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February 2016 Topic of the Month

The topic this month is organization. Many parents and teachers often hear this about homework, “I did it.“ However, the work doesn’t get turned in. Was it lost? Is it in the backpack that looks like a recycling bin? How about the missing shoe or sports uniform? The good news is that organization is a skill we can learn and get better at doing. Here are some organization ideas from myself and The Parent Institute:

  • Help your student write down a checklist of everything he/she needs to take to school. Post it in a visible location, i.e. by the front door, on the mirror, refrigerator, etc.
  • Have specific locations to put belongings, i.e. books and backpack by the door, eye glasses on the same table, etc.
  • Encourage daily to-do lists. It feels good to check off completed tasks.
  • Use Post-It notes to put reminders everywhere, i.e. inside a book, on the kitchen or bathroom counter, in the car, etc.
  • To help stick with a schedule, try using a timer while doing homework.
  • Homework calendars or charts can help.
  • Teach your student to plan ahead before starting a project or long assignment. Decide how the task will be completed step-by-step. Then stick to the plan. This might entail writing a list of needed supplies for a project or planning the steps to complete an assignment due in two weeks.
  • Have your student clean out their backpack at least once a week.
  • Help your student to verbalize what they have planned or need to do/take for the next day. Saying it out loud helps us slow down and process. This can become routine, which becomes a good habit.
  • Disorganized students and adults need routines, i.e. a regular place and time for homework, laying out clothes for the next day, packing the backpack before bedtime, etc.
  • Set a good example. Put things away in their designated spots, i.e. keys, mail, cleaning supplies, etc. If you’re organized your student is more likely to be organized, too.

Keep focused on small improvements and Happy Organizing!