Many of us as parents are searching for that one step that can get our children ahead and help them succeed. We are constantly on the lookout for ways to increase their efficiency. Where can they get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to their time and energy? Organization.
[clickToTweet tweet="Organization may be the one ingredient that makes the difference between failure and success." quote="Organization may be the one ingredient that makes the difference between failure and success."]
It's simple in concept, and can be hard to implement, but when organization happens, productivity and effectiveness become streamlined. Organization is the channeling of talent into practice. This is all the more important as we consider the particular strengths and weaknesses of the ADHD individual.
Here are our top 10 organization strategies for ADHD
1. Use a daily agenda
The agenda is a key organization tool that can be used to write down all homework assignments. Also use it as a form of communication between parent and teacher. This will provide parents with immediate feedback regarding which assignments were completed and which ones were not. Your child could ask the teacher to initial what they have written to verify it is correct. Parents should sign their initials daily indicating to the teacher that they have checked the daily agenda. The agenda is also a great place for a parent or child to write a reminder about something that needs to be taken care of at school. Use a wall or desk calendar at home to keep long-term assignments, projects, or upcoming quizzes and tests organized.
2. Use one large binder for all classes
This binder is your main organization tool and should be color-coded by subject. Use color-coded dividers with pockets to help keep papers organized. You are making sure everything is together in one place. This will ensure the child always has what they need, decreasing anxiety and increasing confidence.
3. Use color-coded notebooks for each subject for your notes
If possible, keep the notebooks organized in the binder so all items needed for class are in one centralized place.
4. Parents should go through the binder with their child each night to minimize paper flow
Parental involvement is crucial for an organized student's success in school. Keep a color-coded file system at home to keep any papers that may become necessary in the future, such as study guides. Always have reinforcements, 3 hole punch, and a stapler available.
5. Keep a clear, plastic sleeve at the front of the binder with your daily schedule or syllabus
This organizational strategy is as powerful as it is simple. It will remind you which class you have, where, and with what teacher at what time.
6. Use a vinyl/plastic folder with three holes for all homework assignments
Clip it in the rings at the front of your binder and clearly label it “Homework Folder”. Label one side of the pocket folder the “to-do” side and the other the “done” side. Parents should check to see if their child has indeed completed each assignment before placing it in the Homework Folder. Organization is enhanced with this task-focused approach.
7. Use a pencil case
A pencil case does more than just organize pencils. Keep all of items needed for class such as pencils, pens, highlighters, erasers, pencil sharpener, and a 3 hole punch for your binder in the case. However, note that pencil cases can become messy over time. Parents should go through the pencil case with their child to discard any items not needed.
8. Prioritize your homework assignments
Organization doesn't matter unless a child gets work done. Eat a high protein snack before beginning. Complete the most difficult assignment first. Take breaks when completing assignments. Work for 15-20 minutes and break for 5 minutes. Breaks should consist getting a drink of water, doing jumping jacks, running in place, jumping rope, or some other form of vigorous exercise. Use a timer when completing homework to help with time management.
9. Review material learned in class each night
Repetition is essential for organization and student success. The review will cement the information in the brain in an organized fashion. The more you see it and/or hear it, the more you learn it. Make flash cards using index cards and/or use online resources such as Quizlet to help make flashcards, tests, and study games.
10. Clean out your backpack each night with your parent
Organization requires maintenance. Discard any un-needed items, and keep your backpack in the same place each night. Make sure you are organized and prepared for the next school day before going to bed. Establishing routines are essential in staying organized.
It may take some work to get your organizational strategy in place, but after putting these strategies to work, you will be sure to see incredible progress and joy in your studies.