Back-to-school season is upon us! And while some states have already started, others are getting prepared. This time of year can be heavy-hearted for kids, but it is possible to get them excited about school. In fact, getting them involved in the prep work is one of the best organizing practices you can do.
When you get kids ready for school it’s important to make them feel like they have a say in some things. This will make the blowback a little easier on everyone. As an added bonus, your kids will learn some pretty nifty organizing skills. Skills they can take with them to school. It’s a win-win.
So what are some organizing practices you can teach to get them ready for school?
School supply shopping might be a fun time for you, but it may not be for your kids. This is because they know it means the end of summer and back to grind as adults often say. One way you can get kids ready for school is to let them pick their own school supplies.
Many schools will send a required supply list prior to the first day. Once you have that list, don’t shop on your own. Bring the kids along and let them pick their own stuff. Why? So they don’t get stuck with the generic boring colors everyone else will have.
When kids pick their own designs, colors, and more, they’ll be more excited to actually use them. Think about when you go shopping. You choose a color of a new shirt that you love, right? Why not let your kids do the same? Give them the opportunity to let their personalities shine through their school supplies.
This simple act of allowing them to express themselves helps boost their confidence.
Students should have their own planners. But not every student knows how to properly use it. Learning how to use a planner functionally is one of the best organizing practices you can teach kids.
The best part? No need to get fancy. If your child is new to using planners, start simple. Teach them how to fill in the due dates of projects. Write down any sporting events that are coming up or birthday parties. When you give your child the freedom to use their planner how they see fit, they’ll come to appreciate it more.
Planners are one of the best ways kids can get organized for school. It may take them some time to get used to writing in it, but once they do, it’ll help keep them on track.
Another great practice to introduce is a weekly planning session. Schedule time every Sunday to sit down as a family and update your planners or calendars. This shows children the importance of review, which is vital when it comes to planning and getting organized for school.
If your child is a visual learner, setting up a color-coded system for them to follow is a must. I’m not saying you need them to organize everything by color. But if you want to get them ready for school, creating a simple system is easy enough.
Before you go school supply shopping, figure out the color-code system you’re going to teach. For example, you can do the following:
You can apply this system to folders, markers (to be used in their planner), and notebooks. Color-coding is one of the best organizing practices to date. It helps keep like items together with minimal effort. And once your child gets used to the system, it’ll be like they’ve been doing it forever.
They’ll know that anything in red means it’s related to math. Anything green is related to English, and so on. This system is best suited for students who are a little older and can grasp the concept quickly. This isn’t to say you can’t start teaching kids young. In fact, it’s better to start them young. This way any organizing skills they learn will improve over time.
It can be hard to get kids to sit down and do homework. They spent all day in school and now they have to do more at home. But it’s a necessary part of the process and there are ways you can limit the resistance.
When kids start getting ready for school, sit down and encourage them to create a homework schedule. Yes, let them create it. Give them a little bit of power. Trust me, they’ll thank you for it. Promise that if they stick to it for a certain length of time they’ll get a reward.
A reward system is used in many aspects of the organizing industry and even in fields outside of it. The productivity field for example thrives on reward systems.
Explain to your kids that if they stick with a homework schedule, at the end of the week or a month they can:
It’s important to let them figure out the reward. Obviously, you’ll be there to keep it realistic. You can even offer some suggestions, but let them decide what the reward will be. Come up with a few so when one reward stops being exciting for them, you can switch it up.
Finally, when getting organized for school it’s important to ask for feedback. Especially from your kids. You can help by teaching them organizing practices, but if it’s not working for them, don’t enforce it. Instead, ask them what they think might work better.
When kids get ready for school with new systems in place, it might some time for them to realize it’s not working. If it doesn’t, that’s fine. Try something else. But don’t be afraid to ask them for their opinion.
Kids are resilient. They often learn best by doing. They might naturally start doing something that you didn’t teach them. So when you ask for their feedback or suggestions, be patient. Give them time to explain or figure out what works for them. And accept that what they prefer to do may not be what you would do.
When you teach kids organizing practices, your goal is to give them the tools and then let them build from there. Wait at least two months before seeking their feedback on a certain system. Give them time to test it out and then see. Once they give you their answer, you can take it from there.
No one said getting organized for school would be easy. But with these simple practices, your kids will be ready to go. If you need some more reasons why organizing is an important skill for kids to learn, check out these blog posts:
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What’s something you struggle with when getting your kids ready for school?
Photo: Agence Olloweb
September 2, 2022