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Time Management for Teens

Time Management for Teens

Entering high school has brought many changes about for my teenager.  One of the big changes is the need for teaching time management for teens to her.  It is an important life skill she will need not only in high school and college, but in the workplace and at home in her adult life.

Time Management for Teens from Starts At Eight

For many years I have done all the planning and time management.  With the use of Homeschool Tracker  I have always printed weekly assignment sheets for the all of our children. (Here you can see How to Organize Your Homeschool Year with Homeschool Tracker)  For high school though, I have switched my teen to a paper planner – The Four Year High School Planner from HEDUA.

Homeschool Tracker

My goal in giving her the Four Year High School Planner was to have her plan out her own weeks.  I made her a skeleton list of approximately what she needs to accomplish each week from which she then decides how to schedule out her time.

Weekly Skeleton School Work List:

  • Math 5x
  • Science 4x – The DIVE Cds have a 4 day plan with one of the days basically being a catch up day.  She has opted not to use a catch up day and only schedules 3x
  • History 3x
  • Lightning Literature 3-5x – This depends on if it is a week where she is reading a long book and thus has chapters and questions each day or if it is a work on papers week.
  • Photography 2x
  • Latin Roots 3x – Latin Roots is set up for 3 cards per week.  She has opted to do them all in one day.  Then once every 3 weeks is a review week where she schedules time for me to drill her with the flash cards she has made up to that point.
  • Logic 1x – We are using The Art of Argument (you can see my review here).  We do it together and plan on taking as long as we need to complete it so 1 day each week is what we are doing.
  • Computer Programming 3x
  • Violin 5x

From that list she plans out her own weeks for me to check and approve.  On Sunday night each week I go through the planner to ensure it is complete and ready for the week.  This allows us to put the responsibility in her hands.  She knows what she needs to cover, and  how to do that each week.  Then if work is not complete she loses out on free time, tv time, friend time, or whatever the case may be until she completes the work in her planner.

There are times when I will see that we have a busy couple of weeks, like the weeks in December before Christmas, or we just have an unusual amount of out of the house time, or days we are unable to be home to focus on school work.  When that occurs I will recommend she stretch one week over two, or tell her to leave out math on certain days, etc.  This allows her to see how we need to be flexible sometimes, and adjust to the ever changing needs in our lives, while still keeping up with the tasks that need to be completd.

Time Management for Teens from Starts At Eight

Steps To Managing a High School Schedule:

  1. Create a skeleton list for your teen to use as a reference.
  2. Each month have them fill out the Month in View to account for things like field trips, medical appointments, unusual days off, etc.  When using a month in view it is helpful to use different colors, and to section of portions of the squares for repeat items.  In the bottom of her squares to drew a line to block of a section for her gymnastics schedule which is a year round repeating event.  Then colors are used on other items to designate things that are just her, or things that are not her but affect her schedule in some way.
  3. Have your teen plan out his/her week (In the case of history and Lightning Literature for my daughter, she plans out by unit which can be 3 weeks).
  4. On Sunday night go over the planner to make any changes necessary such as additions where things were missed, the spreading out of the days, or removing things you won’t get to.

Looking for more organizational help for your teen?

Check out these articles:

  1. 5 Reasons to Limit Your Teens Texting Time
  2. Money Management for Teens
  3. 4 Year High School Plan ~ FREE Spreadsheet Printable
  4. Plan Your High School Electives ~ FREE Printable Pack

Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight


  1. Eva Varga
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 09:34:05

    I love this! My daughter will be in 7th this coming fall and we will be using a HEDUA student planner for the first time. She is independent in a few subjects already .. I like the suggestion of providing a skeleton list. 🙂

  2. Heidi
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 10:06:49

    Eva, the skeleton list has been very helpful. Once she got into the habit of filling in her planner she was able to get away from the skeleton list and just refer to previous weeks to be sure she included everything she needed to. Having her schedule her time has really helped her to see the bigger picture of our “household” schedule as she has to work around whatever else is going on to complete her work, and schedule time with me to cover the subjects we do together.

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  8. susanhomeschooling
    Nov 07, 2017 @ 10:43:31

    I have one high school student who has a hard time managing his time. If he would stop daydreaming, that would help!

  9. Heidi
    Nov 07, 2017 @ 14:25:42

    I always find mine out of his chair! You can’t get anything accomplished if you are eating, prepping to eat, asking about chores, going to the bathroom, etc!

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