Casey is beginning to follow along with her classroom and school day routines, but has found that she can’t always finds the things that she needs.
“Where is that pencil? I know I put it in here somewhere!”
“Mr. Shield, I promise I did my homework, but it isn’t here now.”
“Where is that bag?”
“I know my mother gave me lunch…”
Do any of these comments ring a bell? So often our students or kids put in so much effort, get the work done, have everything they need, but they have no idea where things are!
By habit building and creating consistent, dedicated space for regularly used items, Casey will know where to go for the errant item.
Sounds great in theory, but how do I get this to happen?
Casey’s mom sits down with Casey for a brainstorming session. It begins with two cups of cocoa and an openness for collaboration. Casey’s mom says to Casey, “I know you’ve been frustrated when you do your homework and then can’t find it and I want to help you figure out a good place where it will be safe and you will know where to find it. What do you think would be a safe place?”
Casey shares an idea, Mom gives an idea and asks if Casey has any other ideas. They go back and forth until they have brainstormed a few options. Casey chooses the option that will work for her. Mom allows her to choose any option she wants (even the one that she knows will fail). Together they confirm that tonight’s homework is in the designated space.
In class the next day, Casey knows where to find her homework and where to put in the new assignment.
This can be applied to any item that needs to be located. Reminders are going to be necessary and check-ins to tweak or try a new option may be necessary.
The idea is to build on your child’s habits, so that when homework is completed, it is automatic that the homework gets into the designated spot.
The same can go for a pencil in their desk, their lunch in their school bag or any variety of tools they need throughout the day.
I recommend checking in with the teacher about any of their expectations, i.e. homework folder, planner usage, communal vs. personal supplies before having these conversations with your child.
The same ideas can be applied to home. If things have a home and are consistently returned to their home, they will be able to consistently be located.
What is one thing you can create a home for and consistently keep it there?