I’ve had school aged children for nearly four years now. I’d foolishly imagined that once at school my life was going to get significantly easier, but what I hadn’t bargained on was that sending a child to school requires serious organisation skills. Between remembering which days homework is due in, P.E kit required, or that it’s ‘dress like someone from the middle ages’ day, I feel like I have a lot of balls in the air. Which leads me to the conclusion that I need to start gently encouraging the children to start taking some of the responsibility for organising themselves.
Tips for teaching school aged children to organise themselves;
Make it really easy for them to take responsibility for uniforms, shoes, and coats. We have child height coat pegs in the hallway, and each child has their own shoe cupboard (we have these mounted on the walls, space saving and cheap). They can easily reach the shelf in the wardrobe on which their uniform is stored, as well as having a drawer for uniform at the end of each day which is still clean enough for the next day. This makes it easy for them to organise their uniform, and keep it neat and clean.
Make a timetable. We have a weeks timetable on the wall. On it is written what each child is doing that day, what they need to take to school, or out of school activities each day, and which day they need a bath/shower (with five in the house with one bathroom a timetable is needed for this). This way they can refer to the timetable every day and start to learn to organise themselves, though realistically you do need to remind them to do so until it becomes a habit. The children like being able to see what is happening each day, it is predictable. Eventually I will aim for them to be able to make their own timetables, that’s an organisational skill for life.
Create the time/space for them to work. Robo Boy has reading, and key words. Super Kid has homework, spelling tests to study for, as well as violin practise and ballet practice when an exam is looming. It can be really tricky for them to organise themselves to get these things done in our already pretty busy day. So we have home learning time, half an hour a day in which they can focus on getting these things done. It’s a great habit for them to get into, and they plan through the week what to do each day, therefore learning to organise their workload.
Those are my tips for teaching school aged children to organise themselves. I think these things will become habitual to the purple children, and will make the transition to secondary school, and potentially higher education, easier.