Parents | Raising readers & learners.

Home of Parent & Child Magazine

4 Steps to Dealing With a Disorganized Child

Disorganized child? Use these tips to help bring order to your child's school work.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Attention and Focus
Problem Solving
Responsibility
  1. Talk to the teacher about her homework policy. How long should it take your child to complete her assignments? How much does the teacher want you to be involved? 
  2. Customize homework rules. Personalities, temperaments, and academic needs vary and it's smart to take them into account when planning your strategy: Consider your child's most productive time, as well as the best place for him to work. Maybe you couldn't concentrate unless you sat at a desk in a soundproof room, but your son may be perfectly focused sprawled on his bed with music playing. Similarly, your daydreamer may need structure and precise rules (`"Finish the math now, then you can play"), while another child may need to kick around a soccer ball before buckling down. Some families find that not allowing any phone interruptions (unless they are homework-related) or TV Monday through Thursday sets the proper tone. Of course, that means you can't watch, either. Whatever routine and rules you set, stick to them. 
  3. Show her how to use a plan book or calendar to write down assignments on a daily, weekly or long-term basis. Pick a time every week to go over the upcoming schedule so she's aware of her commitments and learns to budget her time accordingly and break large projects into manageable chunks. Ask her to estimate how long each assignment will take before she begins. Then take note of how long it actually took, so she learns to gauge her workflow.
  4. Establish a workspace where your child can be relatively undisturbed and undistracted. Keep TV sets and computers out of the bedroom so you can monitor screen time. Make sure you're well stocked with school supplies so he doesn't waste valuable time running around the house searching for a calculator.

Find Just-Right Books

The Reading Toolkit

Sponsor Spotlight