It’s that time of year again…back to school! Each year starts off so promising with hopes and visions of good grades, no missed assignments, and being well prepared for tests. Believe it or not, organization is key to so much success at school! 

Implement these 5 organizational strategies for optimal student success:

Get Consistent Sleep

This is the single most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success during the year. I’m not just talking about getting 7-8 hours of sleep (though that is important). I’m talking about CONSISTENT sleep. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each night. This routine will put your body on a schedule and will help you be most alert and on your game throughout the day. Simply put, sleep helps your brain function at its highest level. This is especially important for those with ADHD or other learning differences.  And teaching your children to do this from a young age will be a skill that will help them their whole lives.

 Prepare the Night Before

One major symptom of disorganization is lateness. One of the main reasons people run late is that they underestimate how long preparing to get out of the door will take. They assume they can get everything ready, even if they stay in bed as late as possible. There is nothing worse than trying to get out the door in the morning only to hear, “I can’t find my belt!” or “Have you seen my other shoe?” or “Did you wash my uniform for practice?” It is much less stressful to solve these problems the night before than 5 minutes before you need to leave.

Anything you can prepare the night before will help make the start of your day as smooth as possible. This includes laying out your uniform or outfit for the next day, packing your backpack, making your lunch, and finding your purse, wallet, and keys. These things don’t seem like they take a lot of your time, but those minutes add up quickly. Having it done the night before can save you precious time in the morning and help you get out of the door on time.

 Clean Out Backpacks Weekly

Set a day of the week to clean out your entire backpack. You’ll be surprised what you may find in there! Old candy, broken pencils and crayons, and wrappers are some examples of trash that are commonly found. But you also might find important things wadded up in the bottom of the bag like field trip forms, papers to sign and return to school, picture order forms, and study guides. I’ve seen so many parents not too happy when they find these things past the deadlines.

Review Take-home Folders Nightly

Set a routine of meeting with each child nightly to review their take-home folders. For older kids, have them peek in whatever binders or folders they bring to school. Like the step above, doing this will help you find and handle important papers in a timely manner. This will lead to happy teachers and less late fees!

Use a Planner

I cannot stress how important of a skill this is to teach our children. Our younger students may be able to remember what they need to do each day. As they get older, the workload increases and so do the demands put on them. It becomes impossible to remember what homework is due, what tests are coming up, and what days they need to be at which practices. On top of that, assignments are posted on several different platforms – some on Google Classroom, Moodle, Canvas, homework websites, teach webpages, etc. It becomes extremely difficult for a student to get a clear picture of what needs to be done when each teacher posts assignments in a different location. The only way to get a snapshot of what you need to accomplish each day is to use a planner.

It doesn’t matter if it is paper or electronic. Find what works best for you. You may also find that your child does not know how to properly use a planner. This is such an important skill to teach them. Check out this blog post on 5 Common Mistakes People Make When Using a Planner.

I hope that by implementing these 5 strategies, you are set up for the best (and most organized) school year yet!