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					Time Management and Organization Skills:
 A Basic Toolbox for Building a Solid Learning
                 Foundation


           Ali Zidel Meyers, MSW
            Meyers Learning Center



             www.meyerslearningcenter.com


             www.meyerslearningcenter.com
             Is this your child?
• Impeccably organized
• Absolutely efficient with
  time
• Plans and executes
  projects like clockwork
• An eager learner with
  intrinsic motivation




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A more realistic scenario…?




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    The Learning Journey

The greatest thing in this world is not so much
where we are, but in what direction we are
moving. -Oliver Wendell Holmes




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   Welcome


                  •    Who I am…
                  •    Why I’m here…and
                       what you won’t
                       hear




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       The Big Picture
LEARNING TOOLS              TEACHING TECHNIQUES
    Organization                   Role Modeling
 Time Management                Directed Instruction
    Study Skills                     Set Setting
                                    Limit Limits




       LEARNING FOUNDATION


               SUCCESS FACTORS
                     Learning
                  Self-Motivation
                 Independence…

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             Roles to Play
• We all have roles we play on our journeys
  through life.
• The work of children is play, through which
  they learn and grow.
• Playground, classroom, soccer field,
  stage…
• Children learn everywhere.


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          Teaching Techniques: Introduction

        Parents as Teachers
• Your child’s learning does not stop in the
  classroom, of course, but extends to all other
  spheres of life.
• So, in addition to whatever work comprises our
  days, we are all teachers. Every one of us.




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             Teaching Techniques: Introduction

      You are always teaching…
• You teach by example—directly
  and indirectly.
• Nervous? Do not fear.
• We are all natural born teachers
  and learners.
• Your children are teachers, as
  well as learners, too.
• You don’t need to have all the
  answers.

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            Teaching Techniques: Introduction

   How are you always teaching?
    Children need models, not critics.
• Role modeling: They watch what you do and
  mirror that. They do as you do.
• Direct instruction: Show and tell. (―Here’s how
  to wash my car…‖ ―This is how to do your
  laundry…‖)
• Limit setting: Help them understand what’s safe
  and not, what’s acceptable and what’s
  not…where and what the boundaries are

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       The Big Picture
LEARNING TOOLS              TEACHING TECHNIQUES
LEARNING TOOLS
    Organization                   Role Modeling
    Organization
 Time Management                Directed Instruction
 Time Management
    Study Skills                     Set Limits




       LEARNING FOUNDATION


               SUCCESS FACTORS
                     Learning
                  Self-Motivation
                 Independence…

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                Learning Tools: Introduction

             The Basic Toolbox
•   We all have tools for our work.
•   Adult tools
•   Kid tools
•   Now: basic tools you can teach
    your kids to help them create
    success in their learning journeys.




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               Learning Tools: Introduction

             The Basic Tools
1. Time management




2. Organization


3. Study Skills: Learning to Learn
   effectively and efficiently

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Dealing with Time Management
          Challenges




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              Learning Tool: Time Management
                 Mastering Time

• We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.
  -- John F. Kennedy
• Some parents think their kids need to work
  harder, when what they really need to learn to
  do is work SMARTER (more efficiently).
• Two sisters in the study

• ―Slice it up‖ exercise


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              Learning Tool: Time Management
             Teaching Technique: Role Modeling


  How do I teach my kids to manage time
  effectively?
• ―Do as I say…‖ They will do as you do!
• If you want your child to learn effective time
  management, you must model it
   – Show up for appointments on time (or early).
   – Have all materials at hand to avoid wasting time during
     activities.
   – Refer to the start time, remind of the end time, and
     pace activities aloud as you move through them.

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            Learning Tool: Time Management
           Teaching Technique: Role Modeling



• Time chart (you, your child)—where do
  the hours go?
• Time estimates vs. real time (chart it for a
  week or two in your planner or on a
  notepad, then examine your time
  monsters.)
• Time Monsters (you, your child)


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          Learning Tool: Time Management
         Teaching Technique: Role Modeling

• Did you know you have to play ping-pong for
  12 hours to lose one pound?
• Examine ping-pong tactics you may use in
  your own life. Look for ways to make your own
  tasks more efficient, and teach your child how
  to also.
  – Perfect formatting
• Buy an old-fashioned (analog) watch and
  wear it; have your child wear one so s/he can
  see the ticking away of seconds to hours--
  how time moves.
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               Learning Tool: Time Management
   Teaching Technique: Direct Instruction and Collaboration


Everyday lessons: the world is your
  playground, your laboratory, your library…
• Kids can learn effective time management
  in the context of simple, everyday tasks.
• Teach time-saving techniques for computer
  work, document saving conventions…
• Enable your child to partner with you in
  planning and owning their time.
  Empower them to own and help manage
  their time with you.

