“Having everything be perfectly in order … before it gets ruined by the giant clutter that are my school papers.” ~ 8th grader in California*
This is how one student answered the question “What do you like about school starting?” Even our children are aware of what happens when things get out of order, and appreciate everything being perfectly in order.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own back-to-school plans and organization we forget our children want and need to make plans. The condition of their bedrooms may seem as though children don’t want organization. We can help our kids get ready for school by helping them learn a few planning and organizing skills.
Making the back-to-school shopping list is a good time to find out how we can help our children. Please don’t think this only applies to teens. We can ask these questions of our younger children and help them have a foundation in place before the clutter of school papers takes over.
Get organized with these starter questions:
- Is there anything we can do to help you get and stay organized?
- How are you planning to prioritize your school work and activities? How can we be of help?
- What can we do to help you have confidence at school or activities?
Each question may become a dinner time discussion for the entire family. The answer may include items that need to be bought. Or it may be skills our children need to learn. This is something we can’t depend on the teachers having time to teach.
I can hear the laments now, “When will we have time to teach more skills and take care of all the tasks needed before the first day of school?”
How can Skill Trek help?
Skill Trek is an online supplemental curriculum that helps parents help their children learn life skills. Some of those skills include planning and organizing. The Skill Trek activities are not an add-on to our lives, but integrated into our family.
There are three groups: Trailblazers (5 to 8 years old), Rockhoppers (9 years old to 12 years old), and Cragsmen (13 years old and up). Each level has skills to help children begin to learn to plan and organize.
Trailblazers learn simple organizing skills such as putting away toys. Rockhoppers have tasks to teach punctuality and preparing clothes the night before. Cragsmen go on to time management, keeping track of assignments, and organizing a yard sale.
When we and our children have the skills to keep track of activities, papers, and even toys, it helps us stay focused. Also, knowing how to plan ahead, organize tasks, and have a handle of time, we have more confidence to move forward.
Get ready for the school year by teaching and learning the assurance that “the giant clutter” won’t take over.
*Staff, “23 Kids Share Their Honest Thoughts on Going Back to School,” Noodle, September 3, 2015, https://www.noodle.com/articles/23-kids-share-their-honest-thoughts-on-going-back-to-school (accessed August 4, 2017)