There are a few supplies that, in general, every student needs in order to stay organized;
- A good sized binder (so that they can keep all of their assignments, homework, and paperwork in one centralized location and not buried in the depths of their backpacks)
- Colored pocket dividers (to organize each subject, even if something isn’t three-hole punched)
- Academic planner with room for schedules and lists (so they don’t forget their commitments)
- Office supplies (three-hole punch, stapler, paper clips, colored pens & highlighters. Not all of this goes in the backpack)
- Multi-compartment backpack (to keep everything organized between home and school)
Is there a kid out there that doesn’t love fresh school supplies? Probably not. Once they have all of the tools they need, it’s much easier to keep them on the right track.
Get Into A Routine
In order to have an effective system of organization, your student has to actually use it. If they get into a set routine of always doing certain things at certain times, it will eventually become second nature.
- As soon as they get home (or while they’re waiting for you at parent pickup) they should sit down and look over their binder and planner to make sure everything is in order. This will help you avoid the dreaded “dumpster backpack” that happens faster than you’d believe.
- They should use their planner each day to write down when things were assigned as well as when they are due. This will keep them on track with homework and projects, as well as extracurricular activities that they want to participate in. They can get creative, color coding things or decorating each page, and relax knowing that they aren’t going to forget anything.
- Everyday, your student should sort through the papers they were given and make sure that they are completed, given to you, or filed away in the correct portion of their binder. If they didn’t put things away correctly during class, they should do this as soon as possible once school is over when all of the information is still fresh in their minds.
Put Them In Charge
While it may be tempting, you shouldn’t do these things for them. They need to be the ones to go through their binder and backpack. They should know what to keep, what can be trashed, what still needs to be turned in, and what they need (or want) to save for later. If they seem to have a hard time remembering these things, try having them make notes on papers as they’re given to them. If the teacher passes something out and says “This is homework.”, your student can write “homework” (or even just HW) and the subject at the top of the page so that they won’t forget. They can also write the due date so that they’ll remember what date to write in their planner. When they’re cleaning out their binder or backpack (which can happen every week or so), let them decide what to keep and get rid of, don’t just throw everything away because you don’t know what assignments they still need. When you take over and do all of the planning and organization for them, they won’t learn how to be organized and responsible for themselves.
Your child’s school years are about more than basic academics. They’re building the life skills and habits that will influence the type of person they become. At St. Barnabas we understand the important role parents play in shaping their child’s character, and we strive to support you in all that you do for your children.
Our mission is to challenge each student in a supportive environment that promotes academic excellence and sound moral values within a framework of God’s love.