Organized For Academic Success

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

Studies show a clear link between organizational skills and academic performance. When researchers took a deep dive into reasons behind low grades, they found that the students with the lower grades were not organized for learning. With children seldom learning how to be organized in school, they often lack the skills or knowhow to put themselves in a optimal position to learn. Developing good organizational skills, as well as learning what works best for themselves, is a key ingredient for success in school and in life. Organizational skills reduce stress, anxiety and often result in more free time for a child.

Here are some tips and strategies your child can practice to improve their organizational skills. It's important that your child discovers what works best for them.

What does being organized mean?

Being organized means:

  1. Being focused on what needs to be done

  2. Having a game plan to get it done

Focus and planning means taking good organization notes on what needs to be done. You child’s notes need to answer the questions, what, when and how. If your child is assigned a history assignment, they need to articulate what it is they need to achieve in a checklist format. The how needs to include what actions they will take. The when is intermixed with the actions to create a step by step approach, with each step having a delivery date and time. This approach will reduce anxiety, keep your child focused and ensure he or she hits the mark.

Your child can capture their organization notes on paper or digitally. For the digital approach, your child can use Google Tasks and/or Google Keep. There are plenty of other tools

but these are free and integrate well with Google Classroom. There is a good chance your child uses Google Classroom on a regular basis.

Planning also includes your child keeping an eye on the big picture and on the zoomed in picture. Your child should track due dates and other commitments in a calendar format so they can manage multiple academic deliverables, as well as manage other commitments such as sports, clubs and even time with the family. You don’t want your child to plan on completing his or her essay the Sunday afternoon that you are visiting Aunt May. Google Calendar is a good option.

Adding colour to you child's organizational schemes can assist with planning. This approach can help all children but adding colours has proven to be particularly beneficial for children with learning disorders*. Colour can be used in both a paper or digital based approach. For paper, coloured binders, tabs and folders can be used to keep notes, assignments and other items visually organized. Selecting a colour for each subject and using the colour in labeling, organization and even in calendar entries and to-do lists can help your child visualize their day and week. Colour can also be added to digital notes, to-do lists and calendar entries.

*Learn more about using colour coding for children: 2-Minute Tutorial.

What does being organized look like in action?

Weekly actions for your child

Your child should pick the same day of the week to complete his or her weekly organizational tasks. Sunday may be a good day. This will ensure your child starts the week off ready and focused.

1. Clean out Backpack

Have your child:

2. Organize Binders & Folders

Have your child:

Daily actions for your child

Your child should pick the same time each day to complete their daily organizational tasks. A good option would be an hour or so before bed. Being organized and ready for the next day, will help your child sleep better as his or her mind will be at rest.

1. Review Backpack Checklist