What Parents Can Do to Help Their Children Get Organized
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- Establish a daily routine with expectations clearly defined and discussed in the family (i.e., getting ready for school, chores, homework, and bedtime routine).
- Adhere as closely as possible to a schedule during the school week.
- When giving chores or responsibilities around the house, be sure they are reasonable, limited in number, and developmentally appropriate for your child.
- Write down and post all chores/responsibilities in a highly visible place.
- Help your child avoid being distracted by the TV by turning it off.
- Use self-stick notes to place on mirrors, doors, and other visible places for reminders.
- If possible, be available when your child is doing homework to help as needed, but don't get in the habit of having him rely on you. However tempting it may be, don't do the work for your child.
- Ask to see how your child is recording assignments. Praise all efforts at being organized.
- Expect your child to have all assignments recorded. If he tends to have difficulty keeping up with assignments, turning work in on time, and following through with projects and daily homework, see the teacher! Let the teacher know that this is an area of weakness for your child, and that you want to be in a position to help. Request the teacher's help in making sure all assignments are recorded daily. Then be sure to follow through by reviewing the recorded assignments with your child.
- Reinforce with your child the need to not leave school until she checks her assignment sheet/calendar. Make sure she has any necessary books and materials needed to do the homework.
- Have your child take the phone numbers of a few responsible students that he can call if there is a question about schoolwork. Ask the teacher to assign a responsible buddy for this purpose. Some accommodating teachers are willing to share their own home phone number.
- Be sure to ask for progress notes that keep you aware of how your child is doing. If you haven't received any communication or feedback for a while, call the teacher or write a note.
- Help your child divide the workload and assignments into manageable chunks. Ask to see what she has accomplished after a certain amount of time, or to show you when a particular assignment is done.
- Consider using a timer if your child has difficulty staying on task. Sometimes a "beat the clock system" is effective in motivating
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