I spend a lot of time talking about what students should do before they sit down to do homework. Today, I'd like to discuss what students should do after they've finished it! I have found that putting everything away is a crucial-but-often-neglected step, resulting in lost assignments and insane mornings. (Can you relate?)
Explain to your children that they're not really, truly, absolutely finished with their homework until they have put:
- EVERY assignment in their homework binder in the correct pocket.
- The homework binder INSIDE their backpack.
- ALL of their books in their backpack.
- ALL materials (pencils, papers, calculator, etc.) that remain home away in a drawer or their handy Magic Homework Box. And, finally...
- Their backpack by the front DOOR- or where ever they'd have to step over it before they leave in the morning.
Can you imagine how much easier everybody's life will be when your children complete all of these steps regularly? This is why it is sooo important that they get into the habit of doing these steps every day and as soon as they finish their homework. No snack or TV until all of the steps are completed! Your children will probably grumble at first, but later they will have to admit that life is much easier when they don't wait until the next morning to put things away, leave their homework on the kitchen table or have to frantically search for their backpacks at the last minute.
While we're teaching our children that being organized means being proactive and thorough, we might want to put our things by the front door, as well!