Over the past year, I’ve been slowly giving my children more control over their school schedules, because knowing how to create and manage a schedule is a crucial life skill they will need to succeed in college and a career.
Think about it. When your boss gives you a project to complete, she doesn’t give you a daily step-by-step plan of how to complete it. She expects you to understand how to break it down and schedule the time you’ll need to finish it yourself.
This is a learned skill that is important to master.
How My Kids Manage their Daily School Schedules
When I decided that it was time for me to start working on this particular life skill with my kids, I wanted to start small. I figured it would be less stressful for all of us and would give them a greater chance of success.
I chose to begin with their school schedules, because I don’t care when their school work gets done during the week, just that it gets completed.
Every Monday, I plan out what I want each of them to accomplish and write it on our white board. Then they take that list and make up their weekly schedule. First they look at our family calendar to determine what days we will be home that week. Then they take what is on the board and divide it up among the days they have available.
It has been fun watching their skills grow over time. At first, they just added coursework to their schedules randomly. Now they give a lot of thought to each day and specific assignments.
For example, if they have a final draft of a paper to write, they try to schedule it for a day where they will have a lot of time and won’t be tired.
What My Kids Are Learning
When you make up a schedule, you have to take a lot of things into consideration. Not just the time you have to complete a project, but also if you need any special supplies or have to go somewhere specific to finish a task.
During a photography class, my oldest daughter regularly had assignments that needed to be completed outside of our house and she had to take that into consideration when planning.
If they have an assignment planned, but something comes up, they know they have the freedom to reschedule it to another day. They are discovering that a schedule is a wonderful tool, but it shouldn’t control them.
With the girls taking more responsibility over their schedules, I find that I am nagging them less to get their school work done. If it is a day that they have a lot scheduled, they get to work right away so they can get it completed.
All this week we have been talking about life skills and how we teach them to our children.