The more clear students are on what organizational tools and habits work best for them, the better prepared they will be physically and mentally.
The school year has come and gone. Hijacked by COVID19, I know you all have a story or two (or 75 million) about homeschooling. Whether you feel good or bad about how things went in your household with distance learning, I’m willing to bet:
This is where organization tools for students come in handy. As a teacher, I learned pretty quickly that a great deal of a “successful” lesson depended on how organized I was ahead of time. The same is true for students: the more clear they are on what organizational tools and habits work best for them, the better prepared they will be physically — which helps them get in a mentally prepared state faster — and therefore makes learning easier.
I’m quite certain you really don’t want to think about school right now. Not in the middle of summer! But, the time is RIPE. You have no pressure to be anything (school-related I mean), yet the not-so-distant memory of being your child’s school and teacher all in one is still fresh, which makes it a great time for reflection. In your journal, or using your favorite note-taking app, take awhile to think on the following questions:
You could easily think through these questions in your head, but taking the time to write out your responses will end up giving you a lot more information — plus it will be easier to remember. See, the beauty of doing this exercise well before school starts is that you can do it in pieces. Reflect today. Come back to it in a few weeks, or even a month! Having your reflection written down will make it easier to remember later.
If the answer to both questions is YES, make time to compliment your child. Let him/her know you noticed and are impressed by how well they organized their school stuff. Organization and time management are two really big essential life skills. The younger children are when they learn what works for them, the better off they are! (As an aside, if they don’t already do this, help them understand how to apply these skills to responsibilities or hobbies outside of academics too.) However, if the answer is NO to the questions above, here are a few tips and tricks that have worked for many of my students over the years:
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. Use this quiet time while school is closed for the summer to prepare for the busy time that will come again soon. Once you put a system in place with your child, be consistent in helping him/her create these new habits. Check in daily for at least a month. Change things up that really aren’t working, and then spend another few weeks with daily check ins. Before you know it, you child will reach a whole new level of independence!