John Severson has the kind of super-charged kids that make you marvel: his high school junior juggles music, cross-country skiing, debate, and a job while fitting in homework for his advanced-placement courses and time with friends. John's other son checks his planner to see if he should be at soccer or scouts, whether he should be studying, or if he's free to just hang out. He's 13 years old, but he's on top of his schedule.
Most kids like these aren't just born that way. As kids finish up the summer day-camp circuit and head back to school, parents like Severson are gearing up to help their children balance the stresses of homework and music, drama and sports, volunteering, church activities -- and whatever free time they can find.
"The difference between successful and unsuccessful people, a lot of times, is their ability to manage time," says Severson, who is a chemistry teacher in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. "Fundamentally, it's a learned skill."
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