I spend a lot of time in my seminars and workshops, on the phone and by email discussing task organization. In fact, I spend a lot of time listening to parents complain that the disorganization of their children’s homework is driving everyone crazy.
Many students find it so hard to get organized that when they finally sit down to do their homework, they are exhausted. No wonder they don’t want to! Getting organized will help alleviate burnout, poor attitudes, procrastination, and rebellion.
Organizing homework makes everyone’s life easier.
These are the homework organization tips I use as a student, teacher, and parent. Print this list and read it with your children. Then put it on the fridge and refer to it often so everyone (parents, kids, babysitters, grandparents) is on the same organized page.
- Write down each individual task in one place. me strongly I recommend using a bound or wire bound notebook, definitely NOT a loose leaf binder. I don’t care how careful you are, the pages will fall out, and then what? You won’t know what to do or when to do it! A simple notebook is fine, but an agenda or calendar is best. Some schools even provide them to students. use it
- Write down homework assignments as you get them. This is mainly for older students changing classes and teachers, but it’s a good habit for everyone. If the teacher says, “Oh, I want you to read Chapter 4 tonight,” write it in your notebook.
- Write down all due dates for a project or assignment, even if you have a handout or syllabus. The flyers go away (I think they hang out with their socks loose), but you’ll still know what to do and when to do it. Yes You have everything written down in your homework notebook.
- Keep ALL of your homework assignments for the day together in one place. Do not have a special place or page for math, another for writing, etc. You want to see everything in one place.
- Check your assignment notebook three (3) times a day: Before you leave school (or each class), double check to make sure you have everything (books, paper, supplies, etc.) that you will need later.
- before you beginning doing your homework, look at your notebook and make sure you’re doing the right homework, the right page, etc.
- Before you put everything away, take a quick look more. Did you do everything? Okay!
- Make a decision about where you will put your completed homework: in a folder pocket, a special homework folder, etc. You may decide to have a color coded folder for each class. If you choose to use folders, strongly We recommend using 3-hole punched folders and keeping them together in a 3-ring binder. Whatever you choose, take care of it! Don’t put your homework in a binder today, a binder tomorrow… And never, ever fold your homework into a book or throw it loose in your backpack! Shudder!
- Use your Magic Box of Tasks. You have one, don’t you? The Homework Magic Box is a box with all the homework supplies and materials a student needs on a regular basis. These supplies only come out of the Magic Homework Box during homework time, so you always have what you need. Now that’s magic!
- Clean up as soon as you’re done with your homework. Now no later! Put the completed pages in your homework folder, then put the homework folder and notebook in your backpack. Not only will mornings be less crazy, you won’t have to sit in class knowing you did your homework and forgot it at home (doh!). Don’t forget to put away the dictionary and any other books you’ve used.
- Remember to put everything back in your Magic Box of Tasks. In my house homework is not “done” until all clean and save.
- Keep your backpack organized. Throw away all those random candy wrappers and pieces of paper. Keep an area or pocket stocked with a few items (pencils, a sharpener, maybe a calculator) so you can do your homework anywhere, maybe even before you get home! Delete any tests, projects, reports, or graded papers that your teacher has taken the time to return to you. Why? You may need it to study for an exam, for a portfolio, or for a project. You can throw everything away at the end of the semester or school year, but until then put each item in its own subject file, NOT your homework folder. Remember, homework folders are ONLY for completed assignments that are ready to be turned in!
- Do not give up! They say it takes 21 days to form a good habit. If you forget to do something on this list, keep trying. Hey, maybe if you remember to write down all your homework or clean up for 21 days straight, your mom or dad will do something nicer for you! (Parents, that was a hint!)
A Note to Parents About Homework Organization
Remember that your job is to give your children organizational tools and show them how to use them. Your job is NOT to organize your child’s homework! So at first, you can check your child’s homework notebook to make sure he is writing all of her homework in one place, but you would never dream of calling the teacher and checking. You can watch your youngster copy the science project due dates into her homework notebook; you won’t do it for her.
Yeah I know it’s hard to let go, I’ve been there! But, we want our children to be organized and independent learners, right?
You can do it!
(For more information on recommended homework organization products and The Magic Homework Box, see the site information below.)