Does your child study for hours and then go blank and forgot everything needed for the test?
Does your child stare at a blank piece of paper not knowing where to start or what to write?
Does your child hear the teacher tell the class the assignment during the day but then forgets what the homework is for tonight?
Does your child take homework to school (you saw it go into the backpack!) but somehow it disappears into a black hole between the house, the bus and the classroom?
Does your child sit and seemingly absorb what’s being said or read but when asked for the recap finds it difficult to tell you what was just heard or read?
Did you answer yes to one, some or all of these questions above? Then your child may be having trouble with organizing thoughts when it’s time to repeat and recount what should have been learned.
Here are a few ideas that can help keep kids on track as they need to organize their thoughts for homework, tests, projects, oral reports and presentations—
- Take notes—Jotting down thoughts will act as place holders to jog your child’s memory later.
- Use a day planner or agenda–Everything in the same place everyday makes sure assignments aren’t lost in space.
- Use a central calendar—Helps you keep track of what’s coming up so you can remind your child of upcoming deadlines and due dates.
- Chunk out what needs to be done— How do you eat and elephant? One bite at a time!
- Use graphic organizers, checklists and to-do lists–These tools are invaluable for helping keep thoughts and ideas in their rightful place.
- Use colorful sticky notes and folders to keep track of assignments—Color can help identify subjects and assignments as well as urgency and importance.
- Let them tell you their organizational strategy—Let your child show you the best way for them to keep track of what they need to remember and if they can’t do it, help them figure out a strategy and approach that fits their learning style and preference.
- Cut the clutter—Help them streamline things by clearing out the clutter that may be taking up residence in their backpack, folders or head.
- Get moving–Sometimes it helps for students to walk around while they’re thinking and memorizing.
- Say it out loud–It also can be helpful for them to talk out what they’re thinking. A tape recorder or voice recorder may also be helpful to capture their thoughts and then they hit rewind and write them down.
The same sense of overwhelm when taking information IN can happen when students need to get information OUT. It may be garbled up in their heads and they have a hard time deciding which thing they need to do first, how to keep track of everything and still stay connected to their friends while getting good grades. The word PRESSURE comes to mind and it’s not hard to imagine why sometimes kids just can’t pull it all together.
Need a hand helping get your child organized? Check out these great Organizational Books for Students that are packed with excellent ideas and strategies to help get your child on track.