From keeping track of classroom assignments and materials to attending to after school activities and other daily duties, staying organized and on top of everything isn’t an easy task for children. Kids who struggle to keep their lives in order commonly encounter setbacks at school. Luckily, parents can take some simple steps to start helping their children lead a less-scattered life, building organization strategies that can be put to use at school and at home.
Help your child get organized using some of the following tips and strategies. Here you’ll find tools and activities to support productivity, improve time management, and enhance the successful completion of goals.
Tips on How to Improve Organization in Children:
1.) Post steps for chores. List the daily duties your child must complete and include clear, thorough instructions on what must be done. For example, “doing the dishes” may include collecting cups and plates, rinsing them, running the dishwasher and putting the dishes in their designated spots when everything is clean.
2.) “Tidy Up” together. Set a time every night for you and your child to “tidy up.” Put her in charge of her play space. Make sure to observe and offer advice on where things should go.
3.) Inspect. Hold surprise “inspections” from time to time. This could include examining your child’s room, ensuring the completion of chores, or simply making sure your child’s backpack and school materials are all in order. Consider giving a small reward for exemplary efforts.
4.) Make a master calendar. Work with your child to fill in dates and important events on a big family calendar. Check with your child after school, adding in any new obligations. Make sure to display the calendar prominently in a family common area.
5.) Establish a homework routine. Ensure your child has a neat, quite place to get school work done, and schedule a time for your child to study or complete work every night. If there’s no homework one night, make it a reading hour.
6.) Make a homework supply box. Fill a box with common school supplies such as pens, paper, tape, rulers glue, paper clips, ect. Post a checklist on the cabinet so your child can mark when an item as been taken and returned.
7.) Post checklists. Help your child establish helpful routines by posting some simple checklists around the house. These could include a nighttime routine before bed, steps for getting ready in the morning and a last minute check by the door to make sure nothing important for the day is forgotten.
8.) Prepare for the day ahead. Have your child get ready for the next day before going to bed. This could include gathering homework and class supplies, organizing a backpack and picking out an outfit for the following day.
10.) Learn from cooking. Cooking a meal involves the kind of step-by-step process with which many kids with poor organizational skills struggle. Use dinner time as an opportunity to model organization skills. Ask your child to help gather ingredients, measure out quantities, set cooking times and follow directions from a cook book. Consider taking on a unique or challenging meal to prepare once a week.