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OMG... do you know my son? LOL. This is him to a "T". At 13, I have tried so many different ways to get him organized but nothing seems to work. At this point, I think it is more lacking the effort to want to improve in these areas and not so much disorganization; although that plays a part. It has gotten so bad that tomorrow I am having a meeting with all of his teachers and school counselor to see how we can get him back on track.
Disorganized kids can be easily frustrated with school and keeping it all together. At ur meeting, ask if ur son can have a point person at school who he can check in with at least once a week. This person will work on organizational skills and try to help him set up a system that will work for him? Is he classified as having ADHD or learning dis?
I have this problem with BOTH of my kids. My daughter (12) has always been quite disorganized and scatter-brained. The amazing thing is that she is so smart, almost gifted. She gets wonderful grades, plays the viola, and enjoys sports. Her room on the other hand looks like a war zone and her notebooks looks like they've been through the shredder. When she does clean it looks like a 5 star hotel room so I know she can do it. She just has better things to do I guess. I don't fuss anymore. I just close the door.
My son (8) is learning disabled so his disorganization is legitimate I guess. Paper, clothes, toys all end up on the floor and he's content. It drives me crazy. He, like his sister, knows how to clean and can get it looking like, maybe a 3 star hotel room. They both get frustrated because they can't find anything. I simply tell them that I haven't seen it or I don't play, wear, or need it so I can't help them. They have to learn to be responsible for their own stuff.
My son's desk at school is just as bad and his teacher and I are always finding missing homework, etc. I call my son my little Einstein because he thinks in such odd ways. He's smart but just learns differently and when the lightbulb comes on he's got it.
Poor things. I try but I'd be too stressed out and frustrated with them both if I worried about how disorganized they are. I just have to close the door and do a quarterly overhaul. I do insist on the trash being taken out and keeping the bathroom presentable. If they want to go shopping or do something special they will have to examine their rooms and fix it or we won't go anywhere. That get's them motivated, hehe.
For the missing homework solution- get a durable plastic folder, label one side "Take home" and the other side "Take to School" . Every paper he touches at school, should go in the folder. See if it works
As soon as my kids entered the door, I had a self-made small bookshelf that we called, "The Backpack Rack." All of my daughters put their backpacks there as soon as they entered the house after school. When it was time to do homework, they'd retrieve their backpack, get what they needed, do their homework, and then put their backpack back on the rack.
At first, I had to ask them, "Is your backpack on the rack?" If it was, they told me yes, and if it wasn't, they went and got it and put it there.
When it was time to leave in the morning, all they had to do was grab their backpack and go.
If they had an additional project to take, they would put a note on their backpack reminding themselves to go and get it.