Thursday, June 25, 2020

How to Teach Time Management to Children

I learned time management by reading John Maxwell, Steven Covey and Benjamin Franklin. This skill has made a world of difference in my life. But I couldn’t expect my high school foreign language students to do all of this reading. So I simplified what I learned and created a short lesson.

I wanted students to know how to manage their time, so they would be able to complete their homework assignments and projects. I ended my language lesson a little early one Friday, and asked them to take out paper and pen.

I told them I wanted to help them have time for fun, while still finishing their school work. This got their attention. I explained when I was in South Africa for two years; I worked pretty much all the time. When I decided to come back to the U.S., I knew I wanted to “get a life”. To do so, I needed to identify specifics. I wrote five goals on the board.

1.   Spend more time with family and friends.
2.   Increase my level of fitness.
3.   Have fun.
4.   Buy a dog.
5.   Earn enough money to live comfortably.

I answered their questions about my goals. Then I asked them to suggest something I might want or need to do during the upcoming weekend. As they shouted out suggestions, I wrote about fifteen of them on the board. They included chores like doing laundry, going shopping, cleaning the house, grading papers, and fun activities like going to the beach, going to the movies, etc.

I told students to put an “A” by the most important activity or task, “B” by the next significant and “C” next to those not really important at all. They all said grading papers was most important. I asked them where that appeared on my list of goals. It may have been important to the school or to them, but it was not on my list, so it only received a “C”, the lowest of the three choices. They understood. It was a real eye opener. We went through all activities until they all had letters next to them.

Then we ranked the items in each category by urgency, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. So all items on the list were placed into the time management grid: Important-Urgent, Important-Not Urgent, Not Important-Urgent, Not Important-Not Urgent.

This lesson helped them schedule their time by their own priorities, not those of someone else. It may have been most important for them to do school work, since it would help them reach their college goals. But my goals were not theirs. My goal was to get a life. After this little exercise, they understood the first step is always to identify long term and short term goals. When they did so, they finished more school work while experiencing less stress and having more fun.

For more information to help your K-12 kids do well in school and in life, and earn more scholarship money for college, you’ll want my book, Free College. To buy it now, click on the image of the book in the upper right hand corner of this screen.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Simple Tip to Make Learning Easier

Although eating breakfast daily is important for health reasons, it also helps students learn more, get better grades and even have a better shot at winning more free cash for college. What kids eat at breakfast matters. A sugary cereal, breakfast bar or blender smoothie masquerading as healthy food just won’t work.

Each meal should contain different types of nutrients. Protein is an important one as it enhances concentration, learning and memory. In other words, eating protein makes it easier to understand what students are learning and to remember it. How much protein they need varies by age, body weight, gender and amount of exercise they get in a day.

One food that's simple to make is eggs. One egg will provides 14% of the daily recommended amount of protein. They’re easiest to add to breakfast of all the different kinds of foods that contain protein (fish, lentils, chicken, black beans and others). They can even be made in advance.

Here’s how:
1.   Decide how many days each week you want to add an egg to your breakfast and multiply that number by how many people will be eating them. The more eggs, the bigger the saucepan you need.
2.   Place them in a single layer in the pan. Put enough cold water into the pan to cover the eggs with one inch of water. (The greater the number of eggs, the more water needed.)
3.   Turn the heat up to high, and let the water come to a boil.
4.   Turn the heat off, and let the pan sit on the hot burner for ten to twelve minutes. (It’s okay to cook them longer. It just makes the yolk harder.)
5.   Use the lid to hold the eggs in the pan, and pour out the water into the sink. Run cold water over the eggs to stop them from cooking.
6.   After they’ve cooled off, you can put them in a bowl and keep them in the refrigerator.
7.   Peel and eat one each morning along with your cereal or other breakfast foods.
This isn’t the only way to add protein to your breakfast, but it’s the easiest way and is very low cost. Don’t forget to add a wholesome (low sugar) cereal or oatmeal, a piece of fresh fruit and a glass of milk (if not lactose intolerant), and you have a complete breakfast.

It may seem like a waste of time to eat breakfast each morning, but the brain needs food to function properly. So do students.

To learn more about how to succeed in school, avoid needing student loans, and earn lots of scholarships, you’ll want my book, Free College, Click Here to Buy. It's great for students of all ages. 

Photo Credit: Google Images