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                 Learning Tool: Time Management
     Teaching Technique: Direct Instruction and Collaboration


Architects of time: Practice together--build a time
  management plan for a set time period.
• Discuss the given tasks for a particular day,
  weekend, or week ahead.
• Map it out a plan on a calendar/poster (kids who are
  visual learners can be great illustrators). Be specific.
• Build in contingencies.
• Execute the plan. Evaluate its effectiveness.
• Reflect: what went well and what do you want to do
  differently next time?
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                Learning Tool: Time Management
    Teaching Technique: Direct Instruction and Collaboration


• Teach your child to estimate how long tasks
  will take, then add a cushion (double it).
• Think out loud about time as you move
  through the day. Help build time awareness.
   – Time-based word problems: managing
     HW, handling schedule demands
• Use blocks and manipulatives (make it real)
• Kids can be clueless about time, and they
  have no access to your internal dialogue.

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                Learning Tool: Time Management
                 Teaching Technique: Set Limits


• Do you fear limits?
• Some hesitate to set limits, fearful of
  imposing a rigid structure like what they
  experienced as a child.
• Wanting to give kids everything
• Conflict avoidance
• Obstacles to teaching time management skills



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               Learning Tool: Time Management
                Teaching Technique: Set Limits

• As kids move from dependence to independence,
  they need limits around time, to teach them how to
  use it effectively.
• Teach ―First things first!‖… ―The sooner you do it,
  the sooner you’re through it!‖
• Students should have a regular study routine:
  their working hours (no distractions, no
  interruptions).
• A bliss list or ―time tokens‖ can be used to
  reinforce the notion of working hard, then enjoying
  free time.
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       Learning Tool: Time Management
        Teaching Technique: Set Limits



• Decide on priorities.
• Discuss them with your child.
• Problem-solve together when conflicts
  around time use occur.
• Time monsters can be postponed until
  after school work is done, potentially used
  as rewards.


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            Learning Tool: Organization

                What is it?



• or·gan·ize (ôrg-nz)
• v. or·gan·ized, or·gan·iz·ing, or·gan·iz·es
• To put together into an orderly, functional,
  structured whole.
• To arrange in a coherent form; systematize
• To arrange in a desired pattern or structure
• To arrange systematically for harmonious or
  united action
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                     Learning Tool: Organization

         Organization Demystified
• The secret’s in the system.
• The key to organization is not so much the type of
  system you choose, but in creating a system that
  works for you and using it.
• Does your form = your function? Are you wearing
  hockey gear to play tennis?
   –   How are your living spaces designed? (Or aren’t they?)
   –   How easy is access to things that you need?
   –   How often does clutter create an obstacle in your life?
   –   It’s not only the stuff of disorganization that drains energy
       and time; it’s the state itself.

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               Learning Tool: Organization
          Teaching Technique: Direct Instruction

• Two basic elements to organizing (for kids):
  1. Their stuff/space
     • Planner, binders, study space
     • Bedroom/dorm room, household: drop spot, crates,
       filing containers
     • Weekly Weed-outs, 10-Minute Tune-ups (daily) for
       maintenance
  – Tell them directly what you expect and show
    them how to do it. Ask them to ―teach the
    teacher‖ to check their understanding.
  2. Their time (this is coming up)
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              Learning Tool: Organization
           Teaching Technique: Role Modeling



• You can hire an expert, read books, surf the
  web--but the system you devise for yourself
  (or with your child) will probably be the most
  effective and enduring.
• Find the areas of your life that are most
  disorganized. Figure out why. Develop an
  organizational plan of attack.
• The goal is not to have the fanciest
  system, but one that works well for you.
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                Learning Tool: Organization
             Teaching Technique: Role Modeling

• Start with one thing (desk drawer) or one time
  increment for bigger projects (30 minutes a week in
  the closet, garage, etc.).
• Implement some aspect of your organizational plan
  each week. Examples:
  – File, Pile (to handle NOW), or Recycle your mail.
  – Go to www.ReduceWaste.org to remove your name from
    junk mail and solicitation lists
  – Do a weekly weed-out: dump out your purse, wallet,
    briefcase and weed out once a week. Rid yourself of
    clutter you don’t need.
  – Take an hour each week to de-clutter photo boxes and
    create photo albums.

