No matter what stage of learning a child is at, whether in primary school or doing a degree, there is a need to learn how to manage own time and have time to learn and to have fun. Indeed it is possible to make learning fun as well. There are never enough hours in the day to do what we want to do! There are so many things we wish to do in the day. There is the time for personal hygiene, to do various tasks related to household activities – particularly for older children, as well as time for the fun things like meeting friends, playing sport, going to the cinema, watching TV, etc. If we do not organize time and ensure that some time is spentstudying, then it can easily be forgotten or swept aside in the desire to do other things. So how should the child go about organizing his study time?
Let’s look at a fairly typical day of going to school. Waking up every day at a set time and going to bed at a set time ensures that a child will get enough sleep, for all of us need to sleep adequately. It is the time that the body gets rid of tiredness and has time to grow and repair and renew old cells. It is the time for the brain to rest and sort out the information and memories. Children need as much as 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Very young children can also have a nap in the afternoon to get rest.
If a child enjoys learning in the morning because he feels fresh, then some time needs to be put aside in the morning for studying. Getting washed and dressed for the day should give him time to collect his thoughts about what is going to be happening during the day – what classes he has that day and what books need to be taken to school and get the bag ready for school. A good breakfast is necessary for everyone, for it prepares the body for the activities of the day and provides energy.
On returning from the school, take some time to relax and do away the tiredness. Have a snack, read a storybook quietly, go out and play games with friends. Then comes the time to study. Parents need to check what homework has been given during the day. What homework needs to be handed in the next day? How much work still needs to be done? So part of the study time is spent completing the given homework. The other part of the time is to go over the lessons taught during the day; read the class notes and the textbook for the topics covered in the day, making sure that what was done in the class is still understood. If he does not understand some aspects, he needs to get help from older brothers and sisters or parents. If they are not able to help, then mark the pages in the book and ask teacher the next day.
Some of the students may be going for private tuition and this is the time to do the homework or to go over the topics taught. If the learner has problems understanding, then ask the teacher at this time. By doing this the child will keep up with what is being taught in the school and homework. The practice of managing each day will also allow the child to have time to play and to study and enjoy both activities.
Watching TV! Now there is something all of us like to do. Why not look at the day’s viewing and see what is there that one really wants to see. Then it can be made a part of the day’s timetable. This will allow the child to watch his favourite program and still study. As one grows older and gets into secondary school, there are many programs on TV that can help with learning. For example there are nature programs that can help in science topics, geography topics, etc. There are often school programs on TV, which again will help to learn and at the same time enjoy the process of learning.
Using computers and programs related to learning through the process of games is another tool that is good for study skills. While learning to use the computer will allow the child to learn the skills necessary for IT, it can also help to learn different subjects. There are many programs available for children of all ages to learn different subjects. Again, work out with parents what one wants to learn and how the child can use the computers at home or in school to learn, and then this can be worked out in the timetable of the day. This will stop parents from scolding the child about spending so much time on the computer. If the child studies everyday of the week then he can have fun all day Sunday without feeling guilty that he should be studying. This will be the well-earned leisure time.
Thus dividing the day into manageable time chunks and allocating activities can be organized in daily or weekly time tables. This approach allows for a better work and life balance, which will continue in higher education and working life.