In our little town hidden between a rock and a weird place, the first 9 weeks of school have come to an end. In this house, it was the first 9 weeks of middle school coming to an end. We had our ups and downs but overall it was a great start. Here a few things I learned about keeping organized and what we will do to make the second 9 even better.
Go through the binder weekly
Do not skip this step. Every week. I mean every week have your student go through and clean up their binder. Some students may need to do this daily or every few days. This is the binder I have found works best for my student. Papers he needs to keep are put in the three-ring while papers that are works in progress and need to be accessed quickly are kept in the accordion file.
The first couple of go-rounds go through the STEPS to organizing the binder with your student. First, have them sort all their loose papers into categories. Then, toss what is no longer needed. After that, they determine where the papers need to live, put them in the proper place, and then schedule their next binder clean out in their agenda. This is also a great time to review what work has or hasn’t been done and what is coming up for your student.
Check grades weekly on the school portal
If you want to keep up with what is going on at the grade level then sign into your districts portal. Depending on the teacher you may be able to see upcoming assignments, graded assignments, and missing assignments. I caution you to do this with a hint of compassion for your student. Yes, you want them to do well on every assignment, but the truth is I have seen my student bomb on some assignments and still wind up with an A in the class. I use the portal to better understand what I saw in the binder if I’m going through it with my student that week.
Make their agenda a priority
Folks, I can’t tell you all how much I mean this. My student gives me trouble all the time about his agenda and I am not going to listen to it this second 9 weeks. Our district supplies a school agenda with a lot of nifty resources that I want my child to have access to, but the agenda itself is not very good. I find the space for after school and homework to be too small. I wanted him to use this agenda, but he likes the resources of the school supplies agenda.
Anyway, this 9 weeks the agenda is top on the list. We will use it to map out after school flute practice when homework is going to be done and projects as they arise. The agenda will be checked and updated daily.
Why is this a priority? I learned the last 9 weeks that my student struggles with how long projects will take and the amount of time needed to complete them. He has it down for everyday homework, but the bigger long-term projects he feels like he can get done in the same amount of time. So this 9 weeks we are going to focus on really reverse planning on projects so he can see when he should start and have goal dates for accomplishments.
What lessons did you learn from the first 9 weeks of school? What will you implement or let go of?
Time and tech savvy, Jamie Steele is the owner of Steele Organizing. She works with individuals to find the order in their lives so they can spend time on what matters to them. With a focus on making technology work for you, she encourages her clients to live life in sync. Contact Jamie today for your free phone consultation. Steele Organizing works with individuals and small business in the Austin area, or virtually anywhere.