Home environment is one of the key factors affecting a child’s school performance. Kids who do better at school tend to come from quieter, more organized homes with predictable routines. This is true regardless of socio-
economic status. The home is not a passive place for kids. Also, let’s not forget that the child impacts the home. When it comes to a well organized home and school performance, let’s consider clutter, color, calendars and confidence.
Just like adults, a disorganized and cluttered workspace creates an overwhelmed feeling for kids. Tasks look bigger than they are. The road to completing these tasks appears more difficult. Procrastination or avoidance may set in. First and foremost, clear out the clutter. Give your child a clean surface area where he or she can tackle homework without being overwhelmed or interrupted. This includes monitoring the noise level. Kids need to hear themselves think. Turn off the TV and tone down other sources of noise.
Use color to categorize
Most kids like color and our brains organize knowledge of objects by color. When a child thinks about color, relationships are put into context. You can add color by allowing your child to pick a color for each school subject. For example, green is for math. Everything related to math – notebooks, calculators, highlighters are green or have a green label attached to them. Color implies a category that becomes instantly identifiable to them. Using colors on calendars is a great way to categorize activities.
Work with calendars
Teach your kids how to manage their own calendars. The calendar can be in a bedroom or workspace. With it, they can keep track of their homework (use color as described above for different subject assignments) and other activities. Instruct them on being consistent in how they make entries and when they make entries. If they wait too long after the fact, they will forget to add it. Also, be sure they review it each day. Doing things on their own supports confidence.
Allow them to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Accept however your child is feeling and point out something good he or she did to stay organized. Remind them of what processes they used in the past that helped them to stay on track. Kids will start to see that they have an individual style of learning, planning and getting things done.
Of course, parents are a child’s most influential teachers. They learn by example, so keeping your home organized is one of the ways you can help them perform well at school and beyond. If you want to know more about keeping your home organized seek out a professional home organizer in your area.