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Helping Your Child with Organization and Study Skills

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❶Here are some tips for helping your child develop note-making skills:.

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10 Steps to Foster Organization: Homework and Beyond!

Most of us are not even aware of following these steps. Finding the main idea for a list of words that are abstract e. Once students can categorize, the next skill to develop is recognizing and formulating the main ideas of individual paragraphs.

This is a basic skill in reading for meaning. The rest of the paragraph usually conveys details that support the main idea. Students should be encouraged to search for topic sentences as they read. They should also be encouraged to use topics sentences when writing their own paragraphs. Though the topic sentence is often the first sentence in a paragraph, this is not always the case.

The topic sentence can sometimes be in the middle or at the end of a paragraph. Sometimes the main idea is not even stated; rather, it must be inferred by reading the detail sentences. When reading, ask your child to underline or highlight the main idea if it is stated in a topic sentence.

If the main idea has to be inferred, ask your child to write it in his own words in the margin or on a piece of paper. This skill will eventually enable your child to highlight and take margin notes in textbooks. Lecture material can also be grouped into main ideas. Some teachers list main ideas before presenting to the class, which helps students chunk the information into smaller, more manageable units.

Other teachers present detailed information without main idea cues; students need to infer the main ideas. If your child has difficulty determining the main ideas, ask the teacher to supply a list of main ideas at least a day before a lecture. By reviewing the list with your child ahead of time, he will be better able to follow the lecture.

Many reading assignments, such as textbook chapters, contain a hierarchy of main ideas and sub-main ideas. Chapter sections, usually marked by bold-faced section headings, are the sub-main ideas. Finally, each paragraph within a section has a main idea. Before reading a chapter, have your child note the main idea and sub-main ideas by writing down the chapter title and bold-faced section headings from the chapter.

This breaks the reading assignment into manageable units. Your child can then read each paragraph within a section and note its main idea. Also, knowing the main ideas before a lesson or lengthy reading assignment gives students a hook to hang the details. It enables students to anticipate what they will be hearing or reading. One way for your child to practice identifying main ideas is to create titles for articles in the newspaper.

Most papers have sections with one-paragraph stories; often, they are abbreviated international or national news items. Clip out the story without its title and have your child read it.

Then have your child pretend he is the news reporter who must write a succinct title that conveys the main idea. This is a good way for your child to learn current events while practicing an important study skill.

Next, your child should find and underline the topic sentence that states the main idea. If the main idea must be inferred because there is no topic sentence, your child should write out the main idea in his own words in the margin next to the paragraph. Note-taking is a way for students to record information from a lecture or reading assignment.

It should enable them to retrieve the information easily at a later time for study purposes. Students are active listeners when taking notes because they are processing information into their own words. However, note-taking especially from lectures is a very difficult task for many students with learning disabilities.

It is important for you to stress the value of consistently taking and using notes with your child. Many students want to do the least amount of schoolwork in the shortest amount of time.

They believe that as long as they understand a lecture or reading assignment, their memories will serve them and notes are not necessary. Sooner or later, this strategy is sure to fail. It is easier for students to learn note-taking skills from written sources, for they can go back over the information several times without the time pressure that occurs when taking lecture notes.

Once students know how to recognize and formulate main ideas, they can learn to take notes that include important details. Encourage your child to learn to take notes using the two-column method described below. Draw a line down a sheet of paper, with one-third of the page on the left and two-thirds of the page on the right. Write the main idea of each paragraph on the left side.

List details on the right side of the page. The two-column note-taking method visually separates information into main ideas and details.

By placing the details to the right of the main ideas, students can easily see which details support which main ideas. In contrast, information in linear note-taking such as outlining exists as a stream of facts, with no visual way to distinguish main ideas from details. A two-column note-taking format also makes it easier for students to use notes to prepare for a test. For example, you can ask your child to cover the details on the right side of the page with a sheet of paper, look at the main ideas in the left column, and turn them into study questions.

This challenges the student to recall the details to answer the question. If necessary, he can lift the cover to review. Similarly, your child can cover the main ideas and use the details to recall them. Once students learn and master the mechanics of the two-column note-taking method by taking notes from written material, they can try taking notes from lectures. It is a difficult skill to learn, and you can help your child prepare by developing the sub-skills below. The most important things are those which you need to do, or things that have a deadline or time limit.

