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I wonder if the guy who said “organization is the key to success” had any kids. The concept is profound, and true, yet so much more easily said than done. It is your children’s duty as students, however, to maintain organization in school. Tests, reports, homework and projects are less daunting for the organized student. Whether your child is the one who buries his entire life’s possessions in every nook of your house, or the one who neatly folds her pajamas each morning, here are some tips for all you Shaatra Moms to use in training your young ones to take scholastic responsibility.

Unpack that Backpack! 

“What on earth is that doing in your knapsack?!” you exclaim, referring to the __________. (You fill in the blank: eraser shavings, last month’s homework sheets, potato chip crumbs, etc.) You had been afraid to go near that knapsack with a 10-foot pole, but you braced yourself and did it anyhow…. If this a familiar experience, it’s time to let your child take book bag responsibility. Don’t let the junk accumulate in that bag! Designate five minutes every night for your children to maintain order in that little domain of theirs. That means trashing old papers, storing important ones, and containing assorted knickknacks. (Don’t even think of tossing those eraser shavings just yet; do you know how much work your daughter put into it?) Remember: let your kids be the ones in charge of organizing their bags. It’ll save time and aggravation later on.

Eradicate Haunting Homework Habits 

Though children tend to find homework unnecessary (or, in their words, “dumb”), parents find it to be quite a big deal. For some parents, homework time is a very – shall we say – emotional time of day. So, how does the Shaatra Mom handle it with grace and patience without it becoming an all-night ordeal? For most kids, the best way is to have them begin homework ASAP after arriving home. Of course, they will probably want to stretch a bit and nosh on something first. But after that, it isn’t game time ‘til homework’s checked off the list. For those who tend to schlep out their homework, calculate with them how much more time they will have to play if they “get it out of the way” more quickly. Chart contests work wonders, and kids will really come through in the homework department if they know there’s some kind of desirable reward every so often.

Shop Right!   

What do farmers and students have in common? Both groups require the right tools to get the job done. Having the proper supplies at school and at home makes it easy for kids to maintain order. At home, have a set place for supplies for homework and refills for school. At the start of the year, let your kids spend time and have fun selecting their supplies. Loose-leafs, folders, markers, and scissors come in so many colors and designs – enough to make you dizzy, but also enough to give your kids a sense of ownership and responsibility for the school year. If your pulse is accelerating thinking about pricey school supply purchases, keep in mind that pretty does not equal expensive. Stores do not charge extra for those flowery notebooks or geometric print folders.

Home Neat Home

Moms, it’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourselves: “Am I modeling good organizational habits for my children?” If the answer is “yes,” three cheers for you and l’chaim to a (hopefully) organized school year for your children. (Don’t fret, though, if you do your due diligence and your child, to say the least, does not. Ironically, it somehow happens that the “OCD parents” have kids whose organizational abilities, or lack thereof, turn homes, desks, and knapsacks into scenes from the aftermath of a tornado.) If not, however, try and see if you can make room in your busy schedules to be an inspiration to your children.

Bottom line? Organization and responsibility are huge factors in kids’ success at school. Empower your young ones with the ability to be on top of their work and possessions. Your children will be happier students, and you? You’ll be the happiest, proudest Mommy around!