide them by the number of school days available.
- If time and transportation allow, consider encouraging your teen to get a part-time job and be responsible for being on time and ready for work.
Has your teen picked up on scheduling and time management success by watching you, or does your personality prefer to take things as they come? Take our Planner Personality Quiz to discover your planner personality type and find other ways to help you and your student learn to manage time well.