With obstinate toddlers and slothful teenagers it may seem that the concept of time management is one that many kids will never grasp. However, all is not lost and as they grow children can get the hang of it.
Danielle Gair, primary school teacher at Constantia Waldorf in Cape Town, talked to us about how to encourage healthy time management skills in kids.
“In the classroom I always start a lesson with expectations of what they aim to complete,” she told us, “and then remind them during the lesson how much time they have and where they should be in the work. Setting them homework and projects with due dates also helps.”
Not all students take to the task with ease. “It depends on their temperament, but I would say most children struggle,” Danielle says.
The Waldorf teacher’s top tips are:
· Set age-appropriate expectations
· Clearly explain what needs to be done
· Use something visual for younger kids
· Lead by example
She explains that for older kids, who may be doing projects with lots of different sections that may include facts and artistic elements in one project, it helps to teach them how to spread the work out.
She also says that “stories that involve time management with fun characters showing how things can go wrong or right are helpful.”
“The ability to reflect”
Thato Malele of Future Nation Schools in Johannesburg adds that it is natural for parents not to want their child to look tardy, to be left out or to get into trouble with their teachers, but a huge part of self-awareness is the ability to reflect on how their actions contribute to building their reality.
This involves letting them see how they can create a desired reality by setting goals, being reflective or managing their time.
“Allowing your child natural consequences to follow their action or inaction is a really good way of facilitating these learnings,” she told us.
“When a child leaves homework at home, it may be better to allow him/her to get into trouble so s/he can see how lack of planning or time management created a reality s/he did not desire.”
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