Teaching Children to be Organised
Its the end of term, school reports are out and the holidays beckon. In the gap before term starts again is the chance to reflect on what is working in your child’s space and possibly how time and space could be better organised. Does it frustrate you that things are forgotten, that things are not planned properly Do you often end up doing things for your child because it is just quicker, easier and more efficient. Teaching children to be organised is important.
Developing good organisational skills is an extremely important key to success at school and to life in general and with that come the obvious spin off of positive self esteem. So how can you help?
To Do Lists :
Many children are very visual and it helps to have reminders that can be checked off once the task has been completed. Small children not yet able to read, may need pictures to remind them of what needs to be done. Get your child into the habit of making a list of what needs to be completed. This helps them focus on the project at hand and gives them a visual reminder to help them. “To do lists” should not have more than 5 items on them.
Have a space that is set aside for home work and make sure that everything that might be needed can be kept in that space. A box with pencils, rulers, crayons , scissors, glue, maths sets and calculators will prevent the distraction of having to find items that need to be used. Help prioritise the “to do list” of homework. Start with something that is quick to do and will give a positive sense of accomplishment when it is completed. Avoid leaving the most difficult for last when your child is tired. Use a timer to help with time management and reduce distractions and make a game of trying to complete the task in the time allotted. Try to have a set time for home work – not immediately after school but possibly within 45 minutes after they get home
Keep notebooks organised: visual children will find it easier if books or folders are colour coded. Worksheets need to be placed in a binder, colour code this per subject. Work that is completed and that needs to be returned or handed in needs to be kept in one place in their school bag
School Bags: have a regular weekly clean out, paper need to be filed, or thrown away.
Have a Master schedule – try to have a regular time for meals and bed time and try to limit the amount of time spent in front of the TV or computer or tablet screen
Have a family calendar in a visible place for the whole family and make sure that everyone’s commitments are entered onto the calendar. This helps children become away of the needs of others and prevents possible time conflicts.
Have a “to do list” to help prepare for the day ahead which will prevent last minute panic in the morning and a morning “to do list” to help maintain independence. Again using a timer helps focus attention on what needs to be accomplished.
Help your child schedule and organise and teach by example, by keeping and maintaining your own “to do lists”