Getting Kids Organized For School

“Getting organized” is more than eliminating clutter and creating neat storage systems. One of the most important areas of organizing is task management. It’s never too early (or too late) to teach kids how to get and stay organized with schoolwork. The skills they learn now will carry over into high school, college, and ultimately, their careers and home management as adults.

Establish a great homework routine. With your child, determine the best time for daily school work and stick with it. For some kids, it will be right after school. Others may need some downtime to play, and then it’s time to hit the books. The most important thing is to stick to the schedule so your child knows what’s expected.

Set up the space. Have a designated study area, such as the kitchen table. But for unique assignments, allow for some flexibility such as moving to a rocking chair for reading chapter books. Create a school supply box and keep it well stocked with supplies (paper, pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, ruler, sticky notes, calculator, etc.) so kids don’t have an excuse to get up.

Make sure you know what’s going on at school. Instruct children to unload their backpacks as soon as they come home. Have them hang up their bags in a designated area (try a coat rack, pegs on the wall, or a wicker laundry basket near the front door). This allows for easy access the next day. They should bring homework to the designated study area. Check in each day so you’re aware of their workload and take special care when they seem overwhelmed.

Encourage the use of lists and planners. The older kids get, the more homework and activities they’ll have. Teach them to manage their tasks with the use of simple lists or a planner/calendar of some sort. Office supply stores sell ones with cute kid-friendly designs, or use computer lists (or even smartphones) for techie kids. When they learn of upcoming assignments, tests, or events, they should write them down in their planners.

Encourage color coding. Color affects our mood and memory. Let kids pick the colors of their folders and notebooks to correspond to different classes. If green reminds them of science, then they’ll know instantly to grab the green notebook when looking for their science notes.

 

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Time to Deal with All Those School Papers!

All of the kid’s school papers have been piling up on your counter all year.  Now what should you do with them? This seems to be one of the greatest sources of anguish for parents we are organizing today. Kids bring home so many papers from school every week and as parents, we are torn with which ones to keep and which ones to toss. So, we just stick them in a cabinet to deal with "later" or let them collect on the kitchen counters. Later finally comes when we run out of empty places to shove things or when we decide to take action. Luckily, end of the school year is a great time to spring into action. We are here to jump start you by putting together some guidelines to use when you are going through the school papers and whittling things down.


First, set a physical boundary. I have three grown children and we managed to use two large containers for their entire school life. The size of bins you choose is determined by how much storage space you want to devote to these keepsakes. Some people only have space for a shoe box, others can store larger sizes. This is the kind I suggest for clients not the amount!! :) 

 

Next, go through each paper. For worksheets- keep that special one where they finally got a 100 on. Don't keep every worksheet they have ever done.
For journals and writing papers- these are a great thing to hang onto because they give you a snapshot into what their little minds were thinking at the time. (Especially those stories from kindergarten when they used their creative spelling!!) Love those memories!

The next category we have is the art work. Let's be honest- not every paper they have drawn is their best work. Sometimes it really IS just a scribble! In other instances,  they have spent considerable time on it. Choose the ones that show their creativity at its best. The paper plate with the nose and eyes glued on is not as creative as the one that shows the child's interpretationof the family on a trip together.


Once you have gone through each paper put it in one of the bins with a label and the child's name on it.
Here are a few other great options for storage ideas.

Keep one of the bins in your child's room to make it easy throughout the year to add to it. Next year, at the end of the school year, spend some time emptying out their backpacks and putting the special items in their keepsake bins.

Now that you have finally dealt with all those school papers- it's time to enjoy your summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School's Out! Let's get organized!

     So the time is finally here. School's out!!  For some parents this time can be more bitter than sweet.  We have all been there. The last few days the papers start trickling in and then BAM, their entire school desk is unloaded on your kitchen counters spilling over into their bedrooms and then the stress starts mounting.  If you have more than one child like me, that means several desks of paper!  Not the stress free way that you thought summer would begin!

     Here are a few tips to get the paperwork under control quickly. First, keep the pile contained to one area.  Talk with your children and help them decide what is really important.  (I know at first they will say everything! Ha!) Help them choose their BEST art work, writing piece, report cards, photos, and any other important awards etc.  Grab a garbage bag and discard the rest.  Have them VERY involved in the process so no resentment is caused!

      Next, have them help you file it.  I picked these handy filing containers up at Aldi of all places!  They are the perfect size for handling the small amount of filing that is left.  Label the tabs and outside of their box.  My kids get so excited that they file everything on their own now.  They also love looking back in their containers at their "organized" school work from past years.  This one single container should be a perfect size through HS.  Remember you are keeping their BEST work!  Don't delay!  Get this task done and feel the stress melt away!