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Help DS set up system to be organised for starting secondary

(52 Posts)
sydenhamhiller Fri 24-Jul-15 12:43:46

Hi O wise M-netters.

I would be so grateful for some experienced advice on this. I think we are going to have to set up a system for organising all the paper/ books/ homework etc for secondary - I have 2 younger children, and I want DS to be/ feel organised from the beginning, and have a 'system'. Which does not <sighs> appear to come naturally to either of us. His younger sister on the other hand, could start secondary school tomorrow.

I digress. I remember someone posting on a thread about having a different magazine file for each day, and just slotting each day's work/ subjects into that. School suggest that they have different coloured plastic folder for each subject, and they just slot exercise books/ textbook (!) and handouts into that. But then that will be a slithery pile at home?

Any tips gratefully received! Thanks.

Seeline Fri 24-Jul-15 12:48:28

My DS has a plastic storage box to keep everything in at home. All subjects are in their own folders/envelope thingies and he can then just go through his timetable each night to pull out what he needs for the next day (remembering to add in any homeworks that have to be handed in even if there is no lesson that day). Seems to work reasonably well. He keeps everything at home, despite having a locker at school, as that is what seems to work best for him. This does mean that he is lugging a whole days-worth of books etc round all day including the bus/train, but that's his choice!
You will probably find your DS will need some help organising everything at first. Make sure you have a couple of copies of his timetable, and homework timetable, easily accessible to help with last minute panics wink

CarriesBucketOfBlood Fri 24-Jul-15 13:00:12

In my (quite recent) experience main subjects that happen most days, like maths, english, science etc will very quickly come to him. He will remember that he has them most days and pack them automatically. Homework for them will also become part of a routine quickly.

It is subjects like tech, art, music, PE etc that only come once every week (or two) that it is easy to forget. For something like tech this can mean you have no work to do in the class if you have forgotten your project.

Have a copy of the timetable yourself so you can prompt for the first year at least, then make sure his bag is packed the night before and that if he decides to leave books in his locker, he makes a list of them in his planner. That way, when he is running around at 8pm looking for his chemistry book he can make sure whether it should actually be at home or not. Equally, if you leave lots of books in your locker it can fill up and becomes easy to 'lose' books in there.

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 24-Jul-15 13:06:03

This system worked well for the older two (one v.absent minded and the other with ASD & ADHD) so we are doing the same for the younger two. They keep all books at home, unpack bag as soon as they get in, do homework then pack bag for next day.

chicaguapa Fri 24-Jul-15 13:06:28

Pretty much what everyone has said.

DD has a Really Useful box with drop files in. One tab for each subject and a copy of the timetable taped to the lid. And a plastic wallet for homework and letters home.

Now she colours in her timetable so all the subjects are the same colour. This helps her apparently.

DD packs her bag every night before bed so no rushing around last minute in the morning but she nearly always forgets her PE kit.

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 24-Jul-15 13:09:01

I print out a copy of the timetable with the subjects in the same colours as the labels.

DS1 started Y7 using a plastic foolscap wallet for each subject, but he found that it took extra time when getting books out and putting them away in lessons, and he also got some weird looks.

sydenhamhiller Fri 24-Jul-15 14:26:49

Thanks all. Particularly appreciate the photo (aspire to be the kind of family in IKEA storage photos, where everything has a place and is in its place...)

TheFirstofHerName: where did you get that ingenious contraption from? Think that is brilliant.

starfish4 Fri 24-Jul-15 14:32:50

My DD is in Year 9 and has always just kept her stuff in a pile! When homework/paperwork doesn't go back in that area that's when it's prone to disappearing resulting in last minute panic. I wish it was tidier but she never forgets anything.

They do have a lot to think about in Year 7, so if you can get a copy of the timetable & homework rota (not 100% up to date but ours were on the school's website) that's handy. DD didn't want me anywhere near her work or sticking my nose in(!), but I did have a quick check in her bag the first few weeks while she was settling in to make sure everything was in there. If it wasn't I'd just say when does that brilliant piece of history homework have to be in and that prompted her!

