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You are here: Home > Teaching Tips for Books You've Purchased > School Tips & Education Articles > Time Management Tips for Middle School Students

Time Management for Middle School Students


In grade school, teachers closely monitor almost everything associated with a student's learning. Kids are told when and how to do everything, from lessons to recess.  Thus, when moving on to middle school, it can be a real cultural and educational shock for students. Oftentimes, grades will show a significant drop in the first semester during the adjustment period due to issues related to time management.  The goal of this article is to discuss best practices to avoid the drop in grades and have your kids due to their best!

Get Plenty of Rest

Educators of middle school students always discuss the need for kids to get plenty of rest.  It is very difficult to keep attention in the classroom and spend adequate time on studies, if kids are sleepy and droopy first thing in the morning. Parents, the ball is in your court.  Teacher's can present the material and make sure the classroom is a positive learning environment.  But, parents and caregivers need to make sure the iPods are put away, the television and computer are turned off, or whatever it takes to make sure these kids are getting an adequate amount of rest for growing bodies and brains.  Kids per sleep experts need nine to ten hours of sleep a night because of the biological changes in their bodies.

Eat Properly

Given the choice, kids will probably eat junk food for snacks and skip meals in favor of sleep or social activities.  Research shows students do not think as well without a good breakfast and lunch.  Thus, it is more difficult to pay attention in class and to meet the responsibilities of middle school. Proper nutrition feeds both body and brain and helps the grade in first period.

Set Priorities

Plenty of rest and a proper diet will help middle school students have the physical and mental abilities to manage their time well; but, the crux of the matter is the not-so-simple task of setting priorities.  Education comes before the phone, friends, and fun.

Parents must teach their youngsters that school is a job.  Similar to Mom and Dad going to work every day, kids have the obligation to do the work necessary to succeed in the future. Studying is an investment in the future.  A paycheck may not come today, but it will make the difference of whether a child will grow up to get one tomorrow.

So, set priorities!  If the kids are not intrinsically motivated to do their best, it is the parent's job to ensure school work is completed before privileges are realized.  In other words, get the homework done.  No excuses. No delay tactics. No blame.  Generally, when kids have not completed the assignments on time, it is due to one of two scenarios:  the teacher gave in-class time and kids goofed off, or the homework was assigned several days ago and kids waited until the last minute.  

Be Involved Parents

Sadly, personal experience has underscored how desperately parents need to be involved in every aspect of a child's life.  It is not sufficient to provide food, shelter, and clothing.  Children need love, affirmation, encouragement, discipline, and so much more.

Today, more and more parents are both working at least one job outside the home.  The resulting latchkey kids get themselves off to school and come home to an empty house. Mom and Dad buy a lot of things to salve guilty consciences, or get their children everything they did not have growing up.  But, no one is home to listen when the kids walk through the door, making sure the homework is done, or to ensure that the next generation is getting the proper education scholastically, morally, or in any other way.

Parents, stay involved!  Keep up with what/how the children are doing in school. Kids who have interested parents are proven to do better in school and less likely to make poor choices. Help nurture a healthy mind as well as providig for the body.  Have your kids do a time sheet everyday with tasks on it.  This is a great way to monitor that they are on task!

In a Nutshell

From a teacher's perspective, parents often put the kids on the bus in the morning and assume students are now the responsibility of the school district.  Wrong!  Middle school children are going through massive biological and emotional changes.  Oftentimes, it seems as if the kids are present in body, but the brain is still back home in bed.

Make sure the kids have plenty of rest, adequate nutrition to fuel those changes and the growing responsibilities of education, and the parental guidance to make the right choices and set priorities.  Yes, teachers are in charge of the children during the day, but without the cooperation of parents, kids will fall through the cracks educationally. Parents and children should do more than live under the same roof.  Be a family, helping teach children how to be successful productive members of society, including good study skills and proper time management for middle school students.

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