Ask the Teacher

My daughter is so disorganized. When she heads to middle school next year and has a locker, I don’t know how she will manage. What can I do to help her? 

One of the keys to organization is planning, and that requires a routine. Developing a routine is very tough for many kids. Without planning and a routine, frustration results over finding lost items, missing deadlines and forgetting materials. However, children can learn that they have more time for fun when they are better organized and follow a routine.

Keep the plan simple. Have your daughter start by taping a list to her mirror of what she needs to do before school to be ready for the day. Many of these tasks can be done the night before. She should also have a checklist for what she needs to do at the end of the day. She can create an electronic list on her phone or computer or staple one inside a planner cover. Go over the lists with her frequently so that she understands that she is accountable for using them.

Once the routine for before and after school has been implemented, it is time to tackle “stuff management.” This is a huge challenge! Do not assume your daughter knows how to get her backpack, her locker and her room organized. Help her label folders or folder pockets, put shelves in lockers, and establish places for her personal belongings.

Learning how to become responsible for her personal belongings and her time is an essential skill to learn now that will benefit her the rest of her life.

Ask the Teacher is written by Deb Krupowicz, a mother of four who holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Deb has over twenty years of experience teaching preschool, elementary and middle school students. Please send your questions to her at [email protected]

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