The June holidays are something that every child is looking forward to. But with work-from-home (WFH) as default measure still being in effect for some time, it may still be difficult for working parents to spend time with their children. Social activities are limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, and with so much time on their hands, children may get restless at home. How can parents be ready to tackle such a situation?
Different ways to manage time
The holidays are a great time to teach children about time management, and to show them how they can spend their time wisely. There are different ways of looking at time management. Parents might often think about time management in terms of how efficiently their child gets their homework done, or how many hours are spent on revising a certain topic. However, there are many opportunities for children to learn about time management outside of their school work. Read on to find out about the different areas of doing so.
- Managing homework time
This is especially for children who get a lot of homework from their teachers. Teach them to set a fixed timeline for their work. Having a clear schedule to stick to helps them figure out which tasks may take a longer time to complete. For instance, some children may have difficulty reading more complex passages, so more time may have to be allocated for comprehension practices. Teaching them to organise their tasks will help them to complete their homework more efficiently.
This is also a good time for your child to revise and go through any concepts that they may have trouble understanding in school. Remind your child that spending time now to work on certain subjects would make them better prepared when school reopens. Sometimes, their homework may not be very useful in explaining certain concepts. Parents can introduce their child to guidebooks or assessment books instead that break down complex topics such as in Maths and Science into more digestible pieces of information.
2. Managing play time
As much as play time should be unrestricted and free, there has to be a certain level of discipline as well. It can be very easy for children to fall into unhealthy routines during the long school holidays. With no school the next day, they may start to play video games or watch YouTube videos late into the night. This may develop into an unhealthy sleep cycle which will be hard to rectify before school reopens again.
Parents should thus teach their child about the importance of discipline even when they are having fun. Parents should limit screen time for their children especially in the few hours before bedtime, and encourage their child to develop their own bedtime routine that doesn’t involve excessive screen time.
For parents who worry that they cannot monitor their child’s play time due to WFH, they can introduce their child to fun learning resources that encourage them to learn on their own. Learning magazines such as STEAM magazines include fun activities and experiments that teach children about Maths and Science concepts. There are also educational toys for children such as DIY bicycle sets which can teach them about Physics and Engineering. These allow children to explore and learn about topics which their teachers may not have covered in school, and help expand their general knowledge of the world around them.
3. Managing family time
The holidays are a great time for families to bond. Parents can take this chance to teach their children about time management within the family. One way could be to create a family calendar. Sit down as a family and make a list of things that you wish to get done during the June holidays as a family, such as baking a cake together or compiling a photo album together. Then, put these all into a shared calendar so the whole family can refer to it.
Not only is this a great way for parents to spend quality time with their child, they can also teach them about planning outside of their individual schedules, and how they can organise their schedule around others. Parents can also set a good example for their child by showing them how they plan their own work as well. This can provide many benefits, such as teaching children to set their own boundaries and to manage their own expectations for the amount of work that they want to complete. Ensuring that there is a healthy balance of work, rest and play in a child’s schedule is also crucial for their development.
It is never too early to teach your child about time management. Helping them develop good habits from young will ensure that they will be more organised and confident in the future when they face more demanding tasks. Time management is also not limited to homework. It is important to show your child that there are different ways to practise time management, and that they are all equally important.