Monday, November 30, 2015

Trying to keep my 15 year old organized

So how do I teach a 15 year old to be organized, when I have a hard time myself???

This is a struggle for me lately.  He is perfectly capable of independent work now, and he is working at grade level in several of his subjects.  So now we have to work on organization more.  Here are a few things that we are doing to help him out.

A few years ago I remember Homeschool workboxes being the rage.  EVERYONE wanted those scrapbook carts ready to go with the neat number system.  A drawer for each subject.  I fell on the bandwagon and bought each of our school-aged kiddos a set, and then realized I needed one for Caty too.  I had a drawer for each subject/activity.  Then we had trouble with storage, so I switched the boys from the large carts to a file folder box.  This worked ok for a while, until their books took up more space than was available.

My next step was that I had a cube shelf that held all their books.  They had a folder on top that held their to-do list and then they were responsible to get their books off the shelf that they needed.  I kept other things in it, like activity books for them and extra reading books.  This has worked for a while.  But I finally decided after some remodeling in our house that I stacks of books were not really working.  On top of the fact that Joey and Brayden kept mixing their books up on the shelves.  they also do not stay in one spot everyday to do their schoolwork.  Sometimes it's the couch, sometimes their room, sometimes even in our office.  So we needed to make their work more portable.

After watching them for a few days, I decided that backpacks was the way to go for all the kids.  They could easily move their schoolbooks around the house or even in the van.  So if we are on a trip or have an appointment, it is easy to grab their bag and go.  The only thing I would need to worry about is grabbing extra pencils/pens or crayons and colored pencils.

We have been doing this for about two months now, and so far it is working.  I still find books that get missed as I am walking through rooms, but I just remind them to go and put it in their backpack.  Everything is then kept in the corner of the living room.

I had been giving the boys a weekly lists of their assignments in a table format that I created in Microsoft Word.  I found that they were not finishing all their work daily.  They would double up on assignments by the end of the week to catch up, and this led to them rushing and not doing the work correctly.  After reading a post about using a spiral notebook for daily assignments, I thought we would give that a try.

I bought them notebooks that had their favorite interests on them, just because I can and it made it more fun!  And I started our journey of this organization method for their schoolwork.

Currently I put individual assignments, group subjects and even include activities we will be going to that day.  If there is a chore he needs to complete, I put that on there too.  Some days it might say, Sweep and Mop the Hallway or Sweep and Mop your bedroom floor.

This method seems to be working really well.  It's been almost two months since we started, and even though he misses a few assignments sometimes, he is getting his work done and even reminding me about group project starting times.

This is how we are teaching Joey to keep himself organized.  I am working my way up to him creating his own to-do list, but I want him to follow this method for a few months until he is used to it.  At that point, then I will hand him the reigns and see how he does on his own.  Since Joey struggles with short-term memory issues, this will be something that we are working on for a little while.

Some links to help you with workboxes and assignment notebooks.....

The many uses of spiral notebooks

If you don't like the spiral notebook ideas, here are some student planners you can print out....

Student planner options

If you haven't heard about workboxes here are some Pinterest links for you to read through.  I do say they are wonderful, especially if you have the space in your home.

Workbox ideas and links

No comments:

Post a Comment