Kids Play and Learn

Helping Our Kids Get Organized

Helping your kids get organized is essential to ensure your household runs smoothly.  Even if you are not the “organizing type” it is your responsibility, as a parent,  to teach your child how they can organize themselves.  These skills are important in becoming self-sufficient and coping with the daily demands of school.  Different strategies work for different families – here are a few pointers.

CHECKLISTS

Checklists are a great way to get children of all ages involved in completing chores or everyday tasks  successfully and autonomously.  For younger children basic pictures can be used.  You might want to start with everyday things, especially if your child is forgetful and finds it hard to focus on tasks at hand.

Take a morning routine for example: get dressed, have breakfast, brush teeth, get lunch, get schoolbag.  You might be blessed with more than one boy (husband included) who leave the bathroom a mess every time they use it.  A simple checklist in the bathroom might be just what you need.

By introducing checklists we are teaching our children to strategise and organise their time.  We want them to be efficient rather than waste time arguing and crying about not wanting to do something. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much they will enjoy it and how much pride they will take in their completed tasks.

ASSIGNMENTS IN WRITING

Assignments of the day should always be put in writing.  Have a  calendar in each child’s room.  Add daily sticky notes of encouraging words and assignments that need to be completed.

HOMEWORK ROUTINE

Help your child establish a “study hour.” Encourage them to stick to this schedule even when they don’t have homework by reviewing notes or reading. For younger children using a timer can help motivate them. Find a study space that is conductive to learning and without distraction.  Often the most secluded place is their bedroom. If you child struggles with discipline when it comes to studying and completing homework finding an alternative study space is advised.

As a parent it is your job to check and make sure the homework is complete. Helping your child to clean his schoolbag, organise his binders and check that all his stationery is accounted for, should happen on a weekly basis.  If your child is very forgetful or has been diagnosed with ADHD it might be wise to have a separated pencil case for home and school.  This means less to remember when packing and will allow your child to conserve his mental energy for learning.

ORGANIZING TOYS

Toys are a pain!  They accumulate so quickly and are often, regardless of how much you love them, not even played with by your kids. There comes a time in every parents life where you need to put the “One In One Out” rule into place. Even at a young age children should know that when new toys come in some of the older toys should go.  Have a donation box and explain to your children that your family will be donating to others who don’t have toys.  Making you child part of this process contributes to raising empathetic and caring children who are aware of their privilege.

A great way to create order when it comes to toys is to have an ABCD prioritization system.  You and your child must organise and decide how often toys are played with. A, are toys that are played with on a daily basis and are always within reach. B, are toys that are not played with too often, maybe weekly. C, are toys that are not played with often, but might have sentimental value. These toys are usually stored higher up or in a cupboard and taken out on request. D, are toys that are not played with and can be placed in the donate box.

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