Executive Skills Needed: 1. Task Initiation, and 2. Organization
Steps to take:
- With your child, decide on what needs to be included in the organizational system: a. A place to keep unfinished homework? b. A separate place to keep completed homework? c. A place to keep papers that need to be filed? d. Notebooks or binders to keep notes, completed assignments, handouts, worksheets, etc.? A sample list is in the checklist that follows.
- Once you’ve listed all these elements, decide how best to handle them, one at a time. For example, you and your child might decide on a colored folder system, with a different color for completed assignments, unfinished work and other papers. Or, you might decide to have a separate small three-ring binder for each subject or one large binder to handle all subjects. You may want to visit an office supply store to gather ideas.
- Gather the materials you need—from the house if you have them on hand, or from the office supply store if you don’t. Materials should include a three-hole punch, lined and unlined paper, subject dividers, and small Post-it packages your child might want to use to flange important papers.
- Set up the notebooks and folders, labeling everything clearly.
- At the beginning of each homework session, have your child take out the folders for completed assignments, unfinished work and material to be filed. Have your child make a decision about each piece of material and where it should go. Complete this process before beginning homework.
- When homework is completed, have your child place homework in the appropriate folder and file anything else that needs to be saved.
- Cue your child to begin homework by following the “organizing” process. Supervise each step to make sure all steps are followed and checked off on the list.
- Cue your child to begin homework with the organizing process and remind him/her to check off each step when done. Check in periodically & at the end to make sure the checklist is done and things filed.
- Last, cue to begin, check in at the end, and occasionally spot check folders, notebooks, and files.
- As much as possible, involve your child in the design of the organizing system.
- Redesign the elements that aren’t working right by asking, “How could this work better for you?”
- For people who are not naturally organized, it can take a long time for this process to become a habit. Keep in mind that supervision over the long haul may be necessary.
Dawson, P., & Guare, R. (2009). Smart but Scattered. New York: The Guilford Press. P. 167-168.
SETTING UP A NOTEBOOK / HOMEWORK MAGAGEMENT SYSTEM
What will you use?
Place for unfinished homework
Place for completed assignments
Place to keep materials for filing
Notebooks /Binders for each subject
Other things you might need:
MAINTAIING A NOTEBOOK / HOMEWORK MAGAGEMENT SYSTEM
Clean out “to be filed” folder
Go through notebooks and backpack for other loose papers to be filed
Place all assignments (finished & unfinished) in appropriate places
From Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare. Copyright 2009 by The Guilford Press. P. 169