Helping My Disorganized Child Get Organized

My son started first grade almost a month ago and I noticed that I have been quite high-strung ever since. This has been my after school routine since then:

He comes home from school with his bag looking like a trash can. After complaining, I take out his Notebook 1 and read the day’s reminders and homework. I then gather the workbooks and notebooks that need to be answered or studied and pile them up on his desk. After play time and an early dinner, I instruct him which work to do first and then next and so on. At night, after he falls asleep, I sharpen his pencils, empty his bag, and carefully place his things in order. The next afternoon, it’s the same routine all over again.

Until yesterday happened….. I snapped and said some pretty hurtful things – all because he couldn’t show me the Math quiz that has been checked and returned. Really?!?! I realized I overreacted and didn’t solve anything with that outburst. So at bedtime, I said sorry to my kiddo and told him I’d be helping him get more organized.

A few kids seem naturally organized, but for the rest, organization is a skill learned over time. And where better to start learning this skill than one’s home? Now that’s better said than done. I admit I am not the best person to teach my child how to be organized. I am M-E-S-S-Y. Just take a look at my work station littered with notes and piles of paper. But nobody said I couldn’t learn along the way! I’ll take this as a challenge to myself as well. My son and I could learn to be organized at the same time. That’s the beauty of parenting – I’m forced to be a better person and to develop skills I don’t have so I can be a better role model to my child.

The best articles I’ve read which offered practical tips on how to help children – and okay, myself – get more organized are Family Education and KidsHealth.

Kids Health breaks down the process into three easy steps so as not to overwhelm parents who want to teach their children how to be more organized:

  1. Getting organized means a kid gets where he or she needs to be and gathers the supplies needed to complete the task.
  2. Staying focused means sticking with the task and learning to say “no” to distractions.
  3. Getting it done means finishing up, checking your work, and putting on the finishing touches, like remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder and putting the folder inside the backpack so it’s ready for the next day.

Family Education as well as several other websites also highly recommend the use of color coding notebooks and binders, using checklists, planners and other visuals to further support the process. I wasted no time developing the following Printables by Jan for my kiddo.

Before-School-Checklist-2015

Monthly-Homework-Planner-2015_Page_2

You may download both the checklist and monthly planners if you’re interested. Hope they help you in building organizational skills in your kids. If you have any ideas on any printables that may help develop this important skill, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

You may download the Before-School-Checklist-2015 by clicking on the highlighted link.

Monthly-Homework-Planner-2015 may be downloaded here.