So how can we, as parents and educators, turn things around for students and help them improve their organizational skills? According to Diane, it is fairly simple.
Here are her top tips for helping your kids keep organized:
1. Simplicity is KEY – Ditch the desk and duo-tangs and lose the locker! Using a one-binder system is a simple, all-in-one-place for students to maintain and organize their school work (including writing materials!). Keep a “shove-it” folder for loose items, acting as a catch-all place for permission forms, rubrics, loose worksheets, etc. Use a clear, easily accessible wall calendar or kitchen agenda where family members can record events, deadlines and things to do. If kids can’t see it, they won’t likely do it!
2. The 5 minute daily habit – This is where the magic happens! Upon arriving home from school, student should share what is in their agenda and binder with family members. Are there any actionable items that need completing like homework, permission forms, etc? If so, dates and deadlines should be added to the family calendar! Another good habit to get into is spending some time on Sunday evening looking forward. This gives students the opportunity to “check-in” with the coming week and any activities, projects or homework that is coming up
3. Giving control to your child – Let kids choose (within reason!) the time to complete homework. Some students may find it best to complete homework while still at school or on the bus. It is also important that homework is completed in a place where accountability is built-in (with a tutor, parent or sibling). In general, it is good practice to find out when your child’s best time for work is and match it to the demand
4. OOSOOM – out of sight, out of mind! If a student cannot access something, chances are they will forget and struggle to stay organized. Keep your kids organized at home by setting a specific place for back packs, binders and homework
Does your child have a tough time keeping their backpack tidy? Understood.org has some fabulous backpack organization tips and tricks, including using a luggage tag to help your child remember what needs to go to school versus what needs to come home – genius!
Keeping organized and on top of things is difficult for adults, let alone young, developing brains. Let’s help our kids keep things together in a cohesive and simplified way, while boosting their confidence and making them feel good about school!