Whether it is balancing our time to arrive early when meeting friends, or keeping track of bills to make sure they are paid before the due date, organization plays a part in every hour of every day. Children face different struggles with keeping organized as they learn to balance school and other activities such as sports of music lessons. Helping them build organizational skills early will not only reduce their stress, but can actually lead to higher grades in the future. Here are a few tips to help your kiddo get there:
1. Understand organizational struggles
Look at your child’s problems with organization so you can develop a plan for improving these skills. Is your child often losing things? Does your child lack the proactive skills to plan and schedule? Before coming up with a treatment plan, any doctor has to diagnose the patient—the same is true for your child’s organizational needs.
2. Encourage reading ahead
Reading is a time consuming activity, but when there is an extra block of time available it’s best for your child to read ahead. This will alleviate any scheduling issues with other time constraints. This will also increase learned material to stick as they are seeing concepts for a second of third time when their teacher brings it up in class. Bonus: this will boost your child’s confidence and allow them to stand out as a prepared student.
3. Manage their paperwork
While more and more of today’s assignments are being completed online, there are still a lot of papers that will be passed to your child’s hands each day. Help them get organized by purchasing a binder with tabs and color coded sections, and show them how to use it effectively. Up the fun-factor and purchase stickers or glitter gel pens for labeling.
4. Pay attention to study space
Clear the space where your child studies to reduce distractions. The fewer the items the better! Also make sure there is excellent lighting to reduce the strain on their eyes.
5. Set parental controls
If your child is easily distracted with online browsing, consider setting parental controls to include only “school necessary” websites such as Wikipedia or a class site. You can set time limits on these controls to later open a browser setting for “non-study” times.
6. Go digital
Just like a vast amount of papers need to be organized, so do digital files. Online resources like Dropbox or Google Drive are great ways to help a student get and stay organized. Creating folders for each of their classes and developing a system for keeping materials organized can be a huge help as students take on more and more coursework. This will also make it a cinch to go back and look at old work while preparing for tests.
Developing organization skills early is an investment that will set your child up for success during school, but also in life. These tips will help your child not only perform better in school, but reduce stress through better study skills. As they incorporate these organization tips into habits, they will begin to develop even more methods. They may even teach you a thing or two!