Organize Homework To-Dos

Help your child keep his work in order and plan his tasks for studying success.
By Francie Alexander

Ages

8-13

Organize Homework To-Dos

If you're looking for suggestions to help kids get more organized about their schoolwork, here are some ideas to try:

Set up a homework/study calendar. Look for one that has a lot of space for writing. Encourage your child to use a red pen to mark the dates of tests or due dates for important projects. Then have him use a green pen for activities leading up to the due date. For example, spelling test may be entered on Friday and the spelling homework activities leading up to the test may be entered in green.

 Make a home-study kit. A lot of homework time is wasted looking for pencils and paper. Having materials on hand makes being organized much easier, so put the necessary tools in place. A shoebox will do, and I recently made a model home study kit using an easy-to-put-together box from a discount store. Keep the following in your child's kit (let her help you shop for these items if she's interested):

  • paper: lined, blank, and graphing
  • pencils and pens
  • ruler
  • crayons
  • marking pens
  • dictionary

File fix-up. Have your child set up a file folder for each of his academic subjects. He can do this with regular office-supply folders or make his own folders with construction paper. He can then label each folder and only keep important papers. For example, it is a good idea to look at old spelling tests to prepare for comprehensive tests at the end of the semester. Also, it is helpful to keep adding all the research for a paper to a folder so everything he needs will be in one place when he starts to write.

MORE: Design a Kid-Friendly Homework Space

Teach him a 5-minute focus exercise. Before your child starts her schoolwork, encourage her to take 5 minutes to focus on what she needs to do. This can take the form of writing down what she will do. For example:

1. Math problems __
2. Look up information for report __
3. Study spelling words __
4. Read __

Then she can check off each task as completed. It feels great to check off items on a to-do list.

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