How Does Organization Help My Student In School
“I didn’t know I had a test.”
“I forgot to bring that book home.”
“The teacher didn’t say I needed the paper signed.”
If these are common utterances in your home, it is likely that your student needs to learn how to effectively use a planner. Some well-intentioned students already have a planner, but have no earthly idea what to do with it. They end up keeping it in their backpacks and writing a few token assignments in it every once in a while. Now is the time to step in and make sure that your student is using a planner well.
1. Choose a Good Planner
- Make sure that it is a good size for your student.
- Check to see that it has a weekly view.
- See that it has enough space to write each subject.
2. Teach Your Student HOW To Use the Planner
- Write every subject on every day. If a class has no homework that day, simply write “nothing” for that subject.
- Bring the planner to each class and have it out on the desk. When the teacher announces an assignment or quiz in the middle of class, the student doesn’t have to try to remember to write it in the planner at the end of class because it is out and ready.
- Use the planner at the end of the day to determine what materials and books need to come home. Make sure to look a couple of days in advance so that test preparations can be done early.
- When assignments are completed, cross them off of the list. Every subject should be crossed off before the next school day.
- Have a section for each day to write about upcoming tests and projects, papers that need to be signed, or money due.
- Develop a system with stickers or highlighters to make upcoming tests dates and project due dates easily seen.
3. Keep Your Student Accountable
- While your student develops the habit, ask to see the planner nightly to help her make any necessary adjustments.
- Help your student develop a plan for preparing in advance for tests and projects. Test performance will improve greatly if your student develops the habit of early preparation.
- If you are struggling to get your student to write the assignments during the day, enlist the help of her teachers. Let the teachers know what you are trying to accomplish and ask them to initial the planner each day. Since students typically aren’t crazy about doing this, they will usually get in the habit fairly quickly!
Once your student gets in the habit of using a planner well, he will start to see the benefits. Hopefully the success will be enough of an incentive to continue using the planner well, but keep an eye on things to make sure that your student doesn’t regress and that he continues to have success!