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Tips for Managing Organization

 

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Tips for Managing Organization and Study Strategies at Home

  • Attitude is Key. 
    • Be sensitive to how your child might feel about public discussions of his disorganization problems.  Teachers, support staff, or outside specialists should not publicly call a child out for organization, materials management or time management, and it is even more important that his home life is humiliation free.
    • Engage your child in conversation about areas in life where disorganization gets in the way of achieving goals, and why organization is important. Make positive statements about your child in public, and share observed improvements with your child as well.
  • Set up a well-organized study/workspace. 
    • Designate a space that is in proximity to easy assistance and check-in’s, but not so close that you inhibit independence.  Bedrooms, and especially beds, are less desirable to house this workspace than common areas such as a kitchen or dining room.
    • Make the space clutter-free, and lead your child in establishing the habit of cleaning up when finished.
    • Provide sufficient lighting.
    • Choose a space that is quiet and free from excessive distractions.
    • Provide accessible storage for materials such as pencils, paper, markers, scissors, tape, etc.
    • Use a timer to designate break times, and assess progress during breaks.
    • Provide an accordion binder or file box with folders. These can be used to store study guides and reference materials, and important papers that come home from school.
  • Establish a regular time for homework/cognitive work.
    • Assign specific times during the week for homework or “thinking time.”
    • Commit to this time. When homework is finished, the extra time can be used for reading, reviewing notes, or memorizing.
  • Maintain a notebook and assignment planner.
    • Use a system that keeps materials organized and minimizes their loss.
    • Color-coding can help with organization.
    • Your child must be invested in whatever system is decided upon, even if it wouldn’t be your preferred method.
    • If assignments are not being recorded, or are not making it home and back to school, assess exactly where the breakdown is occurring and put in place an intervention that addresses the breakdown. 
  • Emphasize efficient time management.
    • As early as third grade, children can be encouraged to use daily schedules and planners.
    • Help your child to become “in touch” with time by estimating how long a task might take, timing the task, and comparing the time with the estimate.
    • Assign a time to certain tasks that often take too long. Playing “beat the clock” makes the task feel more like a game and improves the child’s awareness of time.
  • Maintain good communication with teachers
    • Establish communication early and maintain it throughout the year.
    • Ask teachers what organizational systems they use.
    • Be willing to check, sign, and return a planner or homework sheet.
    • Ask teachers how long a task should be taking, and provide feedback on how long it is actually taking.
  • Seek help sooner rather than later. 
    • Waiting to address organizational problems can have a devastating effect on the social/emotional and academic well-being of your child.
    • Find out how your child’s school can help. Some schools have parent resource advocates that can direct you to resources in the school or in the community.
    • Springer School and Center has a parent resource “hotline” that can be accessed either by email at center@springer-ld.org, or by phone at 513 871-6080 ext. 402. Springers’ qualified professionals will guide you to options and resources tailored to your child’s specific areas of difficulty.  The Springer website also has great web and print resources available at www.springer-ld.org/ld-resources.
    • Advise your pediatrician when your child is in academic distress. She may also have access to resources that can help.