Back to school is coming quickly and with it the dreaded school supply list. My son’s list for 7th grade is overwhelming. I can’t imagine why he needs all the notebooks, binders and paper they asking him to bring the first day of school.
Since these complex supply lists are connected to complicated organization demands, many of our students have a hard time showing their best work because they are bogged down with executive functioning demands.
With this struggle in mind, I’ve created my Homework Survival Bootcamp which is starting in September.
Read the article below for more information. Or click here to read more about the Bootcamp.
Have a good week….
Dr. Susan and Dr. Allison
The Dreaded School Supply List: Let the Organizational Stress Begin
My son is entering the 7th grade this fall.
His principal kindly forwarded the school supply list in July.
We were “summering it up” so didn’t bother looking at it until this week.
We took a peek and I am overwhelmed.
Now I have been in school or worked in schools my entire life. I am a self-confessed office supply nerd (Post-It note dependency,anyone?). And when I was a student, I had paperwork organization down to a science. So I’m pretty up on my game when it comes to managing school materials.
But this list made my head spin.
I don’t even know where to start. I have a PhD. I’m pretty well organized. My son is 12 years old. He’s a walking hormone and can’t find the clothes hamper next to his bed. Where does he start with this list?
The three, three ring binders combined with the two composition notebooks, four paper pocket folders, two folders that hold three hole paper and an accordion folder…ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
I understand teachers have a plan and they want their students to learn specific approaches to organization, but what they fail to take into account is that, while they are managing one classroom, their students have to navigate and organize for 5 to 6 different classes and teachers.
This kind of list tells me the teachers aren’t aware that their students struggle with organization or that some have to work extra hard to focus and process information. This list is a complete set up for all students, but most especially those with executive functioning weaknesses, to struggle in school.
Unfortunately, when schools burden students with overwhelming executive functioning demands, academic achievement takes a back seat. A child who can’t find his homework in his 6 binders/folders/notebooks won’t get credit for that homework and his grades will suffer. What he knows or the work he does won’t count as much as his ability to organize his materials. And that isn’t fair.
Executive functioning and organization of school materials is a robust, recurring theme in my office. Many students and families struggle with the ever increasing executive functioning demands schools place on them.
Being asked to manage 10 different notebooks and binders is a burden most students don’t need, nor does efficient “binder management” correlate with knowledge, learning potential or intelligence. When we minimize the overwhelm our students can really show us what they know and how well they can learn.
Since I know many students get struggle with the executive functioning demands of school I have developed a simple, foolproof organizational process that is elegant, easy and efficient. I call it the Homework Survival System and I teach it in my Homework Survival Bootcamp.
Over the past four years, I’ve had students all over the country participate in Homework Survival Bootcamp with much success. Their homework anxiety decreases, homework grades improve, and families are much less stressed because mom and dad don’t have to nag and remind to get work done and turned in.
School is starting soon and good homework habits are best initiated at the beginning of the academic year. I’m opening Homework Survival Bootcamp to clients starting in September 2016. For more information click here.
To your child’s success,