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Organizing Kids To Make The Grade

-Can being organized really improve a student's school performance? Absolutely. "Teachers agree that a child's lack of organization dramatically impacts homework, studying skills and test scores," says parenting expert Stacy DeBroff, who surveyed hundreds of teachers and parents for her recent book, "The Mom Book Goes to School: Insider Tips to Ensure Your Child Thrives in Elementary and Middle School." "Many kids lag behind because they lack basic self-management and organizational skills, and have trouble with concepts like planning ahead, prioritizing responsibilities and managing time effectively," notes DeBroff. To help parents and children get organized, DeBroff partnered with Office Depot, a leader in organizational solutions, to compile a free online guide called "Organized to Learn." Available at www.school.

com, it features simple tips that can help every family get ready for school. Among the highlights: • Plan the Work, Then Work the Plan. Each week, talk to your child about key assignments and events. Then create a weekly checklist together using a dry-erase board. Let your child cross off each item or task after it is completed to feel a sense of accomplishment.

• Visible Reminders Are a Great Tool. Try using a simple, wearable reminder system to help jog your kids' memory. The Mead Wrist Reminders are paper bracelets children wear to remember important "to do's"-from turning in permission slips to being home at a certain time. • An Organized, Ergonomic Backpack Saves Time and Backaches. Backpacks and books are getting heavier. Look for a backpack that is ergonomically designed, with multiple pockets, and that will do most of the organizational work for your child, like the TUG by Foray backpack line. • Share Files in a Flash. Whether working with study groups, sharing research or bringing an absent friend up-to-date on missed class notes, kids today are sharing information electronically. Students can use an Ativa flash memory drive complete with McAfee software, which scans for viruses before your child transfers the file to his or her computer. • Good Paper Management.

Help kids use their notebooks to create effective filing systems. One solution is the Mead Five Star Flex Hybrid NoteBinder, which can be customized with folders, reinforced notepaper and color dividers.


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