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              Learning Tool: Organization
            Teaching Technique: Limit Setting



• Rescue selectively.
  – What are you doing for your children right now
    that they can do for themselves?
  – Fast forward any of these behaviors another
    5-10 years. Will they have adopted these
    behaviors or still be looking to others to do it
    for them?
  – Logical consequences, natural outcomes
  – Point out discrepancies between goals and
    behaviors.
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Create the conditions…
Be a farmer                …not a fly




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         Checkpoint
• Wake a sleeping neighbor.

• Get up and stretch.

• Congratulate yourself.



• You’ve made it half way!


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Organization and Effective
Time Use Go Hand in Hand
    Direct Instruction:
    • Teach your kids to
      – Think ahead.
      – Plan ahead.
      – Act now. (A planner is a terrific tool for
        practicing these concepts).
    • Gantt Chart
    • Empower your child to begin to self-
      manage; these skills will be crucial
      throughout the life span.
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      Organization and Effective Time Use

                                                               •    Gantt Chart
                                                               •    Tasks
                                                               •    Timeframe (start/end)
                                                               •    Milestone due dates
                                                               •    Post prominently in
                                                                    two places
                                                                    (Agenda/planner, wall)


From: http://www.kidasa.com/information/solutions/general/general1.html


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You’ve got the power…use it.
•   Consider every single thing your child
    considers a birthright:
    •   Unlimited phone access
    •   Unlimited kitchen access
    •   Hobby time
    •   Cell phone time
    •   Computer access
    •   Allowance
          These are privileges, not rights.
           You can grant (or deny) them!

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              Learning Tool: Study Skills

                 Study Skills
        Strong Study Skills Save Time
• Does your child know how to work smarter, not
  harder?
• Many kids waste time ―studying‖ the wrong
  things. Study skills create effective and efficient
  learning.
• Study Skills: handling homework, note-taking (in
  class and from texts), test-preparation, test-
  taking, reading comprehension, reading to write
• Resources: books, people                            36
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Misconceptions and Corrections




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       6 Common Misconceptions
1.   Life must be a Juggling Act.
2.   Multi-tasking = Effective Time
     Management
3.   I should let my kids figure this stuff out
     on their own.
4.   I’m hopeless; I’m an organizational/time
     management wreck, therefore I can’t
     teach these skills.
5.   My children are hopeless. I’ve tried
     telling them what to do, and it’s not
     working!
6.   The Felt Fishy Syndrome

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    Misconception Correction #1:
     Life must be a juggling act.
•   Do you feel victimized by time?
•   Schedule/commitment overload
    and stress
•   We have choices.
•   Your time is your life.
•   Work on creating balance,
    teaching balance.
•   Become a time manager rather
    than a time martyr.
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 Misconception Correction #2:
 Multi-tasking Means Effective
       Time Management

• We all do it. Is it
  effective?
• University of
  Michigan study


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        Multi-tasking:
not all it’s cracked up to be
                 • For all tasks studied:
                 • Subjects lost time when they
                   had to switch from one task to
                   another
                 • Time costs increased with the
                   complexity of the tasks.
                 • Time costs of multi-tasking:
                   You've got to
                     (a) want to switch tasks
                     (b) make the switch
                     (c) get warmed back up on what
                        you're doing.
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Multi-tasking Takes Time
 1. Translation: multi-tasking can actually
    lengthen task time.
 2. Other problems: distraction, car
    accidents, relationship difficulties,
    stress
 3. The real world: multi-tasking is a
    reality of our modern society… some
    parents feel it’s important that their
    kids know how to do it
 4. Be conscious.

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Misconception Correction #3: Let
 them figure it out on their own.
 •   Developmental factors
 •   Time is an abstract concept.
     • Would you teach Algebra to a 3rd grader?
 •   Future-thinking
 •   Realistic Expectations
 •   Your involvement

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Misconception Correction #4: I’m hopeless.
  • Start small.
  • Examples: Each time you walk through a room,
    put something away.
  • Each time you sift through the mail, practice
    the OHIO principal (Only Handle It Once).
  • Get a large family calendar to post in the
    kitchen. Use it as a master planning tool and
    invite everyone else to do the same.
  • Check out www.FlyLady.net

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    Misconception Correction #5:
        My child is hopeless.
• Don’t give up. Do you think that your
  children are un-teachable? Of course not.
• Any kind of behavioral change takes
  time, effort, and lots of practice.
• Have you been a farmer or a fly? …Work
  to create solutions that really fit. Your
  answers may not be the right ones for your
  child.
• Recognize what your child does well; give
  specific praise when you see it happening.
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    Misconception Correction #6:
     The Felt Fishy Syndrome




