Teaching good use of time

Red Chief did great transitioning to third grade in the first week. But then the second week hit with its accompanying homework, and he felt discouraged at his lack of free time.

I knew he had time for everything he needed and wanted to do, but he was taking so long with his obligations that he had no time left for himself at the end of the day.

Last night at Family Home Evening, I crunched some numbers for him. We estimated how long each of his tasks would take if done efficiently, then estimated how long they were taking at his current pace. It turns out that at his current pace, he was using up every available minute of his time at home before and after school to get his things done—five hours. But our estimate for how long it should take was only about two hours.

I drew up a couple of pie charts to show him what it looked like—and it clicked with him. This morning he got up a little early and took care of his work quickly, and he had free time before breakfast. I'm hoping that he will keep it up over the next few weeks until it becomes a habit.

As I was helping Red Chief realize how he fills all his available time with his work, I realized that I do the same thing. I can get an amazing amount done around the house in the hour or two before someone comes over. But that same work might take me a few days if I'm not on a deadline.

I guess he's been following my example! I will work on my own use of time as I continue to work with him on his.


  1. I am the same way! I intentionally invite people over every week or two so that I will clean really well. Haha.

    Also, I love the picture from My Father's Dragon! :)

  2. Oh yes procrastination such a evil thing but so easy to do. Now that I am in college full time I have had to rein myself in and organize myself again like we did during our homeschool years.

  3. Such a great idea , to help Ben learn how to manage his time.. This will be so helpful, as he ages and school work, becomes more demanding.
    I need to use my time more wisely..It seems to slip away..ha