No one wants to be the kid whose desk seems to explode on a daily basis. Struggling to keep school supplies, homework and important books and papers organized is the demise of many school children's chance at academic success. The frustrations that can stem from these efforts can be debilitating and often effect a child's performance academically. Often times intervention from the adults in the child's life is necessary. Parents, tutors and teachers can try these tips to help children struggling in this area.
- assist the child in setting individual, short-term goals daily
- suggest color coding folders based on subjects
- help the child form the habit of creating checklist for homework items or other tasks
- encourage routines for daily activities
- begin teaching self-regulating skills at an early age
- encourage the use of a daily planner
- give advanced warnings or allow extra time for clean-up
- help child become familiar with using sticky notes for reminders (or wipe boards for locker use)
- encourage child to create separate bins for books, art supplies or toys
- give one-or two-step directions
- allow for frequent homework breaks at home or in the classroom
Some parents may consider hiring a tutor to help their child with organizational difficulties. There are experienced tutors that specialize in helping even the youngest child tackle these kinds of challenges. These elementary school tutors help children by teaching skills that will be needed to have a successful school career, skills that they can take with them years beyond the tutoring sessions. Because elementary school tutors begin by assessing what organization skills need the most development for each individual child, they are able to gradually lead children towards mastery of these skills through a program tailored to each child's needs. Practicing these life skills consistently, and one on one with the child, allow for development at a speed most comfortable and effective for the child.