Did you know that time management is one of the most essential skills for success in higher education? Here are 3 easy steps to help young children start using their time effectively:
- Teach your child to prioritize!
To help your child really grasp what it means to complete the most important tasks first, we recommend using the “rock, pebble, water” analogy! First, tell your child to imagine a jar (or really engage him or her by performing a demonstration). Ask your child to imagine that you need to fit three different things in the jar: rocks, pebbles, and water. Then explain that you can fit the most into the jar if you first put in the biggest rocks, then fill up the leftover space with small pebbles, and finally fill the remaining space with water. Tell your child that organizing tasks works the same way! We get the most done when we complete the biggest and most important tasks first!
- Identify the “rock,” “pebble,” and “water” priorities in your home!
After your child understands the “rock, pebble, water” analogy, help him or her categorize daily tasks accordingly. For example, keeping a clean room or finishing homework may be a “rock” or top priority for your child. “Pebble” priorities may include practicing an instrument or a sport, and playtime could be a “water” priority. Help your child understand which activities are most important, and even consider making a list to hang in his or her room!
- Use a family calendar!
Does your child ever ask, “What are we doing today?” Use this curiosity to help your child establish a routine of using a calendar. Keep important events and activities posted on your “family calendar,” and teach your child to check the calendar daily! If your child understands time management early on, the transition will be much easier when he or she must refer to her own calendar or school agenda daily!