Helping Our Children Get Organized for the New Year

Getting and staying organized can help our children succeed in school and juggle all the demands. As 2013 gets under way, here are four ideas for a more organized year.

First, Declutter. Be sure there is a logical place for everything and that your children know where things go. Kids are great at putting things away, if they know what is expected. Encourage your child to keep his backpack and desk organized. When she gets home at the end of each day, have her empty out her backpack and put homework where it belongs. Along with notes that need to be signed, or fliers that need to be read. Then put trash, in the trash. Go over papers together. Designate areas for all those papers. So they don’t end up cluttering their backpacks and your counters. It is a lot easier to juggle the demands when you are organized. Clutter stresses our children out, just like it does us.

Second, teach your child to write things down. Using planners and calendars can really help your child remember what needs to be done. We have a family calendar that hangs in our kitchen. Our kids read that calendar every. single. time. they pass by. The opportunity to see what the family has going on helps them know what to expect, what needs to be done, and how to prepare for each new day. At the beginning of each week we all sit down and the kids get to put all their activities on the calendar. Not only does it make them feel important, and part of the family. But it really does help them stay organized and on top of what they need to do.

Next,use time wisely. This is a really hard one for our children to understand. They struggle to grasp the time concept. Teach children simple tips…

  • it is important to get all ready to go, and then with the time left over, you can play.
  • prepare your backpack and sports gear/instruments/etc, the night before. This will help your child think through preparations, understand the need to be prepared and plan ahead.
  • practice time management when you have down time. Have children estimate how much time something might take, like eating breakfast. On a Saturday morning, have your child estimate how long it will take them to eat their breakfast. Then really time them to see how long it takes. Your child will probably take longer to eat than they think. Compare the two numbers and help your child understand that minutes add up.
Last, Don’t over schedule. This is really important. We need to make sure we are not asking our children to do too much. They don’t need to join every after school team or club, and play every instrument, while learning 4 languages. Good research suggests that children only need one, maybe two extracurricular activities. They are children. Keep their load manageable so they can continue to feel organized and in charge of their lives.
The New Year is such an exciting time. Take some time to help our children get organized so 2013 will be a great year for them too.

Comments

  1. 1
    Janet W. says:

    These are all great tips for organization! I’ve learned if you start young, even before school age, and teach where things go, it will just become habit!

  2. 2

    Don’t overschedule is a huge one in my opinion. I think kid’s still need time to just be a kid.

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