Teach your kids organisational skills

Organisational skills help children do well in school and stay on track at home. But for a lot of kids, staying organised is a challenge. However, teaching children to be organised does not only translate into making our busy lives that much easier, but it is also one of the best legacies we can pass down to our children. It will help them to be orderly individuals in all areas of their lives, both inwardly and outwardly.

Although some people by nature are more organised than others, anyone can put routines and systems in place to help a child become more organised.

Here are a few tips for helping young children acquire organisational skills.
Employ checklists: Help your child get into the habit of using a to-do list. Checklists can be used to inventory assignments and household chores and to remind children to bring appropriate materials to class. It is recommended that children keep a small pad or notebook dedicated to listing homework assignments. Crossing completed items off the list will help children feel a sense of accomplishment.

Coordinate homework assignments: Before beginning a homework session, encourage your child to number assignments in the order in which they are to be done. Children should start with the one that is not too long or difficult but avoid saving the longest or hardest assignments for last.

Set a designated study space: Children should study in the same place every night where supplies and materials are close at hand. This space doesn’t have to be a bedroom, but it should be a quiet place with few distractions. Young children may want their study space near a parent. This should be encouraged, as parents can then have the opportunity to monitor progress and encourage good study habits.

Set a designated study time: Children should know that a certain time every day is reserved for studying and doing homework. The best time is usually not right after school, as most children benefit from time to unwind first. Parents should include their children in making this decision. Even if your child does not have homework, the reserved time should be used to review the day’s lessons, read for pleasure or work on an upcoming project.

Keep organised notebooks: Help your child keep track of papers by organising them in a binder or notebook. The purpose of a notebook is to help keep track of and remember the material for each day’s classes and to organise the material later to prepare for tests and quizzes.

Conduct a weekly cleanup: Children should be encouraged to go through and sort out book bags and notebooks on a weekly basis.

Create a household schedule: Try to establish and stick to a regular dinnertime and a regular bedtime. This will help your child fall into a pattern when at home. Children with a regular bedtime go to school well-rested. Try to limit television watching and computer play to specific amounts of time during the day.

Keep a master calendar: Keep a large wall-sized calendar for the household that lists the family’s commitments, schedules for extracurricular activities, days off from school and major events at home and at school. Note dates when your children have exams. This will help family members keep track of each other’s activities and avoid scheduling conflicts.

Prepare for the day: Before your child goes to bed he should pack schoolwork and books in a book bag. Clothes should be ironed and laid out with shoes, socks, and accessories. This will cut down on morning confusion and allow your child to prepare for the day ahead.

Provide necessary support: Help your child develop organisational skills by photocopying checklists and schedules and taping them to the refrigerator and doors. Give children gentle reminders about filling in calendar dates and keeping papers and materials organised.

And, most importantly is to set a good example, as kids learn faster from what they see than what they are told.

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