While some kids naturally do well in both sports and school at all times, others need a bit of guidance when it comes to juggling life obligations. We’re always happy when a child discovers his love of fencing and wants to spend more and more time training, but we also recognize how important it is for them to focus on school work. As with any other sport or activity, the key is to teach balance.
Utilize a Planner
Make sure your child has a planner so that he is involved in blocking out the time necessary for his day-to-day activities. You know what time school starts and ends and you know what times your fencing practices are. Have him block out the times on his calendar and make sure you are leaving plenty of time for regular healthy meals and homework or study time.
Spend some time each week listing upcoming appointments and tasks and making priorities. Don’t wait until the day of conflicting events to make a decision. Map everything out in advance and show your child how to prioritize and choose which appointments or practices are most important on any given day.
Large projects that need to be done over a longer period of time should be planned for. Help your student to understand that if he breaks his work into small chunks he will still be able to fit it in over the course of the week and on the weekends. If he waits until the last minute to do a project, he’ll have to give up his fencing training time in order to get his school work done. That means he’ll miss out on practice time and he’ll have a hard time cramming in a project. Make it clear that schoolwork will always take priority, so proper planning will ensure he can participate in the activities he enjoys as well.
Organize in Advance
Have your child organize his homework, school bag, and fencing gear every night before bed. That way he will leave the house in the morning with everything he needs for the day. Make a daily list of items needed so he can work down the checklist the night before. Monday he needs to remember to take his book report to school; Tuesday he needs to take his fencing bag for practice right after classes; and so on. This will ensure you aren’t driving back and forth, making extra trips, and constantly looking for missing gear items at the last minute.
Recognize that your child needs to be just that – a child – from time to time. While we want to see you in your fencing classes as much as possible, we will always support school as a priority. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you and your child transition during the school year. We want to be a positive part of your lives and we’re here to help.