Contrary to popular belief simply telling kids to “get organized” is rarely effective. For most, organizational skills must be taught; must be modeled and extensively practiced. With a ClubZ! Organizational Coach learning how to STAY organized is the long term goal. Most student can get organized, maintaining the system can be another story altogether.
ClubZ! Tutoring has provided organizational coaching in the Omaha Metro area since 2004. The key to any organizational system is that it works for the individual using the system; every one needs a system that makes sense to them. A system designed for they way they learn and remember. For some, getting and staying organized proves to be a bit more problematic and here’s why:
Planning, paying attention, remembering details, time management and task initiation are skills critical not only in school, but in every day life as well. When their are significant deficits in these areas, school can be a constant source of frustration for parents and students alike. The above-mentioned skill deficits might be attributable to an underlying impairment in what psychologists and physicians refer to as executive function. The term executive functions refers to our abilities to solve problems and monitor, plan and direct future behaviors (Tstatsanis, 2004).
Although some may not be familiar with the term executive function; many times they are all to familiar with the effects of executive function impairment in a student’s every day life.
So, can deficits in a student’s executive function impact learning? Absolutely. Below you will find some of the common examples of executive function impairment (as it relates to school).
- Chronically late with homework and even when it is done, it is not turned in.
- Bright kids who know “what to do”, but appear to just not “want to do it”
- Indiscriminate attention. Not necessarily can’t pay attention, but pays attention (and gets off task) with even mild distractions ( i.e. closing door, dropped pencil)
- Students who are told repeatedly “you are just not applying yourself”—what appears to be chronic under performance. Yet, it also appears the student really wants to do better, but just can’t
- Regularly underestimates the time it will take to complete a project.
- Consistently unable to maintain attention long enough to finish a task
- At times, lack of impulse control (have verbal outbursts or “cannot keep their hands to themselves”
School and home environments must be conducive to building (and maintaining) organizational skills. For chronically disorganized kids, telling them to “get organized” or buy color folders for their classes is simply not going to work long term.
Students (with the support of adults) need learn how to prioritize and break down individual tasks. The process works, but requires a collaborative environment between the student, their school and the student’s parent(s). Parent participation is extremely critical. Patience is vital as well. There is no perfect solution, but students can make significant progress with consistent and supportive interventions.
Hire an Organizational Skills Consultant with ClubZ! Tutoring. Let us help your son or daughter build the skills they need to be successful in school. One of our organizational consultants will design an individualized plan and provide the necessary skill building exercises to make organizational skills concrete and practical. If you want your child to learn organization skills the skills have to be explicitly taught (not just verbalized). Building organizational skill is not any different than building athletic skill; it takes practice and persistence.