My daughter has always been an A-B student, and happy with that. So when she declared at the beginning of 5th grade that this would be the year that she would finally make the All A Honor Roll, I was skeptical. In our school, 5th grade is known for being harder than other years—a moment in the curriculum when things ramp up pretty quickly. Could she really improve her grades in a year when most kids’ sink?
Then, something amazing happened: my daughter discovered school organization! Her backpack, which in 4th grade had been a dumpster bursting with old, wrinkled assignments and petrified snacks suddenly became a collection of neatly tabbed binders, cleaned out weekly. Her homework assignments, which had been written who-knows-where in the past, were consistently and neatly recorded in the same place. She brought home the right books on the right days to study. Suddenly, last year’s 85s and 88s turned into 95s and 100s.
You guessed it—a little organization was the difference between a pretty good year and a great one! (And we have the A Honor Roll certificate to prove it.) You can help your child turn the same corner with these tips and tools from iMOM.
Invest in the right supplies.
Aside from the essentials prescribed by the teacher, there may be a few extras that you know will help your child keep it together academically: tabs for binders, page protectors for handouts that need to be accessible long-term, etc. Take the time to help him set up his binders/notebooks and create a system for knowing what goes where.
Establish an “after-school flow.”
Routines help all of us to stay organized—moms included. We love this checklist (from Just Organize Your Stuff) of things that need to be done when the kids get home from school, including getting important papers into an “action box” for mom, and getting homework completed before video games or free play. If you get them into the groove of taking care of first things first, fewer things are forgotten or turned in late.
• Tip: After School Flow Chart
Have a weekly or monthly clean-up.
Your child’s teacher will probably guide the class through purging some things from their desks or cubbies in the classroom, but many of those things just land in those great binders you set up earlier or, better yet, loose in the backpack. Sit down with your child regularly to teach him how to discard papers no longer needed, and move “keepers” to a permanent home.
Teach your child to use an academic planner.
If your child routinely forgets assignments or projects, or fails to bring home the proper book to study for the quiz, an academic planner can be a big help. Have her write down tests and homework assignments in the planner and then refer to it when packing up for home at the end of the day to remember everything she needs.
• Tip: Printable Homework Planner
How do your kids stay organized during the school year?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.