Keep Kids Organized in School By Toronto4Kids.com It’s the return of another school year. Helping kids stay organized during the school is not only key to a successful academic year but it will also give them skills that they can use in their everyday lives. Here are a few tips to help kids “stay on track” once they are back at school. Use an agenda An agenda is a must! The agenda is used to record all homework, assignments and exams. It can help kids get into the habit of making lists, and crossing things off when work is completed. Make sure you review the agenda daily for important communications from the teacher. Designate a homework or study space Instil good study habits by having a quiet, well-lit area for homework and study, with all the tools your child needs at hand. Keep distractions such as electronics and television away. Homework routine Set aside a regular time for homework. Homework is a fact of life for students so it’s important to reinforce that homework is a regular requirement and part of the school routine. Manage projects and assignments Teach your child to manage their projects and assignments by setting how much time they will require along with appropriate deadlines. They can complete work that is easier first, but they shouldn’t leave the most difficult for last. Break up time required for longer projects, so they can do the work in sections and not have to complete it all at once. Find resources and materials for projects early on so you are not scrambling at the last minute. Keep backpack organized Encourage your child clean out their backpack daily. Make sure all loose sheets are filed in the correct workbooks. Have a central place such as a basket or file system to keep forms, newsletters and important communiqués from the school. Parental paperwork should be returned to school promptly! Post a central calendar With today’s busy schedules, it’s important to keep track of everyone’s activities. Post a monthly calendar on your fridge and have everyone record his or her daily activities, including sports. Use it also to record projects, assignments, tests and field trips so you have an overview of everything that’s going on each month. Record each person’s activities in a different colour marker. Packed schedule? Consider having a calendar per person. School headquarters Set-up a central area (mud room or near the door) for items that need to go to school each day. Put backpacks, books, sports equipment, instruments, coats, etc. in this area. That way, things that have to go to school will not be lost in other areas of the house. School supplies Always keep your basic supplies stocked. If you need pens, papers, index cards, or lined paper, get these supplies ahead of time so you won’t have to run out to the store each time you run low. Always have Bristol board and other special supplies handy so you are always prepared for projects. Purge weekly At the end of each week, go through corrected assignments with your child and determine what’s important to save. Put these in a memory book, or place in a photo box marked for each grade. Organize other papers that can still be used for ongoing study. Recycle/throw out what is no longer needed. Always stay one-step ahead Plan ahead for the next day of school. Before heading to bed, lay down clothes, and prepare lunchboxes and backpacks for the next day. It will make for a smoother start to each day. Happy New School Year!