I love walking into a super organized classroom! It feels calm, clear and everyone knows what to expect. I love creating simple systems with the families that I work with. It creates accountability and solutions. I love creating simple systems at home! It brings me peace to know I can always find my keys on the key hook by the door.
Systems are the magic wand keeping all your stuff organized.
When it comes to our children’s role as student systems are a skill we want them to learn ASAP! Notice I said we want our kids to learn. I didn’t say we want our kids to be. This is intentional and significant. When we approach organization and creating systems as something we learn the possibilities are endless! We can pretty much learn anything. YES!
Way back when I was going crazy, losing my mind with the chaos that was my home. Baby stuff, kids stuff, home office stuff plus my husband’s and my stuff. It’s part of the season of having little kids. As I searched for a solution to the chaos I came across some professional organizers. The moms at the preschool had hired them and were raving about them. I thought this was a genius idea. It was also a huge investment that I didn’t want to make at the time. So resourceful as I was I hit the library, and checked out as many books as I could on organizing.
One book was better than the other and I couldn’t get enough. I could totally do this at my house and it would take care of the mess once and for all. Except for this one detail that basically made the system stick. Maintenance. Yes, if you don’t maintain it daily, weekly and or monthly the system falls apart and you are back to having a big mess!
Maintainance is key to keeping systems in place.
This is the same thing that happens to our kids with schoolwork and homework. They put a system into place usually dictated by the teacher or the parent at the beginning of the school year. Then we expect them to put it to use the rest of the school year. But we forget to teach them how to maintain this!
I see so many students from kindergarten through middle school and high school not having a clue about how to maintain the “system.” What usually happens is the system becomes:
- One folder that gets ALL the papers
- The papers end up loose in the backpack or desk
- They have a very well-intended awesome adult that puts all the papers where they should be. And the student has no idea where anything is.
Can you see how all 3 scenarios do not include learning this skill of systems and maintaining them?
So what can we do?
We can practice the skill of creating systems and maintaining systems everywhere and anywhere.
Remember we want the brain to practice what we want the brain to learn. So creating and maintaining their Legos will help them practice the skill of organizing. Helping put away the laundry in the correct space is practicing the skill of maintaining. Organizing their hair clips will help them practice the skill of organizing. Setting up 6 steps to get started with organizing will help!
Yes, we still have to incorporate it into their school supplies. Help them set up a system. Help them maintain it and be accountable for keeping it the way they set it up.
Since you are here I am guessing homework may be on your list of things to tackle this school year. Well, no need to stress! Learn how systems, time awareness, and values can end homework drama.