I have 4 school aged children, they all play multiple sports and they all have demanding schedules and school work. How do I manage homework/studying while giving them the opportunity to take part in their after-school sporting activities?
What a challenge that I can relate to personally! This is always a topic that I encounter when consulting with parents. It is not a “one size fits all” solution especially when you have multiple children with varying educational needs. However, there are many ways to manage the after-school chaos while maintaining peace and calm in your home!
Assess The Needs Of EACH Child:
It is super important to assess what each child needs. They are all different and will warrant unique things. For example, I have one child that needs to work in a quite study zone while another needs me near for assistance and a third that just wants to be near someone but can work fully independently. Find out what each child needs and plan accordingly.
Study ZONE Selection:
Once you have assessed their needs, place them in the study zones that match their learning styles. For example, one child may need to work in a quite zone of your home, while the other child may be placed in the kitchen where they have access to you if they need support. Finding the “right” study zone for your children will create a more peaceful environment during homework time.
Use a TIMER!
Using a timer is key to managing time especially when you may have limited time and are shuffling to activities in the afternoon. When you have a scheduled practice or game make certain that homework is started immediately and a timer is set. The timer keeps your children focused and working more efficiently. I would consider using a different timer for each child. Again, not a “one size fits all” solution! You may need to set the timer for a shorter period of time for one child and longer for the others. It really depends on the day, subject or assignment.
Prioritize The Order of Homework:
Do the HARDER assignment FIRST! I always follow this rule of thumb especially when we are pressed for time, following this rule is key! You want to be sure your child has the most attention for the assignment that demands more brain power.
Planning ahead is an excellent way to manage assignments and time. This is especially important when you have a project or an upcoming test. Use a calendar and set a schedule. Plan ahead and dedicate a little time each day to studying or working on that project. This time management strategy will help minimize stress and make the after school process much more manageable.
Juggling multiple after school activities and school work is always a challenge for both students and parents. However, teaching your children how to “manage” both responsibilities will teach them life long skills. They will be able to transfer these skills as they enter high school, college and life.
We hope these tips will help you manage your school and after school activities much more effectively. Do you have tips that have helped your family successfully juggle the after-school chaos?
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