A new academic season is about to begin again. This year make the transition an easy one by getting the kids organized. Better organization means less stress for everyone!
10 Ways to Get Organized:
- Shop for school supplies early to get the best selection. Use lists provided by the school to ensure that every child has what he or she needs. Allow kids to help pick out their supplies so that they become excited about school. Keep the supplies in a plastic tub until school starts.
- Create homework space. Designate a special place for the kids to do homework. Keep it away from distractions such as the television or play areas. It’s best to have younger children do homework near a parent so that they can easily ask for help when needed. Older students will benefit from having their own desks equipped with a lamp, sturdy chair, and supplies.
- Put up a bulletin board just for school information. Schools send lots of information home, so have your children get into the habit of giving you all the messages every day. Sort through them and tack up anything you’ll need for future reference. Put a calendar on the bulletin board and update it weekly.
- Set a regular time for homework. Children do their best work when they have a routine, so establish a time for homework each night. On days when no homework is assigned, they should use the time to read or study.
- Respect your children’s homework time. Turn off the television, radio, and other distractions to allow quiet time. Don’t rush them and don’t use your student’s study time to play with other kids—they may feel left out and begin to resent homework.
- Review homework with your child to make sure they understand and complete the assignments. Instruct them to bring the textbook related to the assignment home with them.
- Establish communication with your child’s teacher. Attend open house and parent-teacher conference sessions. Know what is expected of your child so you can help them comply. Your involvement and interest shows your child that you value a good education.
- Help kids learn to plan and prioritize homework assignments. Assist them in writing down assignments each day and in using that homework list to be sure all work is complete. Middle and high school students can use the list and a planner or calendar to prioritize and track daily and long-term projects.
- Let your kids know your expectations up front. This will eliminate tears and frustration later. Stick to the routine you set up. Recognize that each child has academic strengths and weaknesses. If your child is struggling in a certain area, provide support and help before grades slip too far. If you aren’t able to assist directly, ask the teacher about tutoring options.
- Teach your kids how to study. This is something that isn’t always taught in school and children are often left to figure it out on their own. Show them how to review chapters and prepare for tests. Teach them to complete the hardest subjects first while their concentration is best. Show them how to take breaks to revive their minds.
Kate Spencer is a life coach and freelance writer. She specializes in helping people get organized and reach their goals. When she isn’t writing, she’s often helping her 12-year-old daughter organize her room.