Homework – Ugh! Helping your child become organized and handle their homework independently is a challenge for most parents. Let’s get down to basics.
First of all, providing an area that is conducive to studying is one of the essential steps. Consider a modular unit that can grow with the child like the elfa desk area offered at The Container Store. We like this as a solution because the desk and chair height can be raised and you can have this mounted to the wall or as a stand-alone unit that you can take with you when you move. It’s easy to add more shelves, and the elfa utility board can provide lots of options for storing smaller items. You can create your own personalized desk area.
As children get into the middle and high school years, they need supplies to keep them organized. Essentials should be within reach: a good homework/day planner, stapler, tape, ruler, paperclips, pens/pencils, sharpener, scissors, calculator, index cards, file folders, paper, computer/printer, bulletin board, comfortable chair and plenty of desk space to spread out with limited clutter on the desk top. Also, consider an organized solution (whether a filing system, folders, or binders) for old tests that they can refer back to when needed for mid-terms. Be sure the area is well lit and comfortable.
Establish routines and expectations.
Most of us have answered the phone call from a frantic child on the other end saying they forgot their homework, a note you had written that morning, their lunch, cleats, permission slip and the list goes on and on….There is a lot for them to remember and the more organized systems they can set up the better. Anything that eases the stress and morning rush is a positive. If your child is struggling with what to wear which then is like a mad spiral into chaos, then suggest they lay out their clothes the night before. The morning stress doesn’t impact just them after all! Suggest cleaning up their work space at night so that that one piece of paper that’s hidden under a book doesn’t get left behind. Backpack should be packed. Oftentimes a note on the door can be helpful (or an alarm on their phone) so they’ll remember something in the morning like the brownies that are in the fridge. You know your child best so set up strategies and solutions that will work for them.