Teaching Children Organizational Skills

Question: For New Year's, I'd like to turn over a new leaf and help my children become better organized. How can I do this? - Need to Make Resolutions

Answer: While some children are naturally more organized than others, you can help your children put routines and systems in place that will help them become more organized. The sooner you start to teach these strategies, the easier it will be for your children to be organized later on.

Resolve to:

  • Help your children get in the habit of using checklists. A "to-do" list can be used for assignments as well as household chores. Then, crossing off completed items will give your children a sense of accomplishment.
  • Show your children how to organize homework assignments. Before they begin, have them decide on the order in which the assignments will be done. Tip: The most difficult assignments should not be done last.
  • Decide with your children on a certain time every day for homework. When the children don't have any assignments that day, the time should be used for reviewing schoolwork and reading.
  • Set up a well-supplied study space that your children will use every day for doing homework. Young children and those having difficulty with their schoolwork will benefit from working in an area where parents can easily monitor their work.
  • Teach your children how to organize their papers for each subject in a binder or notebooks. Be sure to set up a folder or section in a binder for notices to be brought home and items that need to be returned to school.
  • Set up a weekly cleanup time when your children go through their notebooks, binders and book bags, and remove old tests and papers to be kept at home or thrown out.
  • Teach your children how to prepare for the next school day by having all schoolwork packed in a book bag and at the door ready to go. Also, resolve to have them lay out the next day's clothes.
  • To provide your children with calendars so they can learn to plan ahead.

While children aren't born organized, they learn from what they see. The better organized you are, the more likely your children will be organized. Also, it will really give a pattern to their days if you stick to regular mealtimes and bedtimes.