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Syndicated column from The Parent
[MAY 19, 2006]
My son is extremely disorganized! His
backpack looks like a recycling bin, and his teacher tells me his
desk at school is not much better. I've tried scolding, grounding
and nagging. Nothing works. What can I do?
You probably hear things like, "I can't
find my homework!" or "Where's my soccer uniform?" more often than
you'd like. But there is good news. It's not too late, even as the
end of the school year approaches, for you to help your son.
say that organization is a skill that we can learn. We are not
simply born organized or disorganized. And there are many things
parents can do to help children learn and practice good
organizational skills. Here are some organization ideas you can use
with your son:
your son write down a checklist of everything he should take to
school on a typical day. Post the list by the front door.
places to put specific belongings -- especially those that get
misplaced frequently. For example, keep schoolbooks and other
materials for school the next day in a box by the front door.
Encourage your son to make daily to-do lists. They're great
reminders, and it feels good to cross off finished tasks.
make a homework calendar or chart. Sometimes just seeing the
portable timer. Set it when your son has trouble sticking to a
schedule, such as during phone calls or while doing homework.
him to plan ahead before starting a big project. Decide how the
task will be completed step by step. Then stick to the plan. For
example, if he has a book report due in two weeks, plan each step
he'll take to complete it.
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Have your son clean out his
backpack at least once a week. If he does this over the weekend,
he'll start each week organized.
routines throughout the day. Disorganized children need routines.
Choose a regular time and place for homework. Help your son decide
when and where he is most productive. (In front of the television
should not be an option.) Have him lay out clothes for the next
day and pack his backpack before bed.
reminders on sticky notes inside your son's notebook: "Write down
assignments." "Take notebook and paper." "Bring books home."
Set a good example. Always put
things away in their designated spots -- a place for keys, mail,
cleaning supplies. If you're organized, your child is more likely
to be organized too.
Disorganized kids can learn the
skills they need to cope. Keep focusing on your son's improvements.
He may never be the most organized kid, but with work and patience,
both he and you can be proud of what he's accomplished.
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2005, The Parent Institute
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.