Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Do a backpack check.

What you can do

Help your child organize his backpack so he can keep track of his books and assignments. Get him into the habit of doing a backpack check at night to make sure it has what he needs for the next day.

Consider using clear book covers so he can easily tell which books he needs to bring home. Or use color-coded book covers that match up with the colors for each of his subject folders.

Encourage him to put all sheets of paper in three-ring binders and to keep a hole puncher both at school and at home. Make sure all the tests and other items he gets back from teachers are filed immediately in folders or binders. Loose papers that get shoved into a backpack quickly get tattered and may disappear forever!

Make sure he’s not lugging around unnecessary items. Get him to empty out broken pencils, food wrappers and dirty clothes at least once a week.

What you can say

“Jacob, with a little effort, you can organize your backpack and spend less time hunting around for your stuff. Let’s create a list of what you need to take to school each day based on your schedule. Decide where in your backpack each item should go, and always pack them in the same place.”

“It’s a good idea to arrange your books from the largest in the back to the smallest in the front. You may also want to put them in with their spines facing up so you can easily read the titles.”

“Where do you think would be the best place to store a water bottle? Is there an outside pocket that will work? That would help protect your papers from leakage.”

“What else do you have inside your backpack? Maybe you should put a reminder on your calendar to clean out your backpack once a week. That thing is like the Bermuda Triangle!”

Why this will help

Kids with organization issues have trouble keeping track of their things. An organized backpack can keep books and papers from getting lost between school and home.

94Found this helpful
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