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 24-Jul-15 16:31:18

It's called a CEP verticep modular something. Expensive (the ones in the photo came to £28) but has lasted well (DS1's have been going strong for four years so far). I bought them from here

Yarp Fri 24-Jul-15 18:11:34

For taking in to school

3 transparent, coloured envelope files. One for Homework To Do, one for Homework Done, and another for 'Other'

Mine don't have text books, and he has his school books loose in his bags.

Yarp Fri 24-Jul-15 18:13:46

^ the folders I mention are for worksheets/letters/loose bits of paper

eatyourveg Fri 24-Jul-15 18:15:53

ds (ASD) had coloured folders which had text book and work book in them. Copy of his timetable went up in the kitchen and I put a velcro strip on the fridge and made pecs symbols with his subjects on so that when he was set homework that subject went on the strip, once done, it was taken off - visual cues were in obvious places rather than in a homework planner.

Also had a check list which I laminated and put by the front door. On it was Coat, train pass, folders for the day, PE kit, pencil case, lunch money, student ID, Water, tissues, phone.

notinminutenow Fri 24-Jul-15 18:34:15

DS just finished y7. This is his 'system'. In theory books move from black to red when homework is complete. Worked - no detentions for missing homework or books. At the moment it is just an end if year mess!

Folder with watch on = stuff, other than homework, that needs action. They get a lot of stuff!

We have a timetable on the fridge and one in DS's room.

Only tips are make sure he writes homework in planner - even if there's an Internet homework package like 'Show my Homework', not all teachers use it; do homework on the day he gets it; pack bag the night before; keep a 2nd pencil case at home; label everything!

Just be there to support and guide in the early days. My DS needed help initially with organising homework.

Good luck!

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 24-Jul-15 23:04:44

What goes in the file with the tenner on it? smile

ealingwestmum Fri 24-Jul-15 23:19:57

I want to know what goes in that file too...and is it a tenner or £50? (Showing how ignorant I am on what a £50 note looks like) grin

I like the photos and tips though!

notinminutenow Sat 25-Jul-15 00:14:21

It's a £50 but sadly just a napkin! :-)

ealingwestmum Sat 25-Jul-15 10:48:58

Just shown my daughter notinminutenow That's the system she wants to try and maintain. Sold! Thank you

HarrietVane99 Sat 25-Jul-15 11:14:01

Also, clothes ready, bag packed, money, travel card, whatever, in pocket, etc., the night before, so there's no last minute panic in the morning. Get him to work out what time he needs to leave the house and how much time he needs to allow before that for breakfast, shower, getting dressed, working it so that he's not wanting the bathroom at the same time as anyone else.

Get him to take charge of his own morning routine so he knows what he should be doing at what time in order to leave the house on time.

sydenhamhiller Sat 25-Jul-15 23:23:35

Thanks everyone, great tips.

notinminutenow Sun 26-Jul-15 12:43:54

Good luck ealing ��

notinminutenow Sun 26-Jul-15 12:47:10

Not sure what I did there with question marks!

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 26-Jul-15 12:50:56

We bought a filing box, with a carefully-labelled hanging file for each subject. It is a thing of beauty. It is also totally empty.

Whereas the top of the piano contains a large, slithery pile of exercise books and completed work and her school bag contains a veritable stationery shop full of writing equipment.

So do be prepared to be flexible when he discovers his own "system". Especially if it works grin

velidhu Sun 26-Jul-15 19:35:03

Inspired thread! 'Helped' my DS to declutter his room today. He now owns some empty Ikea wooden magazine files on his desk.grin He has his pens/pencils in a DIY pen holder (the bottom of a whiskey box) and his rulers in an empty jam jar! Anyone got any desk tidy recommendations?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 26-Jul-15 19:46:30

DD gets `no homework`stamps, 10=detention. That works.

muminhants1 Sun 26-Jul-15 20:25:23

10 missed homeworks before a detention? At my ds's school they get one for one missed homework - or if it's late, or if it's not completed 100% or if it's not completed to the standard the teacher expects. Much harsher than my school - we just got told off and it didn't get marked.

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