There’s always someone doing a “better” job…

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            You are enough
• Whoever you are as a parent, you bring
  your unique perspective and gifts.
• Celebrate your style and strengths.
• ―Mistakes‖ (yours or your child’s) are
  learning moments, not to be feared.
• "Before I got married, I had 6 theories
  about bringing up children. Now I have
  6 children and no theories." - John Wilmot


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       The Big Picture
LEARNING TOOLS                 TEACHING TECHNIQUES
    Organization                         Role Modeling
 Time Management                      Directed Instruction
    Study Skills                           Set Limits




       LEARNING FOUNDATION


               SUCCESS FACTORS
              SUCCESS FACTORS
                       Learning
                    Self-Motivation
                   Independence…

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                      Success Factors

               Success Defined
• Expand definitions of success
  (beyond grades and sameness)
• Success: emerging, developing
  abilities and habits that foster
  –   Learning
  –   Independence
  –   Creative problem-solving
  –   Effective time management
  –   Use of constructive learning tools
  –   Goal setting and achievement
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                      Success Factors

      Building Blocks for Success
•   Collaboration: Student, Parent(s), Teachers,
    (Tutor, Counselor), together comprise the ―team‖.
•   Clear expectations: Student knows what’s
    expected and how to deliver it.
•   Consistency: Only way to build enduring habits.
•   Support: Student knows s/he has resources for
    support and utilizes them.
•   Problem-Solving: A method for handling
    obstacles and conflict (more on next slide).



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                     Success Factors

  Problem-Solving With Your Child
• What is the concern behind the complaint?
• Bring the concern to your child at a good time, in
  a way s/he can understand, in a dispassionate
  manner.
• ―I feel…‖
• ―I need…‖
• ―What do you feel? What do you need?‖
• ―Let’s work together to find a solution that both of
  us can live with…‖ (problem-solving process)
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                     Success Factors

                   Motivation
• Seek feedback. Say “No, sir” to “Yes, sir”
  – Kids may “Yes” you so that they can speed up an
    uncomfortable process (one in which they sense they
    have fallen short of your expectations).
  – Make sure that solutions developed are REALISTIC
    for your child.
  – Maintain accountability CONSISTENTLY. If goals are
    not met, figure out why with your child, and adjust
    accordingly.
  – Explore goals, rewards (intrinsic and extrinsic),
    privileges (postponing until agreed-upon activities
    are met).
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                  Success Factors

         Additional Ingredients…




• Notice (to yourself and aloud to others) your
  children’s assets and efforts.
• Give your child one specific, genuine
  compliment a day.
• When other attempts miss the mark, empower
  your child through creative, collaborative
  problem-solving (their ingenuity is amazing).
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          Supporting Success:
          Dealing with Setbacks
    When in doubt, resist the SHOUT!
• Acknowledge difficulty, empathize
• Explain relevance
• Help your child find other options.
• Emphasize solutions, not what the student
  should have done.
• Practice accountability
• Ignite Motivation
• Praise successes, big and small

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    When to Consider Seeking Help
•    These challenges are all NORMAL!
•    Kids need trial and ERROR to learn,
     problem-solve, figure it out…expect that
•    In some cases, it makes sense to seek
     outside help:
       1.   Tapped out
       2.   Relationship unraveling
       3.   Potential and performance out of sync
       4.   Your child asks for help
       5.   Your child seems depressed or anxious

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Patience…the Seed of Self-preservation.

• Why haven’t you quit…
  – How easy is it to break a bad habit?
• A process, not a light switch
• Any kind of behavioral change takes
  time, effort, and lots of practice.




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           Success Factors:
  Patience…the Seed of Self-preservation.
• Create realistic expectations
• Praise progress of any size (baby steps)
  generously (it’s free!), specifically, and
  sincerely.
• Change takes time. Have faith in yourself and
  your child.
• Plant and nourish your seeds of patience; plant
  and nourish their seeds of growth.


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              In Summary…

• Teaching organization and time management
  skills builds a foundation for learning.
• Our kids learn from US; provide tools and
  strategies through Role Modeling, Direct
  Instruction, and Limit Setting.
• Recognize successes. Problem-Solve through
  challenges.
• Collaborate to foster buy-in and self-motivation.
• Consistency provides a platform for success.
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The Journey toward Success
The student who’s developing abilities and
habits that foster:
–   Learning
–   Independence
–   Creative problem-solving
–   Effective time management
–   Use of constructive learning tools
–   Goal setting and achievement

Nurture these aspects of your child’s
development, and you will witness success.


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          Questions?
Time Management and Organization Skills:
     A Basic Toolbox for Building a Solid Learning Foundation

            Ali Zidel Meyers, MSW
              Meyers Learning Center



               www.MeyersLearningCenter.com

                www.meyerslearningcenter.com

				
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