Hooray for Lifeskills Organization
Hooray for Lifeskills!
“Mmmooommmm! I can’t find my homework! Where are my sneakers? Did you sign my math test? I didn’t even pack my lunch yet and here comes the bus!!!!!” Sound familiar? This hectic scene plays out every morning in a number of households across America. Just getting children out the door in time to catch their ride to school can be a real challenge. Helping your child become more organized can make morning time run more smoothly and be less stressful for everyone! Students at Walden will now explore the many aspects of organization. Very few of us are born as naturally organized individuals, and we need to learn effective ways to think about, approach and carry out tasks. Below is a list of tips on how to help your child strengthen his organizational muscles.
Plan Ahead at Night – Help your child’s morning get off to a smooth start by preparing for the next school day the night before. Picking and laying out which outfit they are going to wear, making and packing their lunch and packing their backpack are all ways to save time in the morning.
Organize your Physical Environment – Help children recognize that everything has its place. Keep important items in the same place every day. When they pack up their backpack for the night, have them always put it at the front door. Sneakers and coats should always be placed in the closet so they will be there in the morning. Organizing where everyday items go can help eliminate searching every inch of the house in the AM.
Study Space - Designate a specific spot in the house that your child can use each time they do their homework or study. It doesn’t necessarily need to be at a desk in their room. Having their study place at the kitchen counter could be a great choice especially if a parent is in the kitchen cooking. Help your child make sure that their chosen spot is effective; it has adequate space (free of clutter), is well lit, has the needed supplies close by and is mostly free from distractions.
Make a List – Model for children how to make a list and ask them to help you monitor it. Not only does this teach them to keep track of things that need to be done or brought to school, but also can make them feel successful when items on the list are completed and can be crossed off.
Time Management – Some children have difficulty grasping the idea of time. Many will put things off to the last minute and not realize that it would take “sooooo” long to do. Involving your child with maintaining a family calendar or their own personal agenda book can help them practice time management skills. Writing down when they have evening activities, when long-term projects are do and when they are going to do homework can help children begin to understand that planning ahead is the key to being responsible and effective students.
Learning organization skills will not happen overnight for children. But with some guidance, positive praise and consistency, they will soon begin to develop this very important life skill.
~Lauren Conway, School Counselor