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Where to begin to help your child in school, when you have no idea where to start?

A Parent asked me the other day, “You give so much good information on how to help my child in school, but I have no idea where to start!”

Great questions!


She told me, “My boys will get home from school, and will only want to play on electronics. They don’t listen when I ask them to do homework or study. And I have no idea where to get started.”

Where to begin when you don’t have any idea where to start

First, she says that her boys will play electronics before doing homework or studying. This is SO common, as many parents face this problem.

This is actually a lack of time management. Time Management is a skill that I teach as an Academic Mentor, as a part of study skills that all students need!

So what can a parent do?

To help teach her high schoolers good time management, she needs to get her boys on a good after school routine!

I actually don’t recommend letting our kids get home to just relax.

Why? Because most teens do not have good time management, they begin to relax for a few minutes, and then hours later when it’s time to go to bed, they remember that they have that assignment due tomorrow.

If this is the similar cycle your teen or preteen has in your home every day, then you know that this can lead to disaster, for sleep, for learning, and for grades.

So before your child is allowed to relax or play on electronics, they must complete their schoolwork responsibilities. Those responsibilities include reviewing notes, completing all homework, and studying for their next test.

How to get my child on a good routine

First, get a timer. Grab your kitchen timer and set it for 30 minutes, so that your child knows they need to stay focused for a set amount of time in order to complete this assignment at this time.

Second, get a paper or spreadsheet, any way of tracking time for your child. Write down, minute by minute, what is expected of your child to work and complete. Once it is written down, it can be harder for your child to complain or try to get out of it.

Here is an example of what a written routine might look like:

  • 4:00 - Teen gets home

  • 4:05 - Read and review notes taken today

  • 4:10 - 5 minute break

  • 4:15 - 30 minutes on Assignment A

  • 4:45 - 5 minute break

  • 4:50 - 30 minutes on Assignment B

  • 5:20 - 5 minute break

  • 5:25 - 30 minutes studying and reviewing for the next test

Write it down, set the timer, and let them get to work! Once your child can stick to this new after school routine, they will know what is expected of them.

And they will begin to learn better time management techniques, which is a skill needed for success at college, success at their next job, and success in life!



Hey there! My name is Rachael and I have been a private tutor for over 10 years. I earned my undergraduate degree in 2 and a half years and earned my graduate degree by age 22. I have tutored dozens of high school students, college students, and graduate students. I offer support, encouragement, and resources to help parents learn how to best help their teen or child that is struggling in school.


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