What a difference a little organization makes! Organized students are less likely to have missing or late assignments. They understand classroom expectations, manage deadlines, and come to class with the tools they need to learn. Disorganized students, on the other hand, can spend a half hour looking for an eraser. (Don’t believe it? Ask a teacher.)
Disorganization wastes time, especially when it’s at a premium. You can help your child get a head start on time management by ensuring their desk, locker, and backpacks are clean and organized. Go to school with your child (either before or after) and help clean out personal spaces. Throw away extra papers and extraneous clutter. That light-up pencil sharpener may have seemed neat when you bought it, but it could be causing daytime distractions.
Once you have a neat, orderly, and distraction-free desk or locker, make sure it stays that way. Return to school every week until the child proves he or she can keep it clean without your help. Rest assured that Mom or Dad showing up to clean a locker is pretty embarrassing; the habit should stick quickly.
Backpacks are entirely different beasts. Because backpacks are the constant go-between from home to school, it needs to be cleaned out every night. A humble folder is often the best solution for backpack organization. Teach your child to organize papers into labeled pockets—try graded papers, take-home notices, homework, and return and sign. Check the backpack (and folders) daily.
Go to school, before or after classes, and help your child clean out his or her desk, locker, or cubby. Repeat this process weekly, or until cleaning habits are established. Clean out backpacks. Teach your child how to use a folder to organize papers that move to and from school.