Guidance on how to help your child become—and stay—organized
“A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind,” the old saying goes, and nothing is truer in education. In our experience as educators, many students who produced the best work and maintained the highest grades shared one trait: organization. With increased responsibilities every school year, students must develop a system of organization in order to keep up. These skills are not only applicable in school, but they’re critical in the “real world.” At Dynamis Learning Academy, we are proud to offer parents guidance on how to help their child become—and stay—organized.
1. Managing Assignments
Agendas. Calendars. Reminders. Alarms. The list seems endless when we consider the tools now available to help students manage their assignments. But sometimes it’s the endlessness of options that can become overwhelming. Here are some suggestions on how to get started in determining what will best fit your child:
2. Test the waters
Each child is different, so a one-size-fits-all organization approach is not viable. Explore the different organization options by focusing on one per week. Some students will flourish when writing something down in an agenda, while others will succeed in following reminders on their tablets. Encourage your child to continue a strategy when it becomes apparent that it’s working for him/her.
3. Start small
When trying something new, it’s important not to overwhelm students. Instead, give your child a manageable task, such as putting homework assignments in a designated area such as a red pocket folder. Accomplishing small tasks will encourage you and your child to move on to bigger projects.
4. Talk to the teacher
Parents are not the only ones who want their children to become organized. From kindergarten through high school, teachers devote a large portion of time and energy in helping their students organize their materials and assignments. Talk with your child’s teacher to determine what strategies are being used in class so that you can maintain a consistent approach at home.
5. Designate a time and place for schoolwork
A recent study suggests that on average it takes a person 66 days to create a new habit. Young students especially thrive when they have clear, consistent routines, so it’s important for kids to develop these habits early on. Carve out a time and designate an area at home for your child to complete his homework after school. It’s important to note that the timeframe should be reasonable and the homework station should be as distraction-free as possible.
6. Befriend technology
Whether you are happy about it or not, technology is an integral part of today’s society. More and more schools are incorporating technology into the classroom and using it as an instructional tool. Take advantage of this opportunity to help your child manage his schedule and assignments through the use of technology.
In our experience as educators, taking pictures of the “upcoming assignments” from the board reduces the time spent writing homework down on paper. It also eliminates the vagueness of “do homework” in one’s agenda.
Reminder apps are also a good tool for helping your child get organized. The child can manage tasks easily by setting reminders and calendar events on their phone or tablet. This app comes standard for just about all smart devices, but there are also other free options to consider.
Timeful is an app that acts as a calendar and to-do list and is designed to maximize one’s productivity. It gathers information on the user’s routines and habits in order to suggest the best time to schedule and complete tasks.
Don’t let the never-ending list of things to do get your child down. Focus Booster breaks up one’s schedule into reasonable chunks and provides frequent mini breaks.
We’ve all heard it (and said it): “It’ll only take a second.” But how long should your tasks really last? 30/30 allows users to set timers to complete tasks and also offers a better understanding of how long something can take.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of all organizational tips and tricks. At a minimum, we hope this helps parents establish a starting point in helping their child become organized. Stay tuned for more helpful resources by following us on Twitter @DynamisLearning and like us on Facebook.