Top Ten De-clutter Tips - August

Back to School ADHD Style  
1. Plan one week at a time. Having a main calendar to write down play dates, car pools, extracurricular commitments, etc. is one of the best tools to stay on top of your schedule. Give each member of the family a color and have everyone write their schedule for the week each Sunday. Create routines on weekdays to help the household get in the swing of back to school while maintaining consistent expectations.  



2. Develop a study schedule and create a study area at home. Each student should have a distinct area to work at that is out of the way and has easy access to school supplies and easy cleanup tools. Help your child determine what work to complete first based on importance, urgency, and time. Work to stay ahead of the syllabus and reward accomplishments and victories.



3. Identify "homes" for backpacks, projects, schools supplies, etc. Every item should have a home that is easy for children to return. For example, backpacks are placed on the hook in the entryway upon entering the home and big bulky projects are stored in the coat closet that sees no action during the summer and fall months.  



4. Make a list of accomplishments and struggles and have your child do the same. Have an open conversation about priorities, improvements, and recognize what made each success attainable. Ensure you and your child are on the same page.  


5. Use timers and alarms. Set several alarms to remind your child to: take medication, start homework, take a break from homework, clean up, make an appointment, etc.  


6. Eliminate distractions and time wasters. This may include putting away cell phones during homework time or only playing video games after work is done. Ensure the work area has aids to help with homework and projects.




7. Use technology to help. For apps and information, click HERE for tools to help you and your child stay on track. My favorite is "Home Routines" that allows you to create checklists and then completes them on chosen days of the week. Reminders and notifications keep you on track. The checklists automatically reset to develop stability.




8. Monitor progress, rewarding successes and learning from failures. This doesn't mean lurking over your child's shoulder 24/7. Take an interest in school progress and see what you can do at home to help meet academic and extracurricular goals.



9. Create a "back to school checklist" to keep everyone ahead of schedule and in control. This may include meeting with teachers and getting everyone off of the "summer sleep schedule." Do you have the supplies you'll need for lunches and do the kids still fit their school uniform?


10. Positive reinforcement and fun! Learn from accomplishments and failures and figure out what works best. The best attitude to have is a positive one!  

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Regina Lark
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