Are you a parent who is passionate about learning? Do you want your children to enjoy school and find success IN and OUT of the classroom?

Then welcome to Learn Their Way!



In this week’s episode, we’ll discuss teaching time management strategies to kids.



As a very type-A person who likes organization and structure, I think it’s important for my kids to follow a schedule…most of the time. 

But the more opportunities my kids have to take ownership of their daily routines and find their own favorite time management strategies, the better. 







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Learn Their Way Podcast Episode 10 Quote: The most important thing we can do as parents is see our children for who they are and empower them to identify and use their strengths.



Welcome to the Learn Their Way podcast, where we teach strategies designed to help students understand how they learn best and find success in and out of the classroom.

I’m your host, Melissa Droegemueller, and in this episode, we’ll discuss teaching time management strategies to kids.


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Welcome back to episode 10, Time Management Strategies.

This episode is going to be a little different from our previous ones. We’re going to set aside educational theory for a bit and talk about practical tips and strategies to help our children manage their time, in and out of the classroom.

The last nine episodes have laid a solid foundation for this conversation, I believe. It is our unique personalities and individual tendencies, after all, that can lead to success or struggles when it comes to education.

We’ve discussed so much, from learning styles to our personality styles — and, as I mentioned last week — every one of those pieces work together to explain a little bit more about who we are.


The most important thing we can do as parents is see our children for who they are and empower them to identify and use their strengths.


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When I was the age my children are now, I had no idea I would be working “online” for a job. We didn’t have a home computer until I was in high school, and I didn’t access the Internet until I went to college. I remind myself of that fact whenever I feel tempted to push my children toward any particular field or career.

I have no idea if the 40-hour work week will still be a thing by the time my kids reach adulthood. Yes, one of their parents still leaves the house every morning to GO TO a job…but their other parent works in their PJs at all hours of the day. I haven’t had to commute to work or clock in at a job in over 10 years!

Maybe our kids will have a desk job at an office or maybe they will be entrepreneurs. We just don’t know!


As a very type-A person who likes organization and structure, I think it’s important for my kids to follow a schedule…most of the time.


On any given day, you can show up at my house at 9:10 a.m., and we’ll be in the living room doing our history lesson. But sometimes, one of us has an appointment in the morning, so our history lesson happens in the car instead. 

For a whole year, in fact, my kids both had gymnastics lessons on Wednesday mornings, which meant we did two hours of school in the car and one hour of school in the waiting room while the other one had class.

Some days we have rain in the forecast, which means we go outside and do PE before the storms roll in. Other days, it’s too cold to go out before lunch, and we enjoy our outside time during the warmest part of the day.

Using a flexible schedule, learning how to roll with the punches, can actually help our children have stronger time management skills than if every school day was the same.

Sometimes I wonder if 13 years of public school actually stunted my growth in executive function skills like initiating tasks and knowing what to prioritize. When I got to college, where I was suddenly 100% responsible for choosing my classes and making my own schedule, I floundered quite a bit. A lot of the time management strategies that I use now came from that period of my life.


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So let’s talk about my favorite time management tools for the entire family:

CLOCKS. We have clocks all over the house, in every room except for the bathroom. Neither of my kids like wearing a watch and they don’t have phones in their pockets to check the time, so…they can look up wherever they are and know what time it is.

When the kids were little and working on telling time, I put up analog clocks in their bedroom and learning areas. A couple years ago, my younger daughter asked for an alarm clock in their room, and she uses it faithfully to know when to get up in the morning (although she’s usually awake before it goes off).


TIMERS and PHONE ALARMS. We have a bucket full of cheap kitchen timers that our kids use for music practice or whenever they complete their schoolwork in another room. I also have several alarms set to go off on my phone on school days, to let us know when to switch subjects or take a break. 

This year, we are implementing a block system for homeschooling. We have 20 minutes of history first, and then the rest of our school time is broken up into 40-minute blocks with 10-minute breaks between them.

