In this unit we will be introducing the Executive Functioning skill of Time Management. This is the ability to estimate the length of time you need to complete a task, how much time you have available, how to plan out your schedule to fit the tasks into the time period, and then to actually stay on that schedule. It is what we do, as adults, to meet deadlines at work and to get to our appointments on time.
What may appear to be minor, but turns out to be very important for this skill is the use of an analog clock. The sweeping hands of the clock are great visuals for the passing of time and help children gain a good sense of time and develop the ability to plan and stick to a schedule. If your children are often late or miscalculate how long it just took them to pack their backpacks, we urge you to hang an analog clock in the kitchen and refer to it often.
Also, to help them gain a sense of the passage of time, make a game of estimating time now and then. Ask your kids how long they think it will take to set the table, for example. Then have them time themselves as they do it. How close to reality was their estimate? They can use the form below to estimate their homework tasks.
ESTIMATING TIME WORKSHEET
The assignment that I am working on is: _________________
I think that it will take __________ minutes
Start Time __________ End Time __________
How long it actually took me to complete this __________
It is also helpful for students to plan out their after-school activities, including sports, relaxing time, dinner, homework, and other daily events. A sample form can be downloaded from the link below. Completing a form like this every weekday afternoon will help your student complete his work and meet his deadlines.