Is your family organized for the 2017-18 school year? If you are a parent, part of you may be relieved to get the kids back into a routine. But another part of you might be anxious because you know your children’s success and your sanity depend a lot on organization. No one would argue that it isn’t easy to be organized in today’s world. Thankfully organization is a skill anyone can learn. Here are a few suggestions I hope will help your family:
A command centre is a central location in your home that will capture all the miscellaneous papers that flow through your household. It communicates to-do lists, schedules, bills to be paid, information on upcoming events, important telephone numbers, invitations, meal planning, and school papers. This space may also be a perfect location to dock everyone’s electronics.
I wrote in detail about our family’s station in a previous post. It is a portable A-Z filing bin and is used to temporarily store our active papers. This is fine for just the two of us. But when our kids were young,
a bulletin board and central calendar were also imperative to keep things together. Check out the Organizing Junkie’s family command centre below and her blog post for additional tips.
Also, check out Abby Lawson’s 8 essential steps for creating her young family’s command centre. As you can see, this space is customized based on the age of our kids, the space we have available, and how you would like it to enhance your decor.
A home launch pad can definitely be combined with your command station. But this zone is typically located closest to the door that the family goes in and out of the most. At this location there should be a dedicated space for all family members where they can put their to-go essentials.
For school-age members, they need a place to hang their coats and backpacks, and a to corral their library and text books, homework, permission slips, gym strip, instruments, lunch, etc. Whereas for parents, we need a easy-access home for our brief cases, phones, wallets, sunglasses, and keys.
Grab great ideas on how to turn your entrance way into a launch pad from Louise O’Brien’s blog post on Houzz.
National expert on chronic disorganization and resource for ADHD students, Leslie Josel recommends one binder for all subjects. Check out her video on how to set it up. The one-binder system makes it less confusing for the student and ensures they always have what they need at school and at home.
When the one binder fills up, overflow papers could be put into a file storage system. File loose papers by subject so they can be referenced at exam time. The portable expandable file below is one option, but a tote, like the mesh one above, may be required if there are lots of papers to maintain.
Use slash pocket dividers to separate the subjects in your student’s binder and to hold loose paper. Sometimes students are on the fly and can’t put their papers away until later so pockets are a great temporary holding place.
Colour-coded, clear pencil pouches that can be stored in a binder or backpack. It saves time if your student can see what is inside their pouches! Use the pouches for different types of loose supplies or give a different colour to each of your children to keep their supplies from getting mixed up.
Poly duo-tangs with pockets are great for younger students. The slash pockets are essential. The poly tangs are extremely durable and won’t crumple in backpacks, and loose papers will not get misplaced.
You know the famous philosopher quote, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’? I believe this is where study skills come into play. We need to teach our kids how to organize their thoughts using mind mapping techniques or using tools like queue cards.
They should also learn how to organize their notebooks for effective note taking. Where do they learn these smart study-techniques?
One way is by attending workshops facilitated by Terry Small, the Brain Guy. For years he has been helping students use their brains smarter. Below is a list of his presentations, and see if you can arrange for your student to attend one of his grow-your-genius sessions. My kids both attended Study for Success a couple times each through their school years. Even if you don’t have kids, don’t you want to know more about Brain Boosting Secrets?
Possibly your school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) will sponsor a Terry Small workshop, so that may be an avenue to consider. Terry’s upcoming schedule is here. If you cannot arrange a workshop, then search for memory mastery and study skills courses online. Udemy and the How to Study website are just two examples to explore.
Organize to Optimize with Melody Oshiro serves Parksville and most areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo. Are you looking for more hours in your day to focus on getting your fall set up for success? Contact Melody if you would like assistance in organizing your home or office. Check out her introductory package rates and call her for an assessment.
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