21 Ways to Help Messy Kids Organize Their Schoolwork

Are you trying to find ways to help messy kids organize their schoolwork? If so, keep reading.

Create a routine (schedule) to be followed for organization and appropriate use of work learning materials. Give the learner their routine (schedule) in writing and review it often.

Designate the learner’s organizational duties in the classroom (e.g., equipment, software learning materials, etc.).

Create classroom rules: • Get appropriate learning materials. • Complete every assignment. • Complete assignments quietly. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

Assess the appropriateness of the task to ascertain (a) if the task is too easy, (b) if the task is too complicated, and (c) if the duration of time scheduled to finish the task is sufficient.

Support the learner in organizing learning materials.  As the learner shows success, slowly decrease the assistance you provide and require the learner to assume more responsibility for organization independently.

Provide the learner one task to perform at a time. Present the next task after the learner has finished the prior task in an organized way.

Get the learner to gather all the learning materials appropriate to work on a project, task, etc., to lessen the need to search for learning materials.

Make sure the learner knows that work that was not finished because appropriate learning materials were not brought to a specific learning experience will need to be finished during leisure or break time.

Get the learner to discard things/paperwork that have no future use.

Minimize the number of learning materials for which the learner is responsible. As the learner shows appropriate responsibility for learning materials, increase the number of learning materials for which the learner is responsible.

Do not give the learner additional learning materials if they fail to care for learning materials properly.

Get the learner to create a routine (schedule) to follow before coming to class (e.g., check what learning experience is next, determine what learning materials are appropriate, collect learning materials, etc.).

Get the learner to select a peer, friend, etc., who exhibits the capacity and ability to organize a task prior to beginning it. Get the learner to observe that person and try to model the behaviors they use to organize tasks.

Get the learner to tag all personal items with their name.

Urge the learner to develop an understanding of the consequences of their behavior by writing down or talking through problems that may happen due to disorganization (e.g., missed tasks, unfinished projects, misplaced textbooks, etc.).

Make sure that failure to have appropriate learning materials results in loss of opportunity to participate in learning activities or a failing grade for that day’s learning experience (e.g., art, home economics, industrial arts, physical education, etc.).

Get the learner to create a list of learning materials appropriate for each class (e.g., band instrument, gym clothes, calculator, etc.).

Get the learner to organize significant tasks/projects by dividing them into small segments. Establish deadlines and reward the learner after finishing each segment of the task.

Get the learner to perform one task or step of a significant project at a time.

Get the learner to question any instructions or expectations they do not understand.

Consider using an education app to help the student sharpen their organizational skills. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.