Helping children stay organised at secondary school
Secondary school is such a different experience to primary school for both you and your child. The hand holding is largely gone and so is the one, ever present, easily contactable teacher. Children have to learn quickly how to manage their own homework, timetable and possessions and it can be bewildering.
Staying organised is the key to coping with secondary school and an important skill for our children to develop.
Having these practical, organisational tools in place for your child will really help...
- A bookshelf where all their school books live
- A notice board with their timetable and a month-to-view calendar on
- A bag with several compartments and a holder for a drinks bottle
- A specific place to hang their school bag each night
- A bag fro PE which is kept stocked with basic PE kit
- Labels on their belongings
- A spare stock of stationary
Children need to be up in plenty of time to be well prepared for the day ahead. Flying out the door without breakfast or their packed lunch will not make for a good day! An organised, routine start of the day has huge benefits, practically and emotionally.
Emptying their school bag of packed lunch boxes, dirty PE kits and used water bottles as soon as they come home will make everyone's life easier. Putting school shoes where they are meant to go immediately is a HUGE help!
I would suggest when your child comes home from school they plot on their calendar when they will do any homework given that day. If homework time is planned in then they have made a commitment to doing it. Regular homework times are very helpful and will get your child into a good routine.
A back-up plan
We all need a good back up plan. Have phone numbers of other parents in your child’s class so you can find out what is needed for cookery that week or what’s sports kit is required if your child has mislaid the information. Teachers are not that easy to contact now!
You could photocopy their timetable and have a copy squirrelled away in case it goes missing. Your child needs one in their school bag and one on their own noticeboard too to keep them on track.
Designating places for equipment to live such as water bottles and calculators really helps. Getting children to put things away as soon as they are done with them stops them going missing. This is worth encouraging at home too, so it becomes a habit.
Packing what they need
There is a lot of kit required at secondary school and it changes daily. Encouraging your child to routinely pack their bag for school the night before enables them to check their timetable and ensure they have what they need. You may want to do this with them until they have it down to a fine art. For cookery, I suggest they show you what they need as soon as they get the recipe to give you time to shop if needs be. Telling you the night before is really stressful!
Successful organisation depends on planning, clear routines, a place for everything and good habits. It’s a lot to teach our children but these are lifelong skills which will benefit them hugely and are well worth establishing.
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