Saturday, August 16, 2008
Back to School - Organized Homework Solutions
As I mentioned in my previous Back to School - Student Organization blog post, the book The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond by Donna Goldberg opened up a whole new world of organizing possibilities for myself and my high school aged daughter. One of the issues we were dealing with was how to handle homework assignments before and after they're completed.
I incorporated one of Ms. Goldberg's ideas by creating a homework folder using an 8-pocket portfolio I found at Office Depot. I labeled the front of the folder “Homework Folder” and labeled each inside pocket with one of her class subjects. We've used this system for the past two years and it has worked like a charm. My daughter can even file her class papers in here, remove them from the labeled pocket, and put them right into the subject drawer which I wrote about in my previous Back to School - Student Organization blog. Try this and see if it works for your kids - I know it will!
The Organized Student also recommends using a teacher planner in place of a regular planner to record your child’s homework and other school assignments. The teacher planner is great because each page contains the days – Monday through Friday - with each subject given a large space to write class assignments, test days and special projects. I found the Teacher Planners at Office Depot for $11.99 each. At the beginning of the year, my daughter takes the school calendar and can create her yearly planner noting holidays, half-day schedules and special events.
Other recommendations for keeping your student organized include designating a specific place where they do their homework every night. Make sure it’s a quiet place with no distractions like television, computer games, telephones, etc. If they choose to do their homework in the kitchen or other living space, make sure that you are able to work quietly in that area as well. Some kids can work with noise around them, some can’t. You know what works for your kids. Keep supplies - pens, pencils, ruler, calculator and index cards in this area.
Establish a study block each day. Some flexibility may be necessary due to extracurricular activities like sports or scouting.
One last great suggestion from The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond is to have your kids create specific areas in their backpack for books, homework and class folders, pens and other writing implements, and miscellaneous (keys, cell phones). This way, they only have to open one section of the backpack to find what they’re looking for. Let them set this up so it works best for them.