The least important things are those that can wait until another day if necessary. Planners are good tools for managing your time. A good planner will have both a calendar and a daily view, allowing you to add more detail for things you need to do.

Keeping the house clean with or without a full family takes a lot of energy and can help develop planning and organizational skills. If your family chooses to permanently assign cleanup chores, you might do the dishes each night, someone else might do the laundry, and someone else may do the vacuuming.

If you choose to assign cleanup tasks on a rotating basis, you could use a calendar to track who is responsible for what and when. Everything should have a proper place assigned to it. For instance, put the salt and pepper on the table where they belong, and put dirty dishes in the sink when finished eating. Encourage the rest of your household to do likewise.

Choose a designated study or work space. It might be helpful to have a desk or table on which to work. Stock the drawers with small containers containing useful materials like pencils, erasers, and paperclips.

Try to keep your study space free of distractions like TV and video games. This might make it easier to stay organized and focused on your work. Select a specific time to study time. Set aside time to study for tests and do your homework.

Ideally, you should study at the same time each day. Think about your schedule and choose a time when you will feel fresh and motivated to get some work done. The best time to study is usually not immediately after school. Try to wait until shortly after dinner so you have some time to relax, shower, or talk to your friends. For instance, if you get home at 3: Extend the study period if you need to. Establish a regular bedtime.

Getting enough sleep is always a challenge. Having a regular bedtime and wake-up time makes it easier. Set an alarm clock so that you wake at the same time each morning. If necessary, set an alarm clock to indicate when to go to bed as well. With a regular bedtime, it may be easier to wake up fully rested and avoid scrambling for your breakfast, books, assignments, backpack, or suitcase.

Adults need to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. For instance, if you want to be up by 8: Take advantage of technology. While these tools might have a slight learning curve, making use of them will help you develop your organizational skills.

You could also download useful organization apps to help you develop organizational skills. Things is an app that helps you create checklists and break complex tasks down into simple steps. Organize your electronic files. Use the one-touch rule for email. Here is a list of organizational strategies basic to homework: Identify a location for doing homework that is free of distractions Have all materials available and organized Allocate enough time to complete activities and keep on schedule Take good notes Develop a sequential plan for completing multi-task assignments Check assignments for accuracy and completion before turning them in Know how to get help when it is needed Turn in completed homework on time Teachers can enhance homework completion and accuracy by providing classroom instruction in organizational skills.

Use a homework calendar Students with disabilities often need additional organizational support. On a self-monitoring chart in their planner, students recorded each time they completed and returned their homework assignment by: Coloring the square for the day green if homework was completed and returned Coloring the square for the day red if homework was not done Coloring one-half of the square yellow and one-half of the square red if homework was late If students met the success criterion, they received a reward at the end of the week, such as 15 extra minutes of recess.

Recommended ways that teachers can improve communications with parents include: Encouraging students to keep assignment books Providing a list of suggestions on how parents might assist with homework. For example, ask parents to check with their children about homework daily Providing parents with frequent written communication about homework e. Supplying teachers with the technology needed to aid communication e.

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Establish a homework routine. Help your child make a "study hour" schedule and set up a comfortable workspace-- whether her room or the kitchen table. Encourage her to stick to the schedule even when she doesn't have homework (She can read, review notes, or even do a crossword puzzle.) Create a homework supply box.

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How you can help: There are a couple of simple ways you can help with organization and time management: Create a homework schedule. A homework schedule can help your child set a specific time and place for studying. Find a time of day when your child concentrates best and when you’re available to help.

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Homework and Study Habits: Tips for Kids and Teenagers Should parents help with homework? Yes-if it is clearly productive to do so, such as calling out spelling words or checking a math problem that won’t prove. No-if it is something the child can clearly handle himself and learn from the process. Model research skills by involving. However, the reality is that the majority of our ASD students of all ages desperately need help with homework, specifically, and EF skills in general. Help is available. The following 10 steps illuminate specific aspects of EF skills that increase students' static and dynamic organizational coping mechanisms.

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To help your child organize homework, you can create a homework checklist with the following items for each subject: _____I have the materials I need to do the assignment (book, notes, handouts). _____I completed the assignment. _____I checked the assignment to be sure it was correct. _____There was no homework in this subject . Help your child practice her skills on a regular basis, and follow through with the systems you create together. —Enforce time concepts. Understanding time is essential for students with ADHD to learn to keep on task and stay organized.