Reading, writing, and counting are key skills to school success. But if there is one school skill that your child should focus on developing for improved school success, it’s organization. That’s because organization is the key underlying skill that is used in everyschool subject.
However, organization isn’t just a skill that is used in the classroom; it’s a transferrable skill that children can use in all areas of life. Preparing lunches, cleaning bedrooms, doing homework, or even hanging out with friends: all these daily activities require organization skills.
So how do you help your child go from scattered and disorganized to focused and organized?
Organization is a systematic way of thinking, categorizing, sorting, prioritizing, arranging, and approaching a task.
Organization skills don’t just arrive fully formed—they are developed over time through trial and error. And what works for one child may not work for another. That being said, there are certain methods to get kids started on the path to improving their organization skills:
Tips for being organized in—and out of—school:
- Break every task down into manageable parts. E.G. step one, step two, step three.
- Make lists. Write the steps down.
- Assign priority to tasks.
- Work systematically from one step to the next.
- Check tasks off as they are completed.
- Use a planner or agenda. The trick here is to actually use it to track homework, assignments, and projects. Take it to every class, write down every assignment, and bring it home every night and open it up.
- Keep all study and homework materials—pens, paper, calculators, dictionaries, whiteout—whatever is needed—in a single spot. Get a clear storage bin to keep supplies easily accessible. Don’t waste time searching for items you need to have at the tips of your fingertips.
- Get in the habit of asking what needs to be done today. A mental overview of what’s coming up ahead keeps skills honed and prevents forgetting.
- Put a time limit on tasks to avoid boredom and distraction.
Remember that if kids can organize a sock drawer, they can organize study notes, homework, group assignments, etc. since all organizational tasks, whether they are physical or mental, use the same set of skills. Sometimes it requires showing them how in order to get the ball rolling.
Oxford Learning provides supplemental education services across North America. It offers programs for young people from preschool through university, and its cognitive approach goes beyond tutoring to ignite a lifelong love of learning. Find out more at http://www.OxfordLearning.com.