He's so disorganized!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JKF, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    easy child/ difficult child is *so* disorganized! He has math papers in his reading folder, social studies in his math folder, etc and the rest of the papers are shoved into the bottom of his backpack. He can never find anything he needs at school or for homework and its a big problem. We've tried color folders so he could visualize the color, find the folders more easily and put the work into the correct folder. Nope. That's not working. I asked him why and he said cause he's in a rush so he just puts things wherever. It's driving me nuts! I told him this morning that I will be doing daily backpack/folder checks from now on and that if he doesn't at least make an attempt to do it then he will lose TV each evening that its not done. I think that's reasonable. It only takes a minute at most to put the assignment into the correct folder. I told him that the one minute he thinks he's saving time on costs him at least 5+ minutes more later bc he can't find anything and has to search.

    Does anyone have any magical tips on helping a kid with ADHD stay organized?
  2. JKF - I feel your frustration! I am ADHD also and I understand the inability to organize ones self. It's very frustrating.

    My easy child is also ADHD and she has one very big binder and everything goes into it. Sometimes stuff still gets left around the house. She usually sticks all of her papers in one pocket of her binder and then organizes them when she gets home. She often feels very rushed at school and worries about missing the bus. So, we deal with it when she gets home.

    Maybe set aside that 5 minutes when he gets home for him to sort out his paperwork and get things put away - or ask the teacher to give him 5 minutes at the end of the day to get it done (while she checks his homework agenda) or a couple of minutes at lunch instead.
  3. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thank you WTWE! Those are all great suggestions! I think I'm going to try the binder and put all of his folders into it and help him organize everything each day after school. As long as the papers are going into a common binder it should be much easier for me to help him instead of searching for everything in his backpack. I swear that thing is like a black hole. Once things go in they never come out! lol

    He has "Homework Club" each day after school from 2:20 until 3:10 but I have a feeling he's been socializing instead of doing any homework or trying to organize himself. Maybe I can ask if there's someone there who can help him get on track and get some work done or things organized during that time.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The colored folders worked with difficult child#2. As I recall he only needed four colors and there was wither a white or black one which was a "holding" folder where papers went before getting appropriately sorted. It helped alot. DDD
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    We have the colored folders but they are not in a binder. They are lose in his backpack. I think if we put them in a binder it will be much easier for him to grab and find exactly what folder he needs. I like the "holding" folder idea a lot! He can put everything in there and we can organize it when he gets home! Thanks!
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Does his disorganization cause HIM frustration or other problems? difficult child 1 used to get frustrated over adults insisting he be organized with his papers. I decided to let natural consequences happen. He needs a paper, HE needs to find it. He can't find it, he gets another one and does the work again. HIS choice. Being organized with his papers was not anywhere near the top of my list of priorities of skills for adult living. Maybe you should ask HIM if being organized is causing problems and work together to come up with a solution HE can live with. The only organizational issue the teachers and I agreed on was that difficult child 1 would forget what homework he had because he wouldn't write them down in his planner. When I asked him what would work (the teachers were insisting he write in the planner like all the other kids), he said a voice recorder so he could say the assignments into it after each class and listen to it at the end of the day. IT WORKED. He followed through every day and he never forgot homework again. Writing it in a planner was not his "thing" but keeping track of his responsibilities was so I agreed with his method because it got the job done.
  7. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's definitely causing problems and frustration for him. He can't find school work at school and homework at home and he gets very upset and flustered because according to him he "KNOWS" it's somewhere in the backpack but just can't find it because it's either shoved to the bottom or put in the wrong folder. He has a daily planner for homework and his teacher signs it after he writes everything down. He's doing a great job with that part and we KNOW what the assignments are but the problem is that he can never find any of his worksheets. The books aren't a problem. It's just the lose papers.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We've had teachers who were willing to scan the worksheets and send by email.
    That way, WE had a copy.
    If the original got lost, at least there was something to work from...

    Some schools have portals, where teachers can post worksheets, assignments, etc., too - and those are a great help.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    JKF -

    The only thing that has helped with my son is repetition, repetition, repetition...!

    Not of you speaking - he tunes that right out. Instead, you have to practice an actual routine. Make a method for putting papers in folders. The colors are a great idea - so maybe the routine is to get all the folders, lay all the folders on a table, place each paper on the correct folder, put the paper in the folder, stack the folders, put the stack in the backpack.

    Practice this EVERY SINGLE DAY at home - the same routine. Eventually, you should see it begin to "click"...
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    DF has a great idea. That is something that would have worked with difficult child 1 if there hadn't been other, more important issues to work on at the time. To be perfectly honest, that should be in his IEP since it is an education-related issue. They should be making a routine of him doing the organizing at the end of the day so he has everything he needs when he gets home. There were kids in difficult child 1's class that had "check out time" for the last 15-20 minutes of the day where these skills were taught. After the homework is done at home is the only time you should have to worry about putting completed papers in folders.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Oh yes - that would be a great idea!
  12. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    IC - We have a portal called Edline. It helps me check what the assignments are and compare to his assignment pad. Some teachers are fantastic and post every little thing. For example, the math teacher even gave access to the online book so in case he forgets his book he can still do the work. I LOVE the math teacher! lol Other teachers just do the bare minimum. List the assignment (if that) and that's it. No directions. No descriptions. No attachments. Uggggh!

    DF - That is exactly what I plan on doing starting today. Routine works well with him. Once he gets the "hang of it" he's usually ok.

    And TeDo, that is a fantastic point about the IEP. I am going to email the CST with that suggestion. If they can practice it with him in school and we practice it at home he should catch on eventually!
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I figured out early on that the color coded system was not going to work for difficult child. He had no interest in separating papers to that level. And if he did, he wouldn't bring all home work home as he would forget assignments. So, what works for him is an accordion type folder with pockets labeled 'to do' 'for mom' 'to hand in'. One large notebook with a few subject dividers. He brought the folder and notebook home and that helped getting assignments done and in.

    not everyone organizes the same way. We shouldn't expect all kids to be able to organize in the same way. We found a system that works for us and I don't care if teachers are upset because he doesn't bring a blue notebook or folder to class like everyone else. If it works, it works.