Organization is a life skill. If taught early, kids will be better equipped to apply practical skills for the future. Whether it is time management, or the ability to plan and prioritize, these principles can be applied in many ways throughout school and beyond. As a student, being organized means finding what you need, when you need it.
The transition to middle school can be exciting, scary, challenging, and rewarding. Most students find it’s a time of increased responsibility – when parents and teachers pull back and let children start to take the lead with life skills like managing their calendar, daily schedule, homework, and belongings. These are all LIFE skills that students will use into adulthood; and middle school is the time to start mastering them.
Give your daughter a head start on middle school with a day of laughter and learning
Join Megan Russell of Simply Placed as she presents “Organize for School Success” at the Teenwise event, “You Got This: Middle School” on September 28th.
Her presentation is designed to help girls ease the transition from elementary to middle school. She will share life skills and practical techniques that help students maximize learning and organize many aspects of academic life.
Good study habits are the key to success for students
Homework and studying are most successfully completed in a designated clutter-free, organized study space, with necessary supplies close at hand. This allows the student to focus, as free of distraction as possible. It is also important to dedicate the appropriate amount of time and attention when studying.
Some strategies include:
- Planning in advance to have enough time to complete something and also in order to avoid conflicts with activities, etc.
- Breaking a project or study session into components and scheduling those times into a planner
- Putting away devices in order to remove or avoid temptation and/or distraction
- Setting up a reward system (using a timer, study for 25 minutes then take a 5-minute break to look at Snapchat or Instagram, for example). Timers help us stay on track with a task for a certain period of time. Our favorite timer is the TimeTimer.
Good study habits take time to develop
Learning effective study strategies can reduce your child’s stress about school and improve their grades, and it may even help both of you avoid battles over homework. Studying isn’t just a matter of sitting down to review notes, however. It also involves knowing what and when you need to study, and keeping track of assignments and tests. Like many things, these skills take time to develop.
There are lots of tools and strategies that student can use to get and stay organized, including:
- Using a Planner: Writing down homework assignments is WHAT you need to do. But the planner tells you WHEN and WHERE you get it all done. Write down everything – sports practice, music, church group, family dinners, events, etc. – in order to see the whole picture and to know when you’ll have open times to work on school assignments.
- Establishing a Paper Management System: This is a place for taking notes, a place for REFERENCE paper (handouts, class papers, syllabus), and a place for ACTION paper (homework, forms for parents to sign). Keep your backpack and locker organized as well. Having a regularly scheduled “clean out time” will help make this happen.
- Creating a Landing Zone: Assign a “home” for everything. Keep similar things together and store items where they are used. Students also need a routine place (drop-zone) to keep their backpack, instrument, sports gear, coat, etc. When they have a set place – and use it consistently – things are easier to find and it saves time getting ready.
- Remembering Self Care: encourage teens to take care of themselves – including getting enough sleep each night, good nutrition, and exercise.
- Implementing End of Day Routines: When we take a few minutes at the end of each day to put away the things we’ve used and prepare for the next, we save time, we can find things when we need them and we reduce morning chaos. Pack a lunch, lay out school clothes and plan a healthy breakfast the night before, when possible.
Below, listen as Debbie Rosemont shares some of her thoughts with Coach Sheri of Teenwise about the importance of teaching organizational skills to students, and how doing so can bolster their well-being, increase confidence and help them be more successful.
If the student in your life could use help putting organized systems and study habits in place, contact us and ask about our Organize for School Success program. We’d love to be a resource for you!