So now that you know your child’s organizational style, it time to roll up the sleeves and get moving. There are two parts to this next phase: getting supplies and setting up a workspace for success.
Choosing the supplies to meet your child’s organizational style is critical now. While you may have a shopping list and several aisles of options, control your urge to revert back to your own organizational style…I’ll warn you now…this requires great will power! 🙂 The authors provide a basic list of useful tools and items, but once again, pay attention to what works best for your child.
For example, the dreaded backpack can turn into the “black hole of nothingness.” It’s important to go through the current backpack and noticed your child’s way of setting up items. Limited outside pockets = less places to lose items! Visual organizers prefer colorful backpacks where Spatial organizers want the backpack to feel good, especially when they move their arms while wearing it. Chronological organizers prefer a backpack with inside compartments to store specific items in specific places.
Planners are another issue, however, we provide one here at Miller for all students, even though some view planners as instruments of torture. 🙂 Binders, folders, paper, pencils, pens, and other tools are also important to consider when looking at the child’s organizational style.
Setting up the study area or workspace is the second important step on this journey. While the use of a desk or table area is the most obvious space to start, consider other factors. For example, visual organizers will find anything but a desk or table too distracting while spatial organizers love the comfortable feel of their bed and large area to spread out their work. Chronological organizers want their workspace to contain their favorite electronic devices–especially music (but no TV). Younger children like to work in the kitchen area while older children will work on the floor or bed easier.
One final note: a healthy snack fuels the brain. Hungry learners tend to focus on their hunger and waste time rather than tackle the challenge of school work.
Once you have the supplies and workspace decided, the basics are in place! What about the paper trail, getting the work done, and returning the work? We will save this for our next installment. In the meantime, just remember that you are working with your child on his or her level of organization (and not your own); take a deep breath…you’re doing GREAT! 🙂