I was quite an organised teenager. I pretty much organised my entire self. My experience of my eldest son is that he too is very very organised. So it has come as a shock to me with my second son. Organisation is just not something he grasps and I’m not sure they teach it in schools. Teens have a lot of distractions and organisation may not be top of their priority list.
With the start of GCSE’s it’s important to be organised. Many of us realise that to keep on top of our workloads we need to be organised. For the average teenager who perhaps is plodding along, they are not realising the importance that organisation brings and how it can be a positive in everything that they do.
If like me, you need to give your youngster a push in the right direction, here are my tips:
- Talk to them about the importance of organisation and how it can be a positive in making everything so much easier.
- If you live in a confined space and don’t have the luxury of a desk with lots of lovely storage space. Keep a school subjects box. We have large clear plastic boxes with lids. Many parents may have experience of teens throwing work around their bedroom or starting work in one area and leaving it laying around. Hence the school morning struggle. It is so much easier for teens if their work is in one place, ready for when they pack their school bag.
- We had got that far. All of his work was in one place. However, inside the box was a mingle of Chemistry papers with English and History. So we moved onto the next phase. We needed to get inside that box, organised, like a filing cabinet.
- Colourful envelope folders. We’ve labelled each one with each subject. For English, we’ve got one for each component, for instance, Macbeth, Jekyll and Hyde, Creative Writing, Poetry etc… The box was instantly looking much better.
- Inside the envelope files, date order and attach work with paperclips. Like I’ve said, when I was a teen this came naturally. But for many it doesn’t.
- I’ve then asked my son to create on word a homework time table. He has one in his planner but I’ve said it would be a good idea to see it on his bedroom wall. Nice and clear. He’s artistic and creative, I think the visual will help.
- We’re armed with colourful post it notes and he has nice pens. Post it notes for reminders to go on his wall or around his computer screen, reminders for when he becomes distracted. I think it makes a difference to youngsters in doing their work if they enjoy working with their materials. Again, he’s artistic so I think that makes a massive difference. But even for those who aren’t nice pens are nice to use.
- I’ve also invested in lots of reporters notebooks. One for each subject and to keep inside his envelope files. To freely write notes, especially useful for revision.
- Lastly, we’ve created a ‘Personal Development’ folder. This is for us at home so that we can keep information and can pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses to help him get through the next two years. He can also keep any school letters etc… or information that he needs to hand to me. I bet many parents have had those letters – 5 minutes before they are due to get out of the door in the morning. I can now actually check his file for him if he forgets.
I’ve spoken to many of his teachers who have said ‘he lacks organisation’ now rather than see this as a negative, I’m now seeing it as a positive. It’s feedback as to what needs to improve. And that’s the thing with motherhood, it’s a challenge each day and we have to prioritise with the demands from the day. This is just another. Motherhood = PA/lifecoach. But I’m confident that the organisation is now in place to push forward from.