The Covid pandemic has caused us all to take an introspective look at the way we live our lives and how we achieve balance. For school-going children, especially in Secondary School, it’s no different and they have been perhaps the most vulnerable to mental health issues over the last two years.
So in this article, we take a look at how we can bring balance into school life to support our kids and make learning a positive and enjoyable experience. Work-life balance has been a topic in the workplace for years but is one we need to address for our children too. After all, more balanced children are more productive students.
Here are 7 tips you can consider to achieve a healthier school-life balance.
1. Stick to a timetable
There is no avoiding homework, but you aren’t being kind to yourself if you leave it all to the last minute. Work out what homework you have to do by when and schedule time to get it done on your calendar. Give yourself at least one day where you don’t do any homework and schedule in time for hobbies and other activities you enjoy. On the days you do have homework, make sure you take plenty of breaks. Download a Pomodoro app to help you take breaks at regular intervals.
2. Schedule in blocks
Focus on doing one thing at a time and set your focus solely on that until your goal is achieved. Don’t be tempted to multitask. It may have been a fashionable pursuit in the past but it’s been proven to be counterproductive so don’t even try. Switch off all distractions and hunker down. Yes, that means putting your mobile phone away for the period. You’ll also find that scheduling your time in blocks, you’ll get more done as well as your thoughts won’t be scattered.
3. Reward yourself when you are done
Think of something you get enjoyment from – it could be a meal or your favourite show and reward yourself with it when you have stuck to your timetable and have gotten things done for the days. No cheating! If you didn’t achieve your study goals, no rewards! But by setting yourself a reward, you have something to look forward to and an incentive to get things done and achieve better school life balance in the process.
4. Limit your CCAs for better school life balance
CCAs are great to build a rounded character, but don’t go overboard. If you involve yourself in too many clubs and have commitments in them all, they could end up taking over your time completely and even your life. Pick a CCA you enjoy and that enhances your life rather than adding stress to it, and devote the rest of your time to your studies. Your CCAs should be an enjoyment, not a drain.
5. Rethink what homework time means to you
Attitude is everything. If you have a negative attitude towards homework, it will naturally become a negative experience. How can you make it something you look forward to? Think of it as “me” time – a way to invest in yourself and enrich yourself. Can you have your favourite music on as you work (don’t make it a distraction), or make yourself your favourite drink to sit down with? Do you need to always do it at your desk? Can you take it outside sometimes? Make it a time you get to look forward to daily.
6. Ask for help when you need it
Achieving school life balance is important. Turn to friends, family or your teachers when you have questions or you need help. Make sure you have someone you can vent to if you have to. Having someone to share your wind-down time with after your homework session is also helpful.
7. Give yourself permission to not be perfect
Be kind to yourself! We are often our own worst drivers and seek perfection in everything we do. But you need to make sure, no matter how much work you have to do that you don’t neglect your own self-care. Ask yourself if what you have done is good enough and then leave it there. There is no such thing as perfection. It’s a frustratingly unattainable goal. Don’t fall victim to it.