Get Kids Organized Mid-Year

10 Tips to Get Kids Re-Organized After the Holidays

It's the mid year of school and some parents are still noticing that their kids are disorganized. Parents have tried teaching the kids some of their own organizing tricks but to no avail, school papers are lost, the school back is a mess, and their child still forgets to hand in the homework.

Here are some strategies to help your child become more organized for the rest of the school year:

Parents need to realize that their child has a different organizing style from them.  Strategies that work for the Mom will not necessarily work for her child.

Find out what organizing style the child has (spatial, visual, sequential) and use the strategies best suited for the child’s organizing style.

Recognize that your child may feel somewhat isolated if he’s very disorganized.  He’s been trying to get himself on an organizing track but with little success. Don’t freak out when you find out that he hasn’t told you about all the missing homework. Remain calm, and approach the situation in a team effort to find a solution. Yelling will only push him away more.

Can’t get your child to do her homework? She’s probably feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work she THINKS she has to complete.  Talk to her about the assignments due.  Sometimes children have this exaggerated interpretation of an assignment. For example, if your child has a math assignment, sometimes they view the assignment as having to complete half the years curriculum!  Break the assignments down into doable tasks.

Children want to feel successful. Who doesn’t want to feel this way? Help your child develop goals that are attainable. Don’t set her up for failure by giving her an impossible deadline to finish a task. As parents, we need to help our children build confidence and self esteem.

If your child is missing homework or assignments, develop a time management strategy with your child. Contact the teacher via email to maintain the communication and request to be notified of any future missing assignments.

Look through the backpack and see if the notebooks and binders are usable. Very disorganized children can go through 3 or 4 binders in a school year. Make sure the clasps are working and not ajar. Once the binder rings become misaligned, papers will start to rip.

Any loose papers in the backpack? If so, there is a reason why your child is shoving these loose papers into the bag and not placing them in their proper place. Try a separate folder that is placed in the bag and NOT in the binder.

Using a “Take Home” folder?  If not, start using it.  One side of the folder needs to be for “Take Home” holding all papers that your child touched during the day. The “Take to School” side will hold all the papers that need to be returned to school. Labeling the sides of the folder will allow for less confusion when looking for a missing item.

For the older children, do not throw out any old tests and class work.  Get an open file box to store all old school papers. These papers will come in handy when it is time to study for finals.

MARCELLA MORAN, MA, LHMC is a licensed psychotherapist and educational consultant who works with families to develop positive strategies for students who are disorganized. Her unique skill of assessing a student’s learning style with an organizational style has proven to be a successful strategy for developing personalized organizational systems for students of all ages. Marcella has helped students gain self-awareness and to improve academic performance through individual and group counseling.