The new school year means new school supplies and a fresh start to getting organized. Starting with an organized plan can make a difference – stick with it and you’ll not only have a better handle on what’s coming and going, you’ll also help your child develop lifelong habits!
- FOLLOW THE TEACHER’S LEAD – Become familiar with the system your teacher prefers or recommends. She has experience with your child’s grade level and will know what tends to work well. For example, a teacher may have each student keep a binder where homework plans, signed papers, and other necessary papers are stored throughout the year.
- KEEP/RETURN FOLDER – Have your student maintain a Keep/Return folder in his backpack. Label the left side of a folder “Keep” and use for school newsletters, flyers, and graded papers that will stay home. Label the right side “Return” for papers that will return to school – e.g., homework, permission slips, and other papers to sign/return.
- ONLINE ORGANIZING –Many teachers are now utilizing online classroom communication tools. Use these tools if they do – they’re great for asking questions and staying informed on assignments, announcements and classroom supply needs. There are also several apps available to help your student stay organized. Even something as simple as setting an assignment reminder on their phone can help!
- WRITE IT DOWN – Some students may do better with a paper planner. Have your student pick out an assignment book or daily planner she likes. Have her get comfortable using it by writing in special days, practice schedules, school events, and holidays. Try personalizing with photos, stickers and colored pens.
- HOW WAS YOUR DAY? – Ask your child about his day at school. What did he work on today? How is a project coming along? Help him develop the habit of thinking back through his day by including non-homework questions such as “What did you do doing recess today?” or “Tell me something funny that happened today.” Share something about your day, too.
- DAILY SORT – Set an example by making it a habit to go through your child’s book bag together every evening. Sort papers into a keep or recycle pile. Some parents like to keep a file box with a folder for each school year and pare down to some keepsake papers at the end of the school year.