Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Divide and conquer with folders!

What you can do

Help your child come up with a system to organize his homework assignments. Use two folders for each subject area. One folder is for transporting new assignments to and from school.

The other is for keeping track of work the teacher has already graded. It’s a good idea for this folder to remain at home.

For math, for example, get two blue folders. In one of them, use the sleeve on the left for assignments that need to be completed; label this sleeve “To Do.” Use the sleeve on the right for assignments your child has completed and needs to hand in; label this sleeve “Done.”

Keep the other blue folder at home for math assignments the teacher has finished going over and handed back to your child. Label this “Submitted and Returned Assignments” and encourage your child to use it as a resource when studying for tests.

Every night, ask him to do a backpack check and transfer any graded assignments to the folder he keeps at home. Use a checklist or other system to help him make sure he puts that night’s homework in the “Done” sleeve of the folder he takes to school. Work with his teachers to get him into the habit of looking in this folder at the beginning of class and handing in the assignment.

If his teachers use electronic assignments and submissions, try to set up a similar system of folders online. Many teachers are very good at doing this subtly so kids don’t look different to their peers. Ask to be made an “administrator” on your child’s computer or tablet in school so you can see whether he’s doing his work and putting it in the right place.

What you can say

“Jacob, you did a great job labeling each of these folders. I like it! I also like the accordion folder you picked out and how you’re using the different slots in it to hold the different folders. I’d say you are definitely ready to start testing out this new system tomorrow at school.”

Why this will help

For kids with organization issues, it can be overwhelming trying to keep track of homework assignments and long-term projects. This is especially true for tweens and teens who have to juggle assignments from several different teachers.

A simple folder system can be a big help. Getting your child to set it up with you will make him feel more invested in the system, which will help him use it effectively.

27Found this helpful
27Found this helpful

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