Cincinnati Family Magazine

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September 30, 2022

Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Teaching kids to be organized with their school work takes a lot of repetition … so let’s begin!

Summer will soon be a distant memory and backpacks coming home with rumpled papers, torn folders and half-written assignments — or not. Since it’s so hard for busy parents to stay on top of their kids’ school paper trails and work, some of all this management MUST be given to the kids. Success at school depends upon good organization for kids!

Here are a couple easy steps to help you accomplish this:

1. Papers, assignments, etc.

It’s super hard for kids to learn to self organize, so you have to start’em at a young age and then keep at it as the years go by. Teachers do their best to offer systems to kids, but lots of teachers do different systems. Best to create one at home that works for your kids.

Here’s how:

  • Stay positive and share a can-do attitude with your child.
  • Each night, do a quick check of your child’s backpack WITH YOUR CHILD, looking for stray papers, misplaced handouts, etc.
  • Review homework assignments WITH YOUR CHILD. If they’re not clear, find out why. Show your child how you want him to write things down.
  • Show your child how to make a list of daily things he wants to do or remember and how to return to the list from time to time like adults do.
  • Show your child how to cross things off of his list as they get done (that’s the FUN part!)
  • Teach classroom participation technique at home. Read something or ask something and have your child raise his hand and ask you a question (or two!) about it.
  • Use your teacher’s system for subject organization, but also show your child how to create his own system (since not one thing works for all people!) You may want to have a backpack folder for things he absolutely needs the next day, labeled “WHAT I NEED NOW,” or you might try using one folder for each subject, cleaning it out daily, keeping important papers in a folder at home, etc.

2. Create a Homework Strategy

Review your child’s after-school schedule and decide together when is the best time for homework to be accomplished each day and where. Because of after-school activities and sports, it’s often impossible to have one set time for homework, so make a calendar and post it in a central place, in full view for all your kids to see each day with the goal of sticking to it. If your kids prefer doing homework at the kitchen table, keep supplies they may need at-the-ready, in a tray or basket so you can take it away easily, too. If your child prefers working at a desk, make sure he has what he needs there.

Have the basics:

  • Pens, pencils, crayons, markers and highlighters
  • Erasers, sharpeners, stapler, tape, a hole punch
  • Construction paper, lined paper, index cards
  • Dictionary, thesaurus, world almanac
  • A printer for your computer; a flash drive
  • Make your homework rules clear: No cell phones during work time, etc. If a child says he needs help with a problem, tell him to use your land line or monitor as he makes a cell phone call
  • Be prepared for when kids say they have no homework or that they did it at school. Say something like, “Well, we will always do 20 minutes of reading every night, so let’s get on it!”
  • Plan on a 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off routine to get work accomplished without it becoming an endless drag



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