Does your child have difficulty following instructions, or become frustrated with tasks that require multiple steps like getting dressed or packing their school bag? There are several ways you can help develop their organization and planning skills at home in a fun way.
- The Rush Hour game requires planning, organization, and spatial skills to clear the traffic jam. It has a variety of levels which makes it a great addition to the family game night.
- Puzzles let children work on their motor planning while they look for pieces, and try to solve where they go.
- Connect Four is a classic game that is fun for the young and young at heart. It requires problem-solving as players visually plan their strategy to win.
Paper and Pencil
- Mazes require visual planning and fine motor control to get through the other side. There are many free mazes available online for printing.
- Following a checklist for routine tasks helps your child helps your child organize her time and break up activities into smaller steps. Bonus! Checking items off a list helps your child feel accomplished.
- Show them how to use an agenda and calendar.
- Give your child chores that include planning and sorting, like folding and putting away laundry, and loading or emptying the dishwasher.
- Practice giving your child verbal cues, using ‘first, then’ language. For example, first put away your shoes, then wash your hands.
- Embrace the shift to simplicity by regularly decluttering with your child. Teach them how to sort through and give away toys, books, and clothes that are no longer loved or in use.
Organization, time management and study skills are key to a students’ success. When students manage these areas well, it helps them stay on top of projects, tests, assignments and exams along with reducing their anxiety. In particular, as students moves through middle school and into high school, these skills become increasingly important.
Below are some of our best practices we recommend students leverage:
Tips to Improve Organization and Study Skills:
1) Use an Agenda/Planner: Help your child get in the habit of writing down their homework for each subject and checking it off once completed. There are also numerous apps for students to stay organized electronically.
2) Make a Schedule: With your child, plan the times they will work on their homework and the items they will cover. Be sure to build in a buffer for extra time and breaks. This will help teach your child time management and prioritizing their different assignments and homework. Also plan for tests and exams in advance so studying is not left until the last minute.
3) Provide a Place to Study: Select a spot with limited distractions, good lighting and an ability to focus on your work.
4) Develop a System to Track Important Papers / Materials: Create a system with binders, folders for different subjects and materials. Sometimes it can help to have a folder for items that need to be turned in and a folder for items that have been returned from the teacher. That allows the student to stay on top of their notes while the information is fresh and prevents papers from becoming loose and ultimately lost.
5) Communicate with Your Child’s Teacher: Understanding upcoming assignments is important to manage a students’ time. Strong communication with a teacher is important to help manage their schedule and ensure their are focusing on the relevant items.
Finally, strong organization and study skills take time to develop and learn. Practice makes perfect and we would encourage for students to continue to develop a structure and process that works best for them while utilizing best practices.