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Helping your Child Organize

Two people back to back working

Organizational skills grow differently in different children. Some children appear to be natural organizers. They clean and organize their bedrooms from a young age and seem to enjoy the comfort their uncluttered space brings them.

Often these early tendencies will translate to schooling where they complete their work in a timely fashion and are able to find paperwork and projects that need completion.

Many other children need to learn and practice the skill of organizing. This learning must be done methodically and consistently to help the child develop these skills in a manner that can be learned, integrated and performed.

  1. Work Space. The most important place to begin is helping your child develop a serene, clean and organized space in which to work. This does not need to be a large space, just one that is dedicated only to working and learning.

  2. Make lists. Ensure your child is using a system to help them keep track of the work that needs to be completed. Ideally, the school uses a planner where your child learns to write down the work that needs to be completed and marks it complete when done. Although so many things are moving to digital, many children through adolescents, need to see things written down on paper in order to grow this skill.

  3. Time Management. Have your child look ahead each day or two so they see what their work will be and they can plan their work and play time accordingly.

  4. Clean Out Spaces. Ensure that your child cleans out their backpack, school cubby, and their work station at the end of each week. Children often forget to discard old paperwork and it can accumulate in places that begin to confuse them. Keeping our work space clean and tidy can support ever growing organizational skills.

  5. Teaching Self Advocacy. Help your child, even young ones, to learn to become comfortable reaching out and connecting to their teachers. Learning to advocate for themselves is a skill that supports organization as well as builds self esteem.

Finally, while being consistent, try to keep the organization light and fun for young children. Putting music on when cleaning up and organizing and dancing around communicates that this process is fun and goes quickly when we keep it light. Ensure you are modeling good organization skills yourself. As with most parenting, children learn based on what they see vs. what they are told.


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