5 Ways to Get Your Child Organized for School

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Education is a big deal in our house. We make it part of our daily lives. But, when it comes time to get your child organized for school this year, it will be different than any year before. Whether your children attend a public school, private school, online or homeschool, things will be different.

And no matter what kind of school your children will be doing, staying organized and keeping up with assignments and other commitments is an important life skill that can help bring order to this chaotic time in their lives.

These five ways to get your child organized for school are meant to help you create a path for success, less frustration and less stress this year.

Learn their homework style

homework style for organization

As a person that loves structure and learning, I loved school. And I was a great student. I always did my homework and it wasn’t a big deal. But, my son isn’t. He struggles to get it done and to stay on top of things.

Obviously, this is a problem, but knowing how to change–and what to change can be difficult. That’s why it can be helpful to ask a series of questions to help you and your child make the most of their time.

  • Where do they work the best? Not everyone works well sitting up straight up at a desk or at the kitchen table, but some do. So, where is best for your child? Is it at the kitchen table? On the sofa? Laying on the floor with their feet up on the wall? Outside on the grass? At a desk?
  • What does the environment sound like? Is it quiet or can they stand some noise? Do they like music? What kind?
  • Optimize for timing–some kids do well with coming home and getting straight to work. Some other kids need to have a snack, play a bit or do some other form of relaxing before they’re recharged enough to get to their homework. Do they need to do a bit of work, take a break and then go back to it?

Ask all of these questions for each child, because they’re likely to be different for each one. When I was a nanny a long time ago, one of the children had ADHD and needed music and a comfy chair to do his homework. His sister needed quiet and the kitchen table. This also follows true with my own children. My girls are fine at the table or a desk. One of them needs it to be quiet–though I’m pretty sure not as silent as she sometimes suggests. My son needs music and prefers sitting on a bean bag chair or the couch.

Create a routine

After you know their homework preferences and needs, you can create a routine around that. It will help them get everything done without so many reminders because they’ll know what to expect.

You can make this as detailed or as simple you want. You can simply outline what tasks need to be done and in what order, or give each one a specific time. For example, a very general routine for a child going to physical school could look like:

Wake up, get ready (list tasks if needed)
30 minutes down time
Start homework
Free time
Finish homework

For a child staying home, it could look as similar or different as you would like.

Get a planner to help them “see time”

As a naturally organized person I love lists, planners, calendars and staying on top of things I need to do. My son with ADHD? Well, he is not. He forgets. He forgets anything that his brain doesn’t deem interesting enough. Unless it revolves around coding, creating video games or similar activities, it may as well not exist.

It leads to a lot of frustration on all of our parts. And as a middle schooler, with lots of assignments from different teachers and other activities that need to fill up his day, keeping him on track has been really hard.

I have been wanting to use a planner with him for a while, but haven’t found one that I liked. Which is why this year I was so, so, so excited when Order out of Chaos asked me to share about their new academic planner. They provided the planner, but all of the opinions are my own. It’s just what I needed to help him develop his time management skills and learn to keep everything organized. And seriously, it’s like my planning dreams have died and gone to heaven.

get your child organized with a planner

Now, I’ve been through a lot of planners. Some are good, some aren’t (at least not for me) but this one is pretty much all the elements and in a layout that makes so much sense!

It’s not often that you find a planner that’s actually won awards, and is created Leslie Josel, one of the top experts in the world on time management for students. Yeah, I know, right!?

This means they don’t just create planners that look cool, they’re a company devoted to teaching time management skills. There are lots of videos for parents and kids on how to do it, that also happens to create its own planner, using all of the techniques that they’re pros at.

And it shows. This planner doesn’t have all the extra stuff you don’t need, but includes all the things you do, with some pretty unique features that I haven’t seen before.

get your child organized with an academic planner, planner pages

Get extra planner worksheets here to help kids understand time management better.

Here’s what it looks like in real life:

It’s simple, easy to use, and makes it easy for kids to see what they need to do and how to plan their time.

As I might have said a few times before, I’m in love with this planner, and I want you to be able to try it out too. So the awesome people at Order out of Chaos are offering 20% off with the code MCB20.

Teach them to prioritize

Teaching kids to prioritize their tasks is one of the most important parts when you want help get your child organized for school–and for life! One of the skills I used to teach my coaching clients is all about prioritizing, and it’s one that everyone needs.

Here are the basics, tailored to kids/students versus for adults

  • Write out EVERYTHING they have to do, and everywhere they have to be for the week. If it’s an ongoing thing, you could add it for the month too.
  • Look at deadlines for assignments or tests or quizzes and write them in a list
  • Finally, add them to the planner in order of importance and how long they’ll take. After that, assign everything a day and time to be completed. If it doesn’t it won’t happen.

Here’s an example that my son could possibly have starting next month:

The blue outlined things are scheduled “events” or activities he has, and the rest of the time is where he has to do the homework assignments. So, we plugged them in based on that schedule and when things were due. When you have things scheduled in a prioritized way, it makes procrastination less likely because you have the thing scheduled, so you can just get it done.

Reassess/Revise as necessary

Let’s be real–no system or plan you create is going to be perfect at the beginning. Or, if it is, it won’t stay that way forever. Adjusting is something that just has to be done. Don’t be afraid to do it.

This could happen monthly or quarterly, or any time you just feel things aren’t working for some reason. Schedules change, and so do needs. As their organizational and time management skills improve, they may be able to take on more responsibility too.

Going back to school this year will we weird for everyone, no matter what form it takes, so it’s a great opportunity to form new habits. These tips will help you get your child organized for school, and give you some sense of control and calm as well.

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