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Keeping Kids Organized for School

September 03, 2008
by Lindsey Chapman
With the beginning of a new school year comes a need to help kids manage their extracurricular activities, homework and busy schedules. Here’s a how-to guide with advice on helping your kids meet their commitments with ease.

Where to Begin?

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KidsHealth says there are three steps necessary to accomplishing any goal: get organized, stay focused and “get it done.” Make sure kids have the necessary supplies to be successful. For school, they may need an assignment notebook or color-coded folders. At home, designate a special place just for their school items. When doing homework, encourage children to stick with their task from start to finish. When they’ve accomplished a goal, eliminate anxiety the following morning by making sure any schoolbooks and assignments make it into their backpack for the next day (and that the bag is in a place it can be easily found tomorrow).

Track Your Responsibilities

Santa Claus was on the right track by “making a list and checking it twice.” Routines and list-making skills can go a long way in helping a child do well in school, according to FamilyEducation.com. Have kids study in the same place at the same time every night, and keep a list of assignments that must be completed, supplies that need to be taken to class or other reminders of tasks they need to accomplish.

Time Management

With a list of things to do in place, you and your kids will need to figure out how much time it will take to get tasks and activities accomplished. “The difference between successful and unsuccessful people, a lot of times, is their ability to manage time,” explains John Severson, a parent in Minnesota. “Fundamentally, it’s a learned skill.” Parents who manage their time well will serve as good examples to help children manage their time effectively. Better Homes & Gardens offers ideas for helping parents and kids map out their time effectively on a calendar that will be easy to use and understand.

Clean Bedrooms

Most parents can sympathize with having to make emergency trips to school to drop off a forgotten homework assignment, a misplaced lunch or a musical instrument that’s been left behind. If your kids could benefit from a little more order at home, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has some tips to help parents and children organize their bedrooms.

For the Kid Who Just Won’t Get Motivated

Even the best ideas won’t work for every child. If you’re having a hard time getting your son or daughter motivated to use an assignment notebook, complete homework on time or study for an exam, Dr. Ruth Peters says the consistent use of a reward system may do the trick. Extend special privileges for a job well done at school, and take away a reward when a child doesn’t fulfill their end of the deal.

Study Skills

According to Scholastic, two ways to effectively manage the challenges and scheduling issues that come with a busy school routine are ranking priorities and avoiding procrastination. Accomplishing the right goals in the right order can at least make everything on a to-do list feel more manageable, if not less stressful. Scholastic also features a great quiz that can help kids understand their time management style (or lack thereof), and learn where they can make improvements in their schedule.
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