Get Organized and Stay Organized Throughout the School year!

 

It can be difficult for many students to get back into the swing of things come September. Vacations and long spans of free time are over and the work that lies ahead can be daunting. can feel overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork, assignments, and projects given to them in the first few months of school, and it’s always a great idea to be organized right from the start.

We’ve selected three areas where organization can aid students to have a successful and productive year.

  1. Backpack

backpacks

A backpack enjoys frequent travel back and forth from home to school. In the beginning of the year most backpacks are fresh and tidy, but by the end, they become a graveyard for extra papers, candy wrappers, and unsharpened pencils. To keep your child’s backpack from becoming a casket of school supply castoffs, try a few of these tips:

  • Avoid putting papers directly into the backpack; always put them in a designated folder
  • Clean out the backpack every day, or at least once a week
  • Pick a place in your home to make a “paper station” for your child to place important documents to be signed, checked, or reviewed
  • Set up a “lost and found” in a central location, so misplaced items can be found by the child easily, no matter who “found” them first

Tools that might help:

This is a great folder with multiple pockets.

 

  1. Notebooks, binders, and folders

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Students take a lot of notes during the school year. Sometimes the notes are in a notebook, sometimes they are written on loose leaf paper, and sometimes they are written on the back of worksheets. It can be tedious to organize notes and folders for every subject, however, organizing from the start and taking a brief check-in every week can keep everything ordered.

  • Make note taking more fun with different colored pens and pencils
  • Use color coded tabs for different subjects and units within the class
  • Use sticky notes with designs your child likes
  • Type notes into a computer after coming home from school, which acts as a quick daily review and improved memorization

Tools that might help:

These fun and colorful sticky notes, colored tabs, and pens.

 

A note on note taking: Split page notes is a technique students can use that makes note taking easier and helps break down the lesson from class. This is especially helpful for middle school students.

On the right side of the page, students record notes from the class. On the left side, students write main points, themes, or key words from their notes or from the text. For a picture and broader explanation, click here.

More advanced students might appreciate Cornell Notes:

This YouTube tutorial explains how to take these types of notes.

  1. Home

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Children aren’t usually excited to keep doing school work directly after coming home, but there is a way to make it more appealing. Making your home conducive to school work can be a challenge, but there are a few easy ways to set it up.

  • Create a homework station for your child in the house
    • If you have the room, you may want to have this space outside of your child’s bedroom so they don’t become distracted
    • Pick a quiet spot in the house with low foot traffic
    • Have your child decorate it so it’s a place they will want to be for the duration of their homework
    • Stock the space with pens, pencils, paper, calculator, ruler, and any other supply your child may need so he or she doesn’t have to leave the space or break her rhythm once she begins
  • Designate a “homework hour”(if more than one hour is needed, have the student take a 5 minute break every 50 minutes). During this time, everyone in the house will try to keep the volume to a minimum.

Tools that might help:

Check out these creative and organized homework stations for great ideas.

 

 

When it comes to school and homework, organization is a key element to a great school year. The best thing to do is listen to your child and create a routine. Every student works in their own way, and it’s always a good idea to tweak each suggestion to your child’s way of working.

The diligence and time spent setting up some of these systems in your home may take time, but no fighting over homework will be worth it! With any luck your child will be thanking you by the end of the year when there isn’t a mountain of school supplies and papers to shuffle through during the last month of school!