  • Morning time: 9-9:20, 10 minute break
  • Block A: 9:30-10:10, 10 minute break
  • Block B: 10:20-11:00, 10 minute break
  • Block C: 11:10-11:50, 10 minute break


Both kids have their challenging subjects, so they each get a designated block of time to work with me, uninterrupted. My oldest does science and math with me every day (usually during block A or B), and my youngest has me help her with math and spelling five days a week (always during block C). One of them prefers to start the day with her hardest subjects, and the other likes to ease into her day doing all the things she likes best.

Personally, I had to add the 10-minute breaks into our morning schedule because I can only focus on one thing for so long. I actually keep my work to-do list right next to my school set-up so I can knock off 5-10 small tasks every morning. I typically schedule my biggest project of the day for the hour right after lunch because it’s my most productive time.


PLANNERS and CHECKLISTS. Each of my kids has a checklist printed off that shows the breakdown of their schoolwork for the week. They know they are supposed to do five days of math, four days of science, three days of music, two days of typing, etc…and there is a checkbox for each lesson as they go through their day. 

Honestly, it doesn’t much matter to me whether they do music Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday. They both have their preferred schedule, and I don’t mind what order they get their work done, so long as it is done by the end of the week.

One of them likes to work in the same room as me (hello, extrovert) while my introvert takes her independent work into their room and shuts the door. Again, I let them choose the timing, location, and pace of their work — as long as they are understanding their lessons and turning in quality work.


THE ROUTINERY APP. I used to print off a daily schedule with lots of reminders on the back of their weekly checklist, but I found that the kids didn’t refer to it as often as I would like. (Which led to me nagging them to check their schedule, which defeated the purpose…)

I read about a free app called Routinery that allows you to build a routine with each task that needs to get done along with the amount of time it *should* take to complete. Some kids have no idea what a reasonable amount of time looks like, when it comes to their daily tasks. Should getting dressed take 5 minutes or 15? 

We set up a morning routine for my teenager on Routinery that walks her through getting ready for the day, preparing breakfast, eating, and cleaning up. It’s got cute graphics, a countdown timer, and it’s gamified enough that she enjoys using it each morning.

In fact, my other daughter asked if I could set one up for their lunch routine — and hey, anything that reminds them to do their chores without me having to nag is a GOOD thing.


COUNTDOWN TIMERS on YouTube. There are lots of fun timers available on YouTube, and we’ve used them in the past to designate our school blocks and break times. 

But sometimes, we’ve needed to use the TV for online classes or videos, and the schedule gets off kilter. Setting alarms on my phone seems to work better right now at keeping us all on track.


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Honestly, it’s taken us years to find the right system for us. We’ve been using the weekly checklist for the past couple of school years, but we’ve moved from typed reminders to the Routinery app a couple months ago, and it’s been so helpful. 

I know that we need to keep mixing things up to find the right time management strategies that work for us as a group and for them individually. Modeling different things that work for me and for their dad is helpful, too. 

I have to keep a paper calendar next to me while I am working, and I write my top 5 to-dos for the day in my planner. My husband prints off his Outlook schedule each morning and writes down all his reminders so he can check things off as he goes. 


The more opportunities our kids have to take ownership of their daily schedule and find their own favorite time management strategies, the better.


Yes, I could force them to use my system, but how is that going to benefit them in the long run?


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All right parents, it’s time for homework. 

If you have a few minutes this week, I would love for you to pull out a piece of paper or journal, and reflect on these questions:

  1. Did you learn time management strategies as a kid, or have you had to work on this area as an adult?
  2. Do you leave room for flexibility in your daily schedule? 
  3. Which time management strategy will you add to your family culture?
    * Clocks
    * Timers and/or phone alarms
    * Planners and/or checklists
    * Time management app
    * Countdown timers on YouTube
  4. How can you give your kids more ownership over their schedule?


You can head to to read a full transcript of today’s episode, download a copy of these questions, and see our favorite resources related to today’s topic.

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode, and thank you for supporting Learn Their Way!

We’ll be back after the holidays with an all-new season of the podcast. See you then!


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Learn Their Way Episode 10

** Music by Lesfm from Pixabay