Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Use color-coding.

What you can do

Create an organizational system by helping your child color-code his learning materials. For example, use yellow to “code” math materials and purple to “code” science materials. Binders, notebooks, folders and even book jackets can be color-coded. Be sure to use a different color “code” for each subject.

What you can say

“Color-coding is a great trick for getting organized, Jacob. Here’s how it works. You pick a different color for each of your subjects, such as yellow for math and purple for science. OK, you want green for math? Great, then we’ll get all your math supplies in green—green notebook, green math folder, green textbook cover. What colors do you want to use for your other subjects?”

“It can be really hard to keep track of so many materials. Color-coding may turn out to be just the trick you need to stay organized. I think this system will make it easier for you to find what you need and reduce some of your frustration.”

Why this will help

Many children with learning and attention issues also struggle with getting or staying organized—and the everyday frustrations that go along with that struggle.

Color-coding is a visual support that helps your child find what he needs when he needs it. That means more time on task rather than spending a lot of time hunting around for materials. Many children find that using color to get organized keeps them motivated to stay organized. Color-coding makes organization less daunting and more fun.

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