Friday, February 29, 2008

Mentoring Tip for March 08

Organize your Child for Success…..Minutes at a time!

Did you know that organization is linked to academic success? In helping your child with their studies, you have the ability to model organizational strategies with them and pave a path for their additional success. The key here is to deliver organizational tools consistently every time you work together. The changes I am suggesting are simple. It’s that very simplicity that makes them powerful. They are easy to remember and easy to carry out! Most of us learn from modeling. If you can model organizational tools for your child, you will be able to “imprint” these strategies on them and make the tools stick!

1. Prepare the work space. Your child will need a clean, uncluttered surface. Find a place they can use daily away from loud noise and TV. Okay, you can stop laughing….just try and help them find the “best” spot.

2. Prepare your materials. Help them “set up” the study area. They will need their planner out on the desk. They may need to keep most of their books on the floor if they are working at a desk or table with limited space. Other materials include paper, pencils, pens, erasers, calculator, etc. Make sure to keep these supplies in their “study spot” at home. Have a box or or small drawer they can put on the table full of these supplies. It seems silly, but having the supplies ready will save time and help your student’s confidence. Having their “tools” in place will give them a feeling of control.

3. Assignment overview. Look at the planner with your child. If they have assignments they have not written into the book, suggest they write them in quickly. This will help them develop the habit. If you do that with them every week, it won’t be long before they will see your face at school telling them “Write it down!”when the teacher is passing out assignments. My nieces laugh and tell me they cannot get into a car without seeing my face leaning in over the window telling them to “buckle up!” Your words have tremendous power. Say it nice and say it consistent and you will impact!

4. Do the work and check it off as you go. Have your child mark it off in the planner as they go through it. This is teaching them the concept of checking off a “to do list” and no matter what age you are, it always feels good to “check it off.”

5. Put it away. Get your child to toss papers they don’t need and use whatever pockets they have in their backpack to organize their supplies and homework.

6. Encourage. Encourage. Encourage. Organization takes time, concentration and consistency. If you are consistent, kind and encouraging, you will help your child develop tools that will enhance their academic success and beyond.....all in only minutes a day!

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Maria Murphy writes a monthly Tutor/Mentor Coaching Tip for Tutor/Mentor Connection of Chicago and has been a presenter for Cabrini Connection’s Tutor/Mentor Conference. This column is distributed to mentoring organizations throughout N/E Florida by Kessler Mentoring Connection at Maria is a speaker, consultant and writer.

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