The bell rings and Myra rushes out of her last class. She has to hurry to pick up her younger brother at the elementary school and walk him home. They have an afterschool snack, and she works on some homework until her mom gets home. Then she heads back to school for practice. This year, Myra is in eighth grade, and she’s become a leader on the team – adding pressure to a sport that used to just be fun. Right now, the school play is in rehearsals, and Myra goes straight from practice to rehearsal. At seven, she’s finally home to eat dinner and finish her homework. She has a test tomorrow and doesn’t feel ready for it. Her grades have started to slip this year, and she’s not sure how to she can bring them back up and keep all her other afterschool commitments. She spends the last hour of her evening on her phone, mostly talking to her best friend about how much she still has to do. She goes to bed at 10 to wake up at 6, but she has trouble falling asleep.
Time Management For Middle School
During middle school, students begin to manage their schedules themselves. While their daytime schedules are still determined by the schools, the demands on their afterschool time grow with more challenging homework, more extracurricular activities, and increasing independence at school and home. This increasing responsibility makes time management a critical skill for success. Here are a few key tips for time management for middle school students
Get enough sleep.
The first step in managing your afterschool time is to know how much of it you have. Remember that you need eight hours of sleep every night. What time do you get up to get to school on time? Count back eight hours and that is when you should plan to end your day each evening.
Identify your commitments.
Create a list of all the things you do afterschool, whether it happens every day or once a month. Don’t leave anything out. Once you have that list, highlight the daily tasks. Remember extracurriculars at school and programs outside of school (4H, FFA, Scouts, youth group, non-school sports, etc.). What are your responsibilities at home each evening? Be sure to include some “just for you” time. Fun, relaxing, down time is important for mental health and your ability to focus when needed.
Prioritize tasks and build your schedule.
Start with what you have to do every day. How long do those tasks take? How much time do those tasks take? Your time is limited. You may have to shorten time spent on certain activities, or you may have to eliminate some activities completely.
Compare your plan to your actual days.
Now that you have planned your work, it’s time to work your plan. How does the plan you created match your actual days? What changes do you need to make in your habits and routines to make your plan your reality?
Middle school is a critical time for students. They are transitioning from childhood to adolescence and beginning to explore who they are as individuals. For many students, summer school is a way to get ahead for the upcoming school year. Learn more about Compass Academy Network’s FREE summer program for middle school students at compassacademynetwork.org.