Teaching organization

At a Glance: 7 Ways to Teach Your Grade-Schooler Organization Skills

By Amanda Morin

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Organization and time management don’t always come easily for kids. Organizational skills are something you may have to teach your grade-schooler. Here are some lessons to help you get started.

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At a Glance: 7 Ways to Teach Your Middle-Schooler Organization Skills

Ready to help your grade school child get organized? Here are some simple lessons to tackle first.

Lesson 1 Recognize “wants” vs. “needs.”

Goal: Sort out and prioritize what she wants to do vs. what she needs to do.
Example: Your child does homework first. Playing with friends comes later.

Lesson 2 Take one out, put one in.

Goal: Keep messes from becoming overwhelming.
Example: Your child has to put away what’s already out when she wants to play with or use something new.

Lesson 3 Categorize, label and sort.

Goal: Keep things neat and orderly.
Example: Your child looks at toys, groceries or homework to figure out which things go together.
Lesson 4 Picture the day.

Goal: Know the order or events in the day.
Example: Your child plans out the day by drawing a picture of the day’s schedule as a comic book.

Lesson 5 Make daily checklists.

Goal: Keep track of what needs to be done.
Example: Your child lists out things to do, checks off what’s finished and transfers unfinished items to the next day’s list.

Lesson 6 Keep a family calendar.
Goal: Plan for the future.
Example: Your child checks the calendar nightly to know what’s happening tomorrow.

Lesson 7 Break big projects into smaller steps.

Goal: Make big projects easier to manage.
Example: Your child breaks a science project into steps—first coming up with an idea, then listing materials needed and gathering supplies before doing the experiment.
Graphic of 7 ways to teach your grade schooler organization skills
Graphic of 7 ways to teach your grade schooler organization skills

About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Ginny Osewalt

Ginny Osewalt is certified in elementary and special education, with experience in inclusion, resource room and self-contained settings.

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