Getting Organized: What Parents Can Do
- Make sure assignments come home. Help your child line up someone in each class who can be contacted, if necessary, to get the homework assignment. If your child has trouble copying the homework assignment in class, have her read it into a small cassette recorder.
- Avoid locker litter. Work with your child to decide what he needs in his locker, and get rid of the extras. If necessary, make the space more efficient with additional shelves, hooks for sneakers and a gym bag, and a hanging organizer for small items. Plan a cleanup schedule -- perhaps weekly or before a school break. If your child doesn't have time to stop at her locker between classes, get her a book bag on wheels.
- Teach list-making. Encourage your child to keep a "to do" list. Show her how to prioritize by dividing the items into two groups: Important (do it now!) and Less Important (do it anytime). Each evening, review her list for the next day, and remind her about things due the next morning.
- Post sticky notes with reminders on mirrors, doors, and elsewhere. Encourage your child to post reminders for himself.
- Enlist the teacher. Many middle school teachers assume that their students already have organizational skills. If your child still needs help in this department, let his teachers know which strategies have proven effective.