Teaching organizational skills

Question: How can I help my 9-year-old daughter to be more organized in day-to-day school assignments and after school activities?

Answer: It's not always to easy to teach our children traits that we are constantly trying to perfect in our selves but the mere fact that you are asking the question puts you ahead of the pack. The best way to teach a child a lesson is of course, by demonstrating it ourselves. But if you need some extra help, here are a few tips we've put together.

1) Keep a large calendar posted in a common area of your home. Use different colored markers to differentiate between family members or activities.

2) Set aside a specific area for school supplies or sports equipment.

3) Find a shelf in closet near the front door and label for items required to return to school regularly i.e., library books, show-n-tell items, and homework.

4) Use a timer to keep track of homework breaks or prolonged bedtime activities.

5) For younger children, trace their hand and cut out of construction paper. Write items, which have to leave the house with him in the morning so that he may know what should be in his hand when leaving the house. Example: lunchbox, show-n-tell, ABC bag.

6) Label boxes and crates with the name of the item that should be housed there. For toddlers cut out a picture of the toy or clothing.

7) Give your child one drawer or area to be disorganized. Sometimes reverse psychology does work.