Andy has always been a B+ to A student except for this year in seventh grade, his grades have dipped into the C range. At the parent conference, Andy’s teachers told his parents that Andy was a very smart and polite boy, seemed to know the answers when called upon in class and his test grades were in the B and A range. However, Andy seemed to be missing a lot of past assignments in all of his classes. In fact, one of the assignments that Andy never handed in was the four page research paper Mom helped him work on for an entire weekend! Even though Mom assured the teacher that Andy did complete the research paper, Andy’s teacher could only give partial credit for the late work if Andy was to still turn it in. When his parents came home that night and asked Andy about the missing assignment, Andy swore he handed it in and that his teacher was wrong. Upon Mom’s request to check his folder (which was overflowing with handouts, class notes, spare loose leaf, permission slips, parent notes, etc), Andy found the research paper in the back of the folder. In complete frustration, Mom threw her hands up in the air and left the room, Dad started yelling, and poor Andy started crying about how much his parents nag him about school. A no win situation for all.
As the middle school years of 6th grade through 8th grade fast approach, teachers may be less forgiving about missing assignments, books left in the locker or being late to class. Students exhibiting any disorganized traits may start to feel overwhelmed, less confident and anxious during these middle school years.
Keep in mind that by the time students reach eighth grade, academic achievements and grades will be used to identify the students who can take honors level courses in high school. It is always so very disappointing to see a bright child lose a recommendation for an honors class because disorganization stood in the way of achieving higher grades.
By the time many kids come to us for help, they are feeling defeated, frustrated, and disappointed about their lack of success in school. Many middle school age kids are aware of their academic and organizational challenges but may have some difficulty “owning” them. For some kids, recognizing that they are disorganized might translate into “Now Mom will always be nagging me!”
Our approach to organization is not a “one size fits all” model, however, many of our students share the same struggles:
- The concepts of time management (planning and following through)
- Transition with ease (the morning and nighttime routines, getting off their screens to start homework or leave the house)
- Initiating a task
- Working memory
- Avoidance of the task
- Study Skills
- Test Taking Skills
The underlying plan for all of our clients is building self- confidence so they are motivated to implement organizing strategies.
STEP 1 90 minute intake in person or via Skype will consist of the following:
- Review the child’s academic history
- Review educational/psychological evaluations
- Inspect the current schoolbag and how the student organizes it (don’t worry, we’ve seen it all..lol)
- Assess the student’s Organizing Style
STEP 2 Consist of weekly sessions with the Academic Organizer to include the following topics:
- Academic Organizer and student will review assignments/test/projects that are due in the coming weeks
- Discuss goal setting and strategies to implement these goals
- Strategize on how to reduce distractions and procrastination
- Brainstorm on study skill and test taking strategies that best match the student’s Organizing Style
- Brainstorm on setting up the best home study center for the student’s Organizing Style
- Discuss techniques to keep more organized at home and in school
- Discuss products (types of folders, binder, notebooks,etc) to use based on the student’s Organizing Style
STEP 3 Once the student has mastered these skills, it’s time to “fly solo” and reduce the sessions to once a month!
50 minute sessions with an Academic Organizer in person in our office $125
50 minute sessions with an Academic Organizer in person out of the office $150