Organized vs. Disorganized, Part One

During a recent parent conference, the following scenario was presented:

I’m not certain she uses her planner in class; in fact, she doesn’t even know where the planner is right now.  I had to bring her back up to school two days ago because she left everything in her desk and nothing was brought home to complete the presentation assignment.  We argued for two hours with me yelling to get the work done and then she forgot to turn in the work for her final grade the next day!  When will this stop?

Sound like something you’ve experienced?  A book study group of us have been reading Organizing the Disorganized Child…Simple Strategies to Succeed in School by organizingMartin L. Kutscher and Marcella Moran.  Quite frankly, this should be essential reading for any parent of a child entering school (personal sidebar there).  The authors quickly reveal the root causes of disorganization and guide you to more constructive solutions and strategies to overcome the situation.  More importantly, they focus on essential organizational styles and offer specific strategies and study skills so children experience the success they deserve.  The bottom line:  the fault lies only with the brain!

Organizational skills come from the frontal lobe of the brain, conveniently located in the front of our head just behind the forehead.  These frontal lobes are responsible for getting things done.  Funny though, our frontal lobes are not actually fully developed until the later teenage years–well beyond the early formative years of school when patterns are established.  The authors note:  “It’s not the child’s fault the brain has not yet fully developed.  He doesn’t want to be disorganized or get bad grades any more than you want him to do.  Demoralizing F’s will not magically teach him the needed skills.” 

There are no hardwired parts of the brain for academic skills and organization.  The authors point out that while schools and teachers focus attention in these areas in an effort to assist, parents have the ultimate responsibility for helping the child find and refine his or her personal skills, thus it’s critical to keep working as learning partners and participating members of the educational team.

In a series over the next few weeks, I plan to share our thoughts with you about organization.  Heaven bless those who possess the gift of organization and help those who are still learning it!  🙂

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