Summer is winding down and it's time to start thinking about the school year ahead. Getting back into school mode can be challenging for children who have learning and attention issues. This time can be especially tough for those with weak organizational skills.
Check out these helpful tips below that will help guide you and your child towards organizational success and feel ready for the start of a new school year.
The Homework Box:
For many students and their families, one of the first steps in preparing for the first day of school is shopping for school supplies. Tackling this sometimes overwhelming task with a plan, along with some useful strategies, will help your child begin the school year feeling organized, confident and ready to roll.
You can help your child significantly in cutting down on wasted time spent searching the house for necessary homework supplies and materials. Not only is it a frustrating waste of valuable minutes, but also causes a major break in productivity, pulling your child unnecessarily off-task.
The homework box can be stored in anything portable, preferably a lightweight container with a lid and several compartments. Some children work at their desk in their rooms, on kitchen or dining room tables; others prefer to spread out on the floor. With this system, where your child chooses to study doesn't matter. The necessary supplies can go along anywhere.
Keep a master copy of this list, should you run out of supplies. It’s a good idea to check your Homework Box every couple of weeks to make sure it’s stocked.
Below is a general list of recommended supplies. You and your child should tailor this list depending on your child's age and the different subjects he or she is studying (For example, you may want to include a protractor if your child is studying Geometry).
_____ Plenty of paper _____ Sharpened pencils with erasers
_____ Pencil sharpener _____ Ruler
_____ Crayons _____ Paper hole reinforcements
_____ Glue stick _____ Colored pencils
_____Paper clips _____ Colored pens and markers (thick + thin points)
_____ Three-hole punch _____ Stapler with box of staples
_____ Scotch tape _____ Dictionary + Thesaurus
_____ Post-its _____ Highlighters
_____ 3x5 Index cards _____ Calculator
Tips for Keeping an Organized Backpack:
Check out these seven great tips from www.understood.org for creating and maintaining an organized backpack and avoiding the black hole of mystery!
I like to follow these tips with students and their parents when starting off a new school year. Each part of the process is important; from choosing the right backpack to creating a daily and/or weekly routine. Following these steps will help your child keep track of their belongings and make the morning rush feel more manageable.
Using a Master Calendar:
Do you feel like it has become your sole responsibility to remember your family's recreational activities, school assignments and social plans? Life has become increasingly busy and it's near impossible to keep track of it all. Enter, the master wall calendar!
Posting up a large monthly calendar somewhere centrally located, such as a the kitchen or your child's bedroom will serve as a constant visual reminder of what's on the horizon. I recommend purchasing a large dry-erase calendar such as this one from Office Depot which includes a monthly calendar, a column for notes and a section of cork board for posting important papers.
As your child is assigned projects, exams and papers, he or she should add this information to the calendar and include deadlines. This information should be transferred from your child's daily school planner on to the calendar. All upcoming extra-curricular activities and social plans should also be added to the calendar so that your child has a clear picture of upcoming commitments (both school and non-school related) and can plan how he or she will allocate their time.
Every student learns differently. For an individualized plan for your child's needs, please contact Dana Aussenberg at danaaussenberg.com