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How to Instill Organizational Skills in a Child

by Kathryn Hatter, studioD

Organization isn’t only an adult thing – kids have a lot to juggle, too. By teaching your child organizational skills, you give him the gift of time management and efficiency. He’ll use and appreciate these skills not only during childhood, but also into adulthood. Organization needn’t be an unpleasant chore, either – make the process a positive, bonding one for the entire family.

Model effective organization for your child to set a positive example, the Duke Talent Identification Program website advises. Keep a calendar of appointments, write to-do lists, put items away in their proper places and schedule your time efficiently to manage your responsibilities. As your child sees you conducting yourself responsibly and respectfully, he’ll learn valuable skills from your actions.

Assign chores to teach your child life skills and to enable her to contribute to the household. Kids often develop important feelings of competency and proficiency with the assignment of chores, according to Sheila Gains, with the Colorado State University Extension.

Assist your child in developing a daily routine or schedule that fits her activities and responsibilities, suggests educator Richard Gallagher, with The Child Study Center. Discuss every activity she needs to perform each day and create a schedule that will help her complete these tasks. For example, if your child has school during the day, soccer practice three times a week in the afternoons and piano lessons one afternoon per week, schedule these required activities. In her other available time, she will also need to perform homework, piano practice and chores with time for meals, family and relaxation. By mapping out a daily and weekly schedule, you can help make life more manageable for your youngster.

Give your child an assignment book or calendar so he can enter school projects and assignments for completion, recommends certified professional organizer Mary Sigmann. With assignments recorded, he can see at a glance how much time he has to work on reports and special projects. Advise your child to cross off assignments and projects after he finishes them -- to give him a sense of accomplishment.

Provide your child with a designated place for working on schoolwork at home. Optimally, your child should have a place where she can keep papers, books and supplies she needs during homework time. Encourage your child to keep her work area neat and organized by giving her file folders, baskets or desktop organizers.

Check in with your child daily to make sure he’s handling his responsibilities successfully. If he feels overwhelmed, help him reorganize or restructure his schedule to enable him to achieve his responsibilities. If he’s succeeding, provide positive praise and feedback.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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