Developing Organizational Skills

 Developing Organizational Skills

The other day a parent came in to discuss her child’s organizational skills. She felt that although there had been a significant improvement over the course of this school year, her child was still struggling in this area.

We sat and chatted for a while and came up with the following checklist of suggestions and activities (many of which she had already put into place). 
We divided our list into three categories:  
(A) Home,  (B) School & (C) Extracurricular. (Note: We also discussed being encouraging and being supportive of effort as well as achievement — after all no one and no one place is perfect.)
I have cut and copied our list below, and hope that it proves helpful.
Best regards,

(A) At Home
– Establish routines: provide consistency & support

– Keep a family calendar
– refer to it often
- Help your child make & follow a personal calendar
– refer to it often
- Teach your child to make checklists
– e.g. personal tasks, shopping lists, etc.

– Divide tasks into meaningful steps; provide checks & balances
- Teach your child to prioritize activities & assignments
- Teach & encourage your child to use a visual timer
- Create a list of daily/weekly chores for your child
– Teach your child to label books and clothes

– Maintain an organized bedroom
- Provide good storage space: a place for everything & everything in its place- Get ready for each day the night before
– Set the example; be a role model

– Build confidence and communication
- Maintain a positive attitude; don’t expect too much too soon; a little disorganization is okay too
– Provide support, review & repetition 

(B) School Related:
- Establish a homework routine
- Create a homework supply box 
- Buy your child a planner – help them organize & use it
- Teach your child to use binders & dividers
- Build confidence and communication
- Establish an open and honest line of communication between home and school

(C) Activities that develop organizational skills:

- Card games
- Puzzles
- Blindfolded sorting
- Scrap booking
- Cooking  
- Collecting coins, stamps, cards, etc.
- Music lessons
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5 responses to “Developing Organizational Skills

  1. >How about having parent model his/her methods of organizing the day by talking it out. Explaining one's own thought processes through "think alouds" could help.

  2. >Always(!) a fantastic idea Louise!Cheers,AllyPS I love "think alouds" in all areas … esp. with Math problem solving & Writer's Workshop.

  3. >I always have parents ask that questions, so thank you for responses!Emma@

  4. >Thanks Emma! Please let me know whether there are any other concepts I can help with!Cheers,Ally

  5. >There is a new place for teachers to share ideas, thoughts and funny stories with other teachers anonymously. Check it out today at

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