Helping your children get and stay organized
Helping your children get and stay organized
Organising skills can make lives easier for both parents and children. Though it might take some effort in the beginning, in the long run, it is worth it. When some kids may be natural organisers, most other children struggle with organisation and time management. Not being organised means misplacing their things such as books and stationery, forgetting lunches at home, boxes at school, failing to finish tasks and home works on time, delay with their schoolwork, and so on. So developing good organisational skills at a young age is essential for children to prepare for and to succeed in school as well as life beyond it.
In this blog, we will look at a list of strategies you can use to help your child get and keep their life under control with proper organisational skills.
- Checklists and to do list:
Help your kids get into the habit of keeping a checklist or a to do list, to make a note of important things such as: things to carry for the class, stationery, important things such as home works and assignments, household chores et cetera. Encourage them to have a small notebook or notepad dedicated to listing these items and to keep the list in a place where they can see it often and check off accomplishments as they go on with their organisation.
- Breaking tasks into smaller steps:
You can teach your children to break school assignments or even household chores into smaller, manageable chunks. This will make your child understand that every work, be it household or school, has steps such as; beginning, middle, and end which will make the tasks feel less overwhelming.
- Calendar and time management:
Encourage children to write down important tasks in the calendar. This can also be a large master calendar for listing everyone’s schedules, which will help each of you to keep track of each other’s activities and avoid scheduling conflicts. Ask your children to keep an estimate of time for specific tasks and after they complete the given task, ask whether or not the time estimated was accurate. With this they will understand if suggested adjustments will work or not for the next time.
- Establishing routines:
Creating a daily schedule can help your child learn what to expect throughout the day. For example this can be play time, school time, dinner time, bedtime, TV time et cetera. This will help your child in falling into a fixed pattern and enable them to understand what to expect.
- Organising assignments and schoolwork:
Before beginning on any project or assignment, encourage children to number their assignments for the day in the order which they should be done. They can start and end with the ones that are not too long or difficult, but saving the longest, hardest assignments for the last should be avoided. If there are bigger assignments ,that are due in a couple of days’ time show kids how to organise it into smaller chunks so they can work those bigger assignments also into their daily routines, which will help them not to overburden themselves before the day of the final submission.
Using binders and folders to keep track of notes, assignments, papers, and home-works can also help your child stay organised, they can also create to do and done folders for all the different assignments.
- Designated study spaces:
Set aside a specific place at home where your child can study without interruption, Study space should be the same place every time, it should be a quiet place with fewer distractions which should help the children in better concentration. Ensure that school supplies and all stationeries, and technology like calculators and laptops are in quick access. It is also better if the study space is in close access to you in case your children need your help and support with certain tasks.
- Designated study timings:
Children should be aware that a certain time is reserved for study and homework every day. It is not ideal to have study time right after school; the child needs to have some time to relax and to unwind after a long day of school activities. All the better if you ask your child’s opinions on deciding the correct time. Even if they do not have school work on specific days, this reserved time should be used to work on upcoming assignments, exams or anything productive like solving a crossword puzzle or reading for pleasure et cetera.
- Organising using colour coding:
Teach children to assign different colours to different school subjects for easy access. With this you can ensure that all things are kept at one place. The colour coding technique will also make it easier for kids to review their works later while preparing for classes, tests, or quizzes.
- Preparing for the next day:
Review plans for the next day with your child before bedtime. Your child should pack away their schoolwork and books for the next day before they go to bed the previous night. The school clothes should be laid out with the shoes, socks, accessories et cetera. This will not only reduce urgency and confusion during the mornings , but will also allow your child to prepare easily for the day ahead. This can help children feel more secure about their day’s schedule.
- Provide support and constant encouragement:
While most children start off organised at the beginning of the school year with brand-new folders, tidy backpacks and binders, maintaining the same neatness becomes a genuine struggle for many.
It is essential for parents to remember that it will take time for children to learn how to break down tasks, it will take time for them to learn how to apply the above said skills in their daily lives. So as Parents you can always help them by gently reminding them about their tasks like filling in calendars, keeping papers and materials organised , pushing them to adhere to the study time and study spaces diligently, and most importantly by setting a good example.
At Sherwood high we believe that it is very important to introduce proper organisational habits to children as young as possible. It is also important to remember that this organising can be challenging for children; it is not at all unusual for children or teens to have weak organisational skills and to lack awareness of time, so do not be critical of them but rather help them by rewarding and supporting them in the process . Developing different routines, appreciating and rewarding them when they accomplish their tasks will help them on the longer run. Staying organised is not easy even for adults, so remember that your children will need your constant support and coaching in order to be successful in this.