organize homework

Organize Homework With These Simple Steps

A new school year means a new start, and a new chance to implement positive habits. So help your child organize homework to get started on the right foot.

In the short term, good organization will help your child succeed in school by keeping track of assignments and meeting homework deadlines. You’ll also minimize family stress over last-minute scrambling, and help you keep track of how your child is doing.

In the long term, organization skills will last a lifetime. When it comes time for college or a career, your child will already have good habits to draw from.

Recognize that organization comes more naturally to some people than others. In particular, f your child faces special challenges or certain disabilities, you may need to approach the subject in ways that you tailor to his or her needs. But here are some basics to get you started.


Lists, Lists, Lists

Making to-do lists can help you as well as your child keep track of tasks. Model the behavior yourself and your child may choose to do it on his or her own. Alternatively, you can request that the child make lists. For example, ask her to write down all of her homework assignments before beginning any of them. Or ask him to list everything he needs to take with him to school in the morning.


A Place For Everything

Create a designated work space for your child to do homework. Help them to set it up in a way that serves their needs, with plenty of extra supplies. Include a place for those to-do lists as well as a calendar clearly visible. Work with your child to figure out how best to use the space, and plan out his or her time. Focus on these processes instead of hovering over the individual assignments. This applies especially for teens:

Psychiatrist Nancy Darling says, “By focusing on HOW they do their homework (what time, what conditions) not the content of it, you let them keep control over it while giving them tools to manage it effectively themselves.”


What Lurks in the Book Bag

Older kids may view a book bag check as a violation of privacy, so set this routine at a young age to show the value it has for organization. Go through all papers together. Help your child review what assignments he or she has brought home. Read any flyers or reminders about upcoming events, field trips, etc. Add anything new to the calendar — theirs and yours, if necessary. Clear away clutter and make sure everything is in order.


Store School Work in the Cloud

For older students who do most of their work by computer, store assignments in the cloud. By using applications like Google Docs, your child can access assignments from anywhere. That means, he doesn’t have to worry about remembering which notebook to bring home or take to school.

Some students also choose to record lectures or take photos of things written on a white board. When they save these files with a tablet or smartphone, they can be easily accessed later.

Text books or other books may also be available electronically. Using e-books can help reduce problems with forgetting books at school or missing library due dates.


If Your Child Still Struggles with Organization

There are many reasons a child could struggle with organization or forgetfulness. Some reasons are minor while others could signal more serious underlying problems. Work with your child’s teacher to try and understand the root of any issues. You may also wish to consult with your pediatrician or a school counselor. Let your child know that you are there to support them and to help them figure out what works for them.


PHOTO: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

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