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ADHD at School

How can I help my kids with staying organized this school year?

My kids will be attending middle school and high school this year. My middle schoolers in particular have always struggled with keeping organized, they lose their homework assignments, letters that should come home to me, and have sheets of paper everywhere but their folders.

Can you recommend a list of things I can purchase to help everyone stay organized?

I have ADD too so I’m used to my organized chaos.

Thanks in advance!!

Replies

Hi SHJ!

Middle and high school are so tough for kids with the executive functioning deficits (http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/46/) so common for those with ADHD!

If you can, working with a professional organizer or an ADHD coach to create effective systems would be ideal.If not, ADDitudeMag.com offers several articles packed full of organizational strategies for ADHD kids at school:

http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/9/
http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/7/
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1038.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/760.html

My son started middle school this week. They requested a binder for each class, so we color-coded each class. I asked him to choose the color for each subject so the associations made sense to him, then I purchased binders/notebooks/folders for each class in it’s assigned color. I also purchased a small, soft-sided binder for him to carry to all classes—it includes pencils, planner, a red velcro folder for homework to be done, and a green velcro folder for homework to turn in. The hope is that he puts all homework in it at the end of each class and checks the turn-in folder at the beginning of each class. Time will tell…

Here’s his color associations in case it helps:
Math: red (while he’s good at math, he hates it because he hates to show his work)
Science: green (plants)
Social Studies: blue (oceans on maps)
Language Arts: black (because that’s the only other color the store had in the binders we selected.

I hope this helps. Don’t be surprised if you have to revamp the system a few times each school year to get it just right.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 22, 2014 at 4:04pm

The color coding sounds like a great idea. Especially the homework folders. Has this helped your son? My son is 14 years old in the 8th grade and suffers with the same issues with organizational skills.

Posted by M. Guillory on Sep 08, 2014 at 3:50pm

It turns out that they keep their binder for each class in that classroom. So my son carries his “everywhere” binder with him to each class. It contains: planner, supplies pouch (that I replenish a few times a week), a pocket folder for papers that come home (including homework) and a folder for papers to turn in at school. It also has about 10 sheets of extra blank notebook paper.

Getting all of that out of his locker and only having to deal with one binder, a notebook for lit lab, lunchbox, water bottle, and backpack has been a tremendous help. My son’s school implemented this system for all students, but I was going to request that he keep class-specific materials in each classroom as an accommodation in his IEP if he struggled with getting the right materials to each class.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator, Author on ADHD, and Mom to Pre-Teen Boy w/ ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Sep 09, 2014 at 12:55pm

We also do the color-coded subjects.  In addition, I recommend you buy an accordion folder with a slot for each subject.  All homework papers, handouts, pending projects, permission slips, checks, go in this. Papers cannot accidentally fall out since it’s closed.  It comes home every day and goes to each class with your child.  This really reduces the lost papers and assignments.

Lastly, Ann Dolin is a pro at organizing your ADHD child!  Check out her website http://anndolin.ectutoring.com/
-Katherine Price
ADHDC
Coaching Parents of Kids
with Special Needs.

http://www.adhdc.com
http://www.facebook.com/AdhdcParentCoaching

Posted by KatherineADHDC on Sep 11, 2014 at 2:17pm

My son could not manage sorting his papers by subject. That’s why he has one binder that goes to all classes and contains a folder (it’s a poly envelope with velcro closure that goes on 3-ring) for stuff to bring home and a different colored folder for stuff to turn in. That is as much sorting as he can manage. And even then, loose papers are often stuffed in the binder.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator, Author on ADHD, and Mom to Pre-Teen Boy w/ ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:36pm

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