I t’s time to head back to school, and we all want our students to start the year off on the right foot. For many students, learning some back to school organization may be the most important lesson of the new year!
Think your kids already know how to organize their school work and time? Think again. Organization is a learned skill, and one that very few children will learn on their own. Practicing some back to school organization will help your kids throughout their academic careers and throughout their lives.
Here are some simple back to school organization strategies that you can incorporate easily into your child’s routine:
Back to School Organization Tip #1: Write it down.
Most schools provide their students with a daily planner to help track homework, test schedules and long-term assignments. To build some back to school organization skills at the fresh start of a marking period, sit down with your child and fill in all of the upcoming events you can based on the course syllabus (or, if your child works better on the computer, set up a calendar online). Also add in known events. For example, if your student has a vocabulary quiz every Friday, enter those for the entire marking period.
Remember to jot down activities that will impact preparation time–events such as family vacations, sports practices, competitions and more. This is especially important when planning for long-term projects. You don’t want to realize the night before a major book report is due that you also have a Math League Meet after school and Choir Concert in the evening.
Keep a copy of the calendar for yourself. This is crucial if you have a child prone to losing things or forgetting to bring books home. (If your child is good at managing devices, there may be some apps you can use for calendar organization.)
Organization Tip #2: Break it up.
The thought of a long-term assignment can be completely overwhelming to the average child—especially when returning to back to school organization after summer. But to a child who is a procrastinator, ADHD, or just chronically disorganized, long-term projects like reports are pure torture.
Teach your child to break up large projects into smaller, more manageable pieces with separate deadlines. Creating a book report cover or researching 10 facts about a topic is a far less stressful assignment than researching, writing and drawing a 10-page report.
Keep deadlines reasonable. Chronic procrastinators consistently underestimate the amount of time needed to complete an assignment, and then panic when work doesn’t progress as quickly as planned. Stick to easy-to-complete, small tasks and—voila!—the project is done, and done well—and your child will feel more confident in her back to school organization skills.
Organization Tip #3: Back it up.
Back up. It happens. Despite best intentions, your child has forgotten an assignment, a book, or crucial project instructions. Have an emergency plan in place. You should have the phone numbers of three school mates on hand in case you need to check whether the math problems assigned were odd or even numbers, or to borrow a history textbook, or even to get a copy of the vocabulary worksheet.
To avoid forgetfulness in the future and build new back to school organization skills teach your child to use the planner at his locker. He can see exactly what homework he has that week and bring home the books, papers, etc. he’ll need. I say, “week,” because we are always planning ahead, remember?
Organization Tip #4: Pack early.
Avoid the hectic, early morning scramble with frantic kids searching for papers and books. Did I leave it in the den? The dining room table? Mom, the bus is here!
Here’s where you can model some great back to school organization skills with your child. The simple solution is to take an extra five minutes in the evening and pack backpacks. Have a special spot designated for backpacks, sports equipment—even shoes. In the morning, because of your back to school organization the night before, your kids will have everything they need for the day, including the homework they completed so diligently!
What strategies do you use to help your child (and yourself) develop good back to school organization habits? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
Back to Basics Learning Dynamics provides exceptional 1:1 tutoring in over 60 subjects, from first grade reading help to AP Calculus, plus back to school organization, study habits, and everything in-between. When your child needs help with homework, essays, test preparation, back to school organization, or intensive private tutoring including credit recovery, count on our 30+ years of experience to help. Call us at 302-594-0754 or contact us at the link below to get started today!
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