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How Can I Help My Child to Become Organised?

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 23 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Homework Homework Organisation Parenting

It can be difficult to know what to do when your child is struggling to organise their homework load. Whilst you are sure to be keen to see your child succeed, you may feel wary about intervening too much. However, it is possible to help them to get into a stress-free, effective routine whilst simultaneously giving them enough space to develop their own learning and working methods.

Introduce Organisational Tools

You might feel that, in attempting to organise your child, you are constantly nagging, checking up on or confronting them. Rather than keeping track of whether your child has completed individual tasks, try introducing more long-term solutions. If they don't already have a homework diary, buy them one and inspire them to use it. Alternatively, you might consider getting hold of a calendar or wall chart that could be kept either in your child's room or in a communal part of the house. Encourage them to write down each homework task on the chart or calendar when they receive it. Ensure they make a note of any deadlines and suggest that they cross through each task once it has been completed.

Show Interest

Talking to your child about their homework tasks and deadlines need not necessarily lead to nagging. Encourage them to think about what each task involved, how much time it will take, their other plans and their strategy for handing in the work on time. Such a conversation need not be an interrogation. Adopt an interested, as opposed to a strict, tone. In this way, you can enable them to see that organisational skills are as much a part of homework as the subject-specific work itself.

Build A Routine Together

Rather than continually checking up on your child to see if they have completed their homework tasks, try to build an effective routine together. This might involve your child generally studying at a particular time, such as whilst dinner is being cooked. It might involve them working in a certain place too. You might jointly agree that your child will aim to have all work completed by a certain time, so that they are able to relax afterwards. Encourage your child to pack their bag the night before, to guard them against leaving behind any important work and missing a deadline as a result. The routine you create should be specifically tailored to your home life and to your child's needs. The elements of your child's routine should be viewed as guidelines, as opposed to rules. There should be room for flexibility so that your child can grow as a learner and is able to feel in charge of their own methods of study.

If you're hoping to give your child a helping hand in the organisation department, tread with care. 'Help' is the key word here. By showing that you are interested and by giving them a little encouragement, the ideal balance can be reached. Remember to communicate directly with your child. Listen to their needs and to be flexible.

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