Establishing and Maintaining Organizational Habits

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Establishing and Maintaining Organizational Habits

“Mom! I forgot my science assignment at school, and it’s due tomorrow!”  “Oh no! I got another late slip because I didn’t know the assignment was due today.”  “I did my math assignment, but I have no idea what happened to it!”

Do words like these sound at all familiar?  Perhaps one of the biggest hindrances to success in school can be attributed to student disorganization.  It is imperative that students for strong organizational habits and maintain those habits both in school and at home.  Here are some tips to help make sure your child is on his/her way to being organized.

  1. Start the school year with all necessary supplies clearly labeled.
    On the first day of school, help your child organize his/her desk, cubby, drawer, etc to optimize the organization of these supplies.  Make sure your child knows where all of the supplies are. Keep extra school supplies at home so that when your child starts running low on pencils, erasers, or pens, you are able to easily replenish their supply.
  2. Keep a daily planner.
    A planner will help the student write down all assignments and tasks with their due dates.  This will eliminate confusion or forgetfulness. Once an assignment is completed, cross it off.  Before the end of the school day, cross-check the planner to ensure that the student brings home all necessary books and homework assignments.
  3. Consider having a color coding system for notebooks and folders.
    For example, choose both a red notebook and a red folder for history, or a yellow notebook and yellow folder for science.  Remind your child that all papers for each separate class should be placed in the folder for that particular class. No loose papers should be placed in a desk.
  4. Be consistent on where things are placed.
    Each day, pack items in your backpack in the same place.  At home, make sure to have a consistent place where the homework is unloaded and completed.  Then, make sure completed work gets put right back into the folder and back into the backpack.  This will help eliminate work left lying on a table or bed at home instead of being brought back to school.
  5. Get organized for the next day the night before.
    Make sure all garbage or things that are unneeded get taken out of the backpack and tossed into the garbage.  Pack up completed homework and books into the backpack as soon as homework is completed. Set out the next day’s clothing the night before.  Make sure lunches are packed (if applicable) the night before. Set all items needed to bring to school somewhere where they will not be forgotten.
  6. Keep routines as consistent as possible.
    While life can get crazy busy sometimes,it will benefit your child greatly to establish and follow a daily  routine as much as possible. Whatever the after-school and evening plan is at your house, try to stick to it.  Children do well when they have parameters and expectations within which to work. The same is true for morning routine.  Consider having a checklist of items that need to be accomplished in the morning before leaving for school. Consistency really will help!

Establishing organizational skills is a key to success in school  I hope that these tips will be helpful as you try to help your child to maximize their educational experience.

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