Does your child have trouble keeping school papers and assignments in order? Do you often find that he or she could use some time management tips and maybe struggles with initiating and completing school work in a timely manner? For children with these issues, independently navigating school work can be understandably challenging. Parents may commonly observe issues with organization and time management in children. The information below defines this specific issue and provides helpful time management tips for both parents and professionals.
What is Organization and Time Management?
Organization and time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficacy, efficiency, or productivity.
Students have difficulty planning, initiating, and completing assigned tasks in an organized and time efficient manner. They lack the ability to define and determine preplanning stages of executing tasks, including estimating the length of time an assigned task may be required to complete.
What do these definitions mean?
Students who have issues with organization and time management struggle to organize notes, papers and files in a logical manner, and they often cannot accurately estimate how much time an assignment will take to complete. It is challenging for them to negotiate schoolwork independently.
Behaviors Parents May Observe
- Their notebooks, binders, and backpacks are stuffed with papers and lack any resemblance of organization.
- They do not remove old papers, quizzes, and tests from their binders.
- Papers for one subject are mixed with papers from another subject in their folders and binders.
- Essential papers may be missing or not securely positioned in safe and prominent places.
- Estimation of time to complete assignments is not close to accurate.
- Your child requires assistance with initiating assignments and navigating their way through them. Without this kind of help, tasks may not be completed at all.
Professionals That Can Treat This Learning Issue
- Learning specialists
- Classroom teachers
- Academic tutors
Effective Teaching Strategies
- Have students color-code their binders, notebooks, and folders so that each color corresponds to a different subject.
- Check to see that they have the necessary notes and handouts to complete their assignments.
- Draft a schedule of assignments, breaking down specific due dates for each part of the assignment, rather than using one due date for the final product.
- Meet with students regularly to confirm that their agendas are up to date.
- Provide study skill strategies.
At Home Time Management Tips
- Parents can assist their child to clean out and organize binders, folders, and backpacks on a weekly basis.
- Parents can assist their child to create folders for each subject, keeping quizzes, tests, and study guides for future reference in a safe place at home.
- Upon review of assigned tasks, parents can help their children estimate how much time it takes to complete a certain kind of assignment, and together they can assess whether their estimation was accurate.
- As needed, parents can assist their children in organization by beginning assignments and checking in on them to help keep them focused and on track.
Incorporating these time management tips will help bridge the gap between home and school and help children reach their full academic and social-emotional potential. These time management tips will not only be useful for the child but also assist the parents or guardians in creating a more organized and efficient home and school environment.
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Check out this article on All You Need to Know about being a Room Mom.
About the author: Dana Stahl, M.Ed., author of The ABC’s of Learning Issues grew up with learning disabilities and became a learning specialist to help children with learning issues reach their social-emotional and academic potential. Stahl’s practice, Educational Alternatives, LLC, focuses on educational advice, advocacy, and school placements.