Teaching organization

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

By Amanda Morin

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As teens become more independent, learning to organize and prioritize in all aspects of their lives is important to their future success in college or the workplace. Here are ways you can help.

356Found this helpful
At a Glance: 7 Ways to Teach Your High-Schooler Organization Skills

It’s important that teens understand how to organize and prioritize responsibilities. Here are ways you can help him improve these skills at home.

Lesson 1 Teach multiple ways to prioritize
Goal: Find organizational tools that fit your teen’s needs and skills.
Example: Projects can be organized by due date—or by time needed or how hard (or easy) they are.

Lesson 2 Teach how to divide and conquer
Goal: Keep deadlines for long-term projects from creeping up.
Example:Show your teen how to break projects into smaller, more manageable pieces. Use cue words like “first,” “next” and “last” to categorize the tasks.

Lesson 3 Designate a place for study materials.
Goal: Teach your child to keep the tools he needs in one place.
Example: Encourage your teen to keep pens, paper, computer, calculators, dictionaries and other supplies together. No more hunting for an eraser!

Lesson 4 Model organization skills.
Goal: Learn how to be organized by seeing the skills in action.
Example: Keep a family calendar and a to-do list to model planning ahead and making lists.

Lesson 5 Use a whiteboard.
Goal: Make things easier to visualize.
Example: Your child can make to-do lists, map out thoughts for an assignment or just write down things he wants to remember.

Lesson 6 Give your teen a planner.
Goal: Encourage your child to manage his own schedule.
Example: With a digital or paper planner, he can keep track of where he needs to be and when. He can practice arranging and rearranging his time.

Lesson 7 Ask about the plan of attack.
Goal: Make sure your teen knows how to prioritize the steps for getting an assignment done.
Example: Don’t assume your teen knows how to get an assignment done. Ask him to explain his plan. You can help him refine it, as needed.
Graphic of 7 ways to teach your high-schooler organization skills
Graphic of 7 ways to teach your high-schooler organization skills

About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin

A parent advocate and former teacher, Amanda Morin is the proud mom of kids with learning and attention issues and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

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Reviewed by Jenn Osen-Foss, M.A.T. Mar 31, 2014 Mar 31, 2014

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