How to Keep Kids Organized at Home and School
Learning is supposed to be fun, but being disorganized can make grasping new concepts difficult. With a little help, teaching your kids how to get organized will instill a lesson sure to yield life-long positive results. Here are some good habits to encourage that will help the student in your household make schoolwork a priority.
Create a School Zone at Home
Create an efficient and neat space that’s dedicated to schoolwork and schoolwork only. This will be a place where kids can do their homework, clean out their backpacks, write their agendas — basically, do all things school-related. Pick a spot like the home office or a nook in the kitchen, one that’s quiet, free of distractions and clutter. Sock your School Zone with the proper tools such as pencils, pens, paper, dictionary, index cards, etc. Keep school forms that need to be signed here, too.
Get in the Routine
Children crave routines. At home, you can create a similar structure to the one they have at school to help them stay organized all day long. In the morning, the routine could include waking at the same time every day, getting dressed, eating breakfast, packing their lunch and backpack and brushing their teeth. At night, they can decide on an outfit for the next day, figure out tomorrow's lunch menu (and make lunch, if possible) and pack up completed homework. Putting everything your student will need in one place, so it's ready to grab as you all head out the door in the morning, will also cut way down on the chaos.
Establish a routine for doing homework, too. Some children can get home from school and immediately start on homework while others need a break from the school day before diving in. Figure out what works best for your child and stick to it.
Use a Daily Planner
Get your kids into good habits early with a daily planner or agenda. For elementary school children, a planner is a great way for teachers and parents to communicate daily goings-on. Not only does this get kids in the habit of using a planner, but it also teaches them calendar and time management skills. For older kids, it's a tool for keeping track of daily homework assignments and test reminders.
Check Backpacks Every Day
Meet your child in the school zone at the same time each day to check their book bag. Start by reviewing their daily planner and ask for any papers they need to give you or forms you need to sign. It's a lot easier to stay on top of schoolwork every day than to try and correct weeks of disorganization and clutter. End the backpack check by going over your child's homework assignments. Then its time to head home and have a healthy snack before getting ready for tomorrow!