Developing organization skills for your child may be a hard feat but remember that every little bit helps. Organization is a learned behavior that can lead to academic success. But let’s be honest, having your child organized will help you out as well! It’s a win-win! Developing organization skills will take time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end. It may be trial and error but we have a few suggestions to help you get started!
5 Ways to Teach Organization to Children
Prior to establishing a new organization routine, think about what your child is struggling with. Getting ready for school? Completing homework? Keeping a clean bedroom? Create daily or weekly checklists with your child for at-home tasks and school assignments that are trouble spots. In order to help them prioritize importance of tasks, make sure that the checklist aren’t too long! Checklists can be as simple as “Three things to complete before dinner” or “School Morning Checklist”.
Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, whatever works for you, clean out bookbags, folders, binders, homework area and bedrooms. Involve your child from the beginning! Your child can be the decision maker in what needs to be tossed, saved and where it’s “home” should be. Color-coding materials by subject is a great way to develop organization of handouts and materials that can be used at a later date for projects or studying, whatever it may be. Remember to lead by example! Keeping your items clean and organized will reinforce this behavior in your children.
Establish a routine at home
Children love structure! We see this all day long as teachers. A consistent routine will help create order in the home and will lead to good time management skills. Have your child complete their homework at the same time and place each night. Make sure they have all of the correct materials they need to successfully complete their work in their homework area so that they are always prepared. Once students have completed their homework, provide your child with a simple incentive of their choice-whether it be to get a special sticker on a chart, watch a specific television show, have extra time on their tablet or cell phone, or even have a special snack. If needed, give small breaks from homework. Your child can choose when they may need a break, whether it’s every 10 minutes or after each assignment.
Get a child-friendly planner
Make or purchase a planner that your child can personalize. If your child is older, have them use their phone or tablet to stay organized. You can create family synced calendars on tablets and phones so that everyone is on the same page. This will help organize extracurricular activities, project dates, and events with friends and families. This will help you and your child stay organized.
Be prepared for the next day
We know that one of the biggest stressors of parents is to get your family out the door in the morning. First, make sure you and your children are getting enough sleep! This will help you and your child get up and moving in the morning. Prepare as much as you can the night before school. Create a checklist of things to do the night before school and have your child help you execute it. Have them pack their lunch, put their book bag by the door, pick out their clothes and choose what they would like for breakfast.
MTT is here to help with your organizational goals! Remember, we offer academic coaching that can help with time management, study habits and developing organizational skills.
Natalie Mangrum is the founder and CEO of Maryland Teacher Tutors. She is a reading specialist with a bachelors in elementary education and masters in education. As a parent to two young adults, and prior teacher, Natalie knows all too well the benefits of one-on-one tutoring and coaching for students. Her mission is to ensure that every aspect of MTT is done in a spirit of excellence! She enjoys alleviating the concerns of parents so they can breathe easy knowing their children are in good hands!