Feeling lost before the exams? Here’s how to get organised and improve your child’s chances of exam domination.
A TEACHER’S WORST NIGHTMARE: A child with poor organisational skills.
Although, the poor child sitting next to a disorganised child may feel they are far worse off than the teacher. Not to talk about the group whose points are affected because said child just can’t get it together.
Throw in the upcoming school exams, and a disorganised child (and home) can result in exam results lower than what your child can actually achieve.
Newsflash parents: If your child is disorganised at home they will be disorganised at school.
So if it frustrates and angers you, it’s going to do the same to others. If you are an organised person, ask yourself what makes you organised. Have you always been organised or have you learnt self-coping or survival skills to be more organised? Many people will tell you they are disorganised by nature, but that certain coping mechanisms help them to be more organised.
A child may express their frustration or even concern because they are not organised, while others are totally oblivious or can’t even see the need to be organised or systematic. However, ultimately, organisational skills are important for children.
The good news is that no matter what your child’s age, it’s never too late to start helping your him or her become organised. Initially you’ll need to offer support, but eventually your advice may be requested from time to time, or you may be the wall to bounce ideas off.
Before you embark on this mission (for that’s what it is – a mission) you have to establish which areas need immediate attention and which are achievable. Helping your child could become a fun exercise but before you can start you need to help your child understand why it is important to be organised. Giving exact examples is always beneficial and realistic. You can talk about saving time in various areas of their lives e.g. doing homework, getting ready for school, keeping their room presentable.
Once your child understands the benefits, you can really start having fun. Begin by putting the emphasis on what needs organising at home and ensure that your child is part of the decision making. This way they’ll be more co-operative and part of the process.
Start by establishing and maintaining a routine
How? By getting any one of these …
- Wall calendar
Be sure to put your calendar or board where it will be easily visible and can be adjusted when necessary. This will help to keep track of activities, chores and homework with designated times given to each. There may come a time when a change must be made and you can then teach the importance of prioritising.
Routine can also include where schoolbags should be left, maybe in the same place lunches can be found in the morning (all school things should be packed and ready before bedtime), where homework and exam studying should be done – workspace (extra stationery should be accessible in this area – homework supply box, so that everything is on hand), where school notices should be left, etc.
This does work smoothly if you can get into the habit and have designated areas with a definite purpose.
A child feels secure when they know where “things” belong. So by forming a habit by using a checklist and routine they know where to pack what and leave their belongings, organisation happens automatically.
In the same way these organisational skills will be carried over at school. You will need to provide the initial support as your child may find organising a challenge in a different environment.
Ideas to make life at school more organised
- Make sure everything is labelled.
- Make sure all stationery has a specific container or bag.
- Put lunch in lunch bag (everything together) – it’s preferable and easier.
- Label books on the spine (or colour code) so that your child doesn’t have to search for what is needed.
- Sign up for WorksheetCloud which has all the practice exams your child will need, all already organised for you. Simple and easy!
- Ask your child what “lives” under their desk and draw a diagram so that they can see how to pack it in an organised fashion at school.
- Make sure your child has a “concertina” file to put loose papers or homework (even books will fit into them) into – label the different pockets.
- Place an office clip into your child’s homework diary: makes it easier to find the correct page and any letters that must come home can be attached to it.
- Always make sure your child has all the required stationery. Check your child’s schoolbag with them regularly.
- Encourage your child to write up dates/information on the “home planner” immediately.
The above might seem like a lot of work initially. And if you’re not currently organised, then you’ll find that it does take some work to become organised. But the long term benefits will be evident in your child’s life, and this is what you should strive for.
Remember, children are lead by example. So be a good role model and they will follow.
With the exams around the corner, you might also want to try using WorksheetCloud for revision. When you sign up to WorksheetCloud you receive hundreds of exam revision worksheets that will help your child prepare for the exams.
Remember, stay organised!