Cheryl Guy
 

Try these ideas to help your children stay organized at school

Published 6:10am Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It’s sometimes hard for kids to be organized and keep their school assignments straight. Get started with these ideas, for better organization at school.

Time management: Understanding a sequence

Make sequence clear to your child by giving your child specific verbal cues — first, next, then, before, after — as you develop a routine. Ask questions: What comes next? Do you remember what you did first?

Reinforce sequence lessons by:

• Giving your child a series of directions using these verbal cues — and make it fun (“First do 10 jumping jacks, then write your name backwards …”)

• Having your child give you directions as well.

• Asking your child to point out words that are related to time.

• Talking about future vacation plans or reminiscing about his last birthday party.

Calendars

Use a weekly calendar to help your child learn the days of the week as well as the concepts of yesterday, tomorrow, and so on. A monthly calendar is information overload; a week’s view is easier to grasp and can still be used to teach the concept of time management.

Fill in everyone’s (parents’ and children’s) schedule each week — appointments, dinners, sports practice, and so on. At the end of each day, have your child cross off completed activities and discuss the next day emphasizing, “This is what we’ll do tomorrow, Friday.”

As your child grows, the calendar will help develop other skills, like accountability. Your child can see when you will or will not be available to help with a project, and can plan accordingly and assume responsibility for himself or herself.

Clocks

Analog clocks, as opposed to digital clocks, show that time moves and lets kids know where they stands in relation to the rest of the hour or day. Practice telling time with your child at home and ask her for a different way to say 6:45 (a quarter to seven). Reinforce time keeping ideas over and over so your child can gain ownership of clock time.

Using planners

Just like adults, children need a place to keep track of deadlines, appointments, and other information. Using a planner will help your child manage all she has to remember and also enter her class schedule, a friend’s number to call for homework clarification, and a detailed description of homework and due dates.

Help your child go over her planner regularly. With guidance, your child can learn to write down all homework deadlines and avoid last-minute cramming and unpleasant surprises.

Prioritizing

Help your child practice prioritizing homework by figuring out together how many assignments he or she has to complete, which are due tomorrow, and which are the most challenging. Encourage your child to start the most difficult homework first.

Dr. Cheryl Guy is the parent involvement coordinator for the Decatur County Schools. You can email her at cguy@dcboe.com.

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