Some people are naturally organized. Some are not. The same goes for children. Having and maintaining organizational skills are of great benefit to both homeschool parents and children. By building organizational skills, a homeschooled child will:
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Work more efficiently and productively
- Make fewer errors
- Be on time regularly
- Gain a sense of control
- Gain self-confidence
- Have to rely less on memory
- Learn to become responsible and accountable
- Hone management skills required in the future
Here are three ways for homeschool parents to develop their child’s organizational skills from the bottom up.
Adults know the importance of tracking time so they can be on punctual for work, appointments, or special events. Children can be taught to keep track of important dates in fun and simple ways.
For the younger child and the child requiring extra support: Teach your child to use a calendar. Post an enlarged calendar in a prominent area in the home so that it makes it easy to refer to but difficult to misplace. Teach the days of the week and the months of the year and add stickers for special days like birthdays, holidays, and appointments.
Teach your child to complete activities in a given amount of time with visual timers such as these Small Plastic Timers.
For the independent child: Purchase a student agenda that includes a full-month view as well as a daily view. Alternatively, allow your child to use a calendar app like Google Calendar for ease of portability. Teach your child to mark important dates, appointments, and homework due dates. You may need to remind your child to use his agenda at first, but it will become automatic over time.
Keeping the bedroom organized
A great trick for helping any child keep the bedroom organized is to assign similar items to one spot in the room. For instance, rather than scattering materials throughout the space, keep clothing in closets and drawers only. Keep books on one bookshelf. Keep toys in one box.
For the younger child and the child requiring extra support: Take photos of the room to have a general map of the bedroom as a reference. If your child needs a reminder of what his organized room looks like, he can go back to the photo. Label all shelves and drawers with images of what belongs there. Always keep a laundry hamper in the room for soiled clothing.
For the independent child: Give your child a say as to the layout and décor of the space. He will be more likely to keep it clean and organized if he decides where things go in the first place.
Have this child keep a checklist as a reminder of what to clean up and organize on a daily and weekly basis.
This Zone Cleaning for Kids Clean ‘n’ Flip kit will help your child keep his bedroom organized and also, help out around the house.
Find additional tips for organizing paperwork here.
Organizing Learning Materials
Papers, crayons, and projects. You likely have these strewn about your home. Rather than picking up after your child, teach him to keep his learning materials contained so as to increase efficiency at the start of each activity.
For the younger child and the child requiring extra support: Use bins, boxes, and containers. Label with images or color-coordinate for each child. For instance, red is always for Billy’s materials, blue is always for Jessica’s materials. This way, your child can quickly locate and easily store materials as needed.
For the independent child: Organize materials in binders with dividers, folders, or accordion file folders since they take less space.
A see-through rolling cart (or two, or more!) such as this 2 Drawer Plastic File Cart makes storage portable and visible while cutting clutter.
As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to do for your child what he can do for himself. You can oversee things and offer gentle reminders, but you will only empower your child if you encourage him to organize his time and space on his own. Then, you can celebrate with a high-five!
About The All-Star Blogger
Gabriella Volpe is a homeschooling mom of a child with special needs, a certified teacher and the homeschool consultant for families of children with special needs. She helps parents find ways to adapt and modify the curriculum, so they don’t have to spend hours figuring it out on their own. You can find her at www.GabriellaVolpe.com
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