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How to help your child get - and stay - organized

As summer winds down, camp is coming to a close and school will be starting before we know it. We all want to make sure our children are ready and organized for the start of the school year. More importantly, we want to help them stay organized throughout the year.

We’ve compiled a list of some helpful suggestions to ensure your children gets into productive habits before school and during the school year.

Create checklists

It’s a great idea to get children into the habit of creating their own to-do lists. You can use checklists to keep track of homework, projects, and reminders about what items need to be brought to class. Do this traditionally on paper or even using several useful mobile apps!

Organize assignments

When your child is about to start their homework, have him or her number their assignments in order of priority. Make sure they are starting with assignments that are not too long or difficult. However, ensure the hardest assignments are not left to be completed last. It is also important not to do it all at once - Speaking from experience, this can wear us out!

Pick a study spot

The location is crucial! It’s helpful to have one area in the house where your child goes to do his or her homework. They then associate that spot with school work and helps them stay focused. It should be a quiet space with minimal distractions. All their school supplies should be ready and easily accessible.

Set a designated study time

Much like a work day with set hours (for the most part), your child should get used to that same routine: Every day, there is a specific time reserved for studying and doing homework. It’s best to make sure this time isn’t right after school, as they should have some time to relax after their school day and balance the school work from leisure.

Organize notebooks

To help your child keep track of all their school papers, organize them in a binder or notebook, usually by course. This will help them stay on track and be able to review material for class. In addition, they will be able to organize the material that will be used later for future quizzes and tests. Side note: Using dividers to separate class notes or color-coded notebooks or sticky-notes can be very helpful.

School supplies

Make sure your child has all of their supplies in one place (pencil cases, lunch bag, wallet, etc.). Your child should also have a backpack that is able to carry all of their school essentials (books, paper, lunch, etc.).

Weekly cleanup

On a weekly basis, have your child go through their backpacks and notebooks. Any old tests, quizzes and papers should be organized and kept in separate files at home. Any papers, wrappers or other items that are no longer being used should be thrown out.

Establish a household schedule

Try to stick to a regular dinner and bedtime schedule to help your child fall into a pattern at home and ensure they go to school well-rested and ready to conquer the day. It’s best to limit the amount of screen time to specific time periods as well. This can be literally done with Apple’s Screen Time feature, for example!

Keep a master calendar

Some families do this extremely well. They create a large calendar to keep track of everyone’s commitments, extracurricular activities, days off, and big events. Include the dates when your children have exams or big projects due to help all family members keep track of everyone’s activities.

Prepare for the next day

Every night, before your child goes to bed, you should make sure they pack their homework and books needed for the next day. Their clothes, accessories and shoes should also be laid out. This will ensure your child is able to prepare quickly in the morning and will not have any delays. For help on preparing for school like a champ, take a look at our back-to-school article here.

Try to get your children into these habits prior to the start of the school year, so that they will be excited about their new routine. You want this to be natural change for them that they are happy to implement. Practice makes perfect!