Do your kids forget to do their homework? Are their rooms a total mess? Teaching your kids some basic organization skills will help them in the long run and save you some hassle, too!
Routines really help kids get and stay organized so we suggest you instill routines for everything — starting with getting up in the morning and ending with going to bed at night. But,it’s important to follow through and be clear on what the consequences will be for not following the routines. Here are some routines that may help you with your kids:
• If your child’s room needs organizing, involve them in the process so they not only accept the system, they helped to create it! You can add pegs lower in the closet so they can reach them, you can add drawers and toy storage bins that are low for them as well. You can add shelving for clothes storage, too. Once the room is organized with their help and input, instill rules about how cluttered their rooms are allowed to be.
• Show your child different ways to organize their school backpack so they can bring home required homework, papers for you to read and sign, and general ways to stay organized for school. One could be by class subject, one way could be by what homework has to be done, etc., but one of these methods will appeal to your child so let them follow that method. Set a routine to clear out backpacks daily. If the backpack is disorganized, help your child get it in order and let them know you will not do it again – it will be their responsibility.
• Homework is another area kids need to be organized. Have a place for them to complete their homework (dining table, kitchen table, bedroom, but NOT in front of the TV). We suggest the TV be off during homework time. Create a calendar for each of your children and mark any school or extracurricular events on it as they come in (birthday parties, school plays, ballet recitals, etc.). As projects are assigned, put the due date on the calendar and work with your child to determine what needs to be done and how long it should take. Then mark out dates on the calendar to finish each step you’ve discussed. Make sure you know what materials will be needed to complete the project too! By recording the project, it will reinforce the due date and help get the project completed. It will also relieve any stress as your child can clearly see how the project will progress.
• Instill an end of day routine – it can include clean up before bed, pack backpacks for school, then bath and bed time. Set an age where your kids can start to stay up later than, say, 8:30PM. Maybe at 13. If the rule of the house is TV off at 8PM, pick up toys and tidy rooms, bath and into bed by 8:30PM – it will help them with follow the nighttime bed routine.