Do the kids keep forgetting to do their homework and then loosing it when the do?

This has come up a ton in the Hot Mess to Mindful Mom Community on Facebook, and with many of my private clients, so I figured people reading this may want some of the tips that I share too 🙂

Life can feel very overwhelming at times to say the least. We have so much to organize for ourselves to keep life running, and then “oh yeah,” we have to keep our kids and their lives organized as well!
The only way that I have found it to work, is if we empower our kids to help keep themselves organized by sharing tools with them, and investing a little bit of time to show them how they work and offer our support. We are also giving them executive functioning skills that will last a lifetime so they can feel like balanced and productive adults later in life.

The best tool that I have found to help keep my kids organized in terms of school work, tests, when to study, sports schedules and playdates is a white board.

Here is a sample of the one that my eleven year old uses.

homework whiteboard
He spends time on Sunday or Monday, with my help when needed, writing everything on the board. We then review it together. This helps him especially when planning his study schedule so nothing is left until the last minute. It helps with pre-planning and visually spreading things out so if my son sees that he has baseball the night before a test, he will need to study for the two nights before that in advance.

When you first start using the white board, and with younger kids, you will have to spend more time on it with them. Older kids get the hang of it pretty quickly and you can simply review the week with them.

They can put as much on the board as they need. Some people find it helpful to list what needs to be packed for sports after school, and what days they are buying or bringing lunch to school. Anything goes!

The main thing is being consistent and reminding your kids to actually look at the board! No system works unless you work it! Our boards are in my mudroom/office. We walk in their from the garage so the boards are always in front of us. Some kids like to have them in their room, but I find it easier to monitor if the boards are near the kitchen where I am 24/7. It is all personal preference.

The board should really help in terms of getting things done one time, and maybe even in advance. So the next questions is…where do they put their work when it is completed so they don’t loose it?

We created a homework station for just this purpose.

We have an area in the kitchen where my kids “stuff” goes. They each have a folder with their name on it, for everything that cannot get lost. Homework or projects that aren’t ready to be taken to school, forms to turn in, maybe even their very favorite piece of art ever.
One mom even told me she was creating her own folder for paperwork that needed to be signed and turned in, or kept like school calendars. Anything that had to do with the kids and their needs. BRILLIANT!!

Here is a pic of ours.

homework folders
I also have everything the kids need to do their homework readily available like pencils, pens, and markers for the white boards. In the cabinet underneath they have markers, colored pencils, a pencil sharpener, duct tape that we seem to need for every project, scissors, tape, and glue. This way they can get what they need and know exactly how and where to put it away when they are finished.

homework station

I hope that between these two ideas you and your kids feel more organized and your weeks flow even better!

P.S. These are just a few examples of the MANY tips I offer in my online Group Coaching Program, and it isn’t too late to join! email me at ali@hotmesstomindfulmom.com for details 🙂

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