Time management: The key to success during middle school


Middle school is a huge transition because students are challenged with new academic content as well as emotional growth. At this point, students are expected to be able to manage their own time to a certain extent. They should be able to start their homework on their own and ask pertinent questions when appropriate. Additionally, middle schoolers should be able to comprehend how much time it takes to finish their homework relative to how much free time they have. Unfortunately, many young students simply don’t possess these skills just yet. They’re working them out through trial and error, or they need more guidance from an adult. Some students adjust to this transition without too much trouble, but others develop their time management skills only after they have had difficulty in the classroom.

1.  Homework

Overwhelming amounts of homework is one of the biggest issues middle schoolers will face. In all honesty, there’s probably more homework given out to the average student than is entirely necessary at this age given the great emotional and physical growth also taking place. Regardless, students need to complete their assignments on time with their very best effort. One thing students can do to make their homework easier is prioritize. They can determine which assignments are busy work and which help them learn a skill later on. This is a huge step in being able to conquer the amount of essays and research assignments given out at this age (READ: What to Do When Your Child Has Conflicts With Classmates).

2. Individualized attention

Another really important aspect of time management in middle school is to recognize the importance of individual attention. Students need to know which subjects they excel in – and can spend an average amount of time on- as well as which subjects they need to give their full attention to on every single assignment. Students may need the help of a parent or tutor to help them identify what their weaknesses are and how to turn them into strengths. Some kids may have always struggled with math, for example, and will already know they need to spend extra time on this subject. Other kids have excelled in math all the way through elementary school and will only now begin to struggle.

3. Managing free time

Middle schoolers, for the most part, would much rather be outside playing sports or hanging out with friends than working diligently on homework. It can be a pretty substantial battle between parent and child to get a student at this age to focus on their future. On the other hand, if kids only ever work on homework and don’t have a chance to get together with friends, they’ll be missing out on important social development skills that will help them feel supported throughout this difficult period of growth. Finding a balance between work and play is one of the most challenging things for a person at this stage to do, but it’s also one of the most essential.

4. Communicating with the teacher

Teachers notice when students are starting to fall behind and what makes a student tick when it comes to academics. Students might put a huge effort into subjects they excel at or are interested in. Alternatively, they tend to tune out when it comes to something that doesn’t have a real world application, or they find to be overly dry. Teachers recognize what triggers these patterns and can give excellent advice on how to cope with it. Sometimes kids need to be pushed a little bit further, and other times they need to be given some space. In an ideal situation, a student would want to take responsibility for their time management and homework, but it can be quite a task getting there. Teacher/parent communication is one of the key elements to solving this riddle.

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