Raising a tween and/or teen comes with many challenges, and especially after the last couple of haphazard school years, one of those challenges is probably looking even more overwhelming than usual – ORGANIZATION.
We often think that our tweens and teens messy, all over the place, can’t remember school due dates or team practice times tendencies are a form of laziness or even rebelliousness, but in reality some of it is purely developmental. Being organized involves executive function skills, which include things like self-restraint, working memory, emotion control, focus, task initiation, planning/prioritization, time management, defining and achieving goals, flexibility, observation and even stress tolerance.
None of us are born with these skills, we just have the potential to develop them over time. But during the last 18 months or so, many of our middle schoolers and high schoolers have missed out on the typical opportunities to make progress in this area. Now, as they begin to return to a more normal school routine, it feels like they are even more unequipped than usual.
However, it’s not all as dire as it may seem. The reality is that this isn’t a tween or teen problem alone, a ton of adults struggle with executive functions as well, but over time they’ve found tools to help them better manage their shortcomings. What exactly are those tools? So, glad you asked.
Tools To Help Your Teen Get Organized For School
Best Planners To Help Teens Get Organized
Yes, there are tons of great digital organization options for teens and they make a lot of sense considering how “phone” centric they tend to be. Obviously there are the tools that come build into their phones like their calendars and reminders. There are also some useful apps, If you want more info here is a super helpful resource: Great Organizational Apps For Teens. However, there is evidence that actually writing things down on paper helps people to better retain information. So, it may be helpful to invest in an actual, old fashioned planner for your teen.
The Bulletproof Planner: Executive Function and ADHD Academic Planner (Bulletproof Planners)Student Planner Weekly Overview Format for a Full Year (S85-Blue) 5.5 x 8.5Undated Student Organizer for Middle School (SO-8)Dated Middle School or High School Student Planner for Academic Year 2021-2022 (Matrix Style – 7Student Planner 2021-2022 – Academic Planner from Jul 2021- Jun 2022, 9bloom daily planners 2021-2022 Academic Year Day Planner & Calendar (July 2021 – July 2022) – 6” x 8.25” – Weekly/Monthly Agenda Organizer with Stickers and Bookmark – Green Modern AbstractStudent Planner: Gaming Academic Planner With Weekly & Monthly Spreads, Habit Tracker, To-Do List, and Homework Organizer for Middle and High School StudentsStudent Planner 2021-2022 – Weekly & Monthly Student Planner with 12 Monthly Tabs, July 2021-June 2022, 8.4
Dry Erase Boards And Calendars To Improve Teen Organization
Again, there are times going old school can really make a difference and when it comes to dry erase boards, you might be amazed at the issues they can solve for your teens (and honestly your entire household organizational challenges). I have one teen who keep a white board in her room to keep track of her weekly schedule and “to dos” all in one place. I have another teen who uses one on his door for important morning reminders (i.e. don’t forget to take your soccer gear tomorrow for practice). We have one on the fridge to keep track of grocery items that everyone can just add as they use stuff up and we also put urgent daily reminders up there for each other.
Quartet Magnetic Whiteboard, 17U Brands Contempo Magnetic 11Amazon Basics Small Dry Erase Whiteboard, Magnetic White Board for to Do List, Refrigerator, Locker , Aluminum Frame, 11 x 14 Inches, 6-Pack11Hivillexun Dry Erase Calendar Whiteboard. Set of 3 Magnetic Calendars for Refrigerator, Monthly, Weekly Organizer & Daily Notepad. Wall & Fridge Family Calendar. 8 Markers 1 EraserSmall Monthly Calendar Dry Erase Whiteboard for Wall, 16Fridge Calendar Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar Whiteboard Calendar For Refrigerator Planners 16.9 Inches X 11.8 InchesU Brands Magnetic Dry Erase 3-in-1 Calendar Board, 16 x 20 Inches, MOD Black/Gray Frame, Magnet and Marker Included (388U00-01), Black & Grey
Tech Tools For Organized Teens
Technology is a double edged sword when it comes to our tweens and teens. Often it feels more like they are source of the disorganization due to the distractions they create. But technology isn’t all bad as it can really help students when applied in the right ways. Also, the reality is that most students are required to use these technologies in school and other aspects of their life today. It can be hard to know what to choose, but here are a few favorites that come with superior reviews and reliability. To go along with these, you might also want to check out our other helpful guide 5 Amazing Organizational Apps for Teens
2019 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 64GB) – Space Gray2021 Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi, 128GB) – Space Gray4Pack Original [Apple MFi Certified] Charger Lightning to USB Cable Compatible iPhone 11 Pro/11/XS MAX/XR/8/7/6s/6/plus,iPad Pro/Air/Mini,iPod TouchApple Magic Keyboard (for iPad Pro 11-inch 3rd Generation and iPad Air 4th Generation) – US English – BlackApple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) – Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport BandKindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage – 8 GB (International Version)TOZO T6 True Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth Headphones Touch Control with Wireless Charging Case IPX8 Waterproof Stereo Earphones in-Ear Built-in Mic Headset Premium Deep Bass for Sport BlackBluetooth Headphones Over-Ear, Zihnic Foldable Wireless and Wired Stereo Headset Micro SD/TF, FM for Cell Phone,PC,Soft Earmuffs &Light Weight for Prolonged Waring(Rose Gold)sephia SP3060 Earbuds, Wired in-Ear Headphones with Tangle-Free Cord, Noise Isolating, Bass Driven Sound, Metal Earphones, Carry Case, Ear Bud Tips
Best Back Packs and School Bags To Help Teens With Organization
These days, many schools have done away with lockers, and this creates a whole new challenge for our teens. Not only do their bags become the bottomless pits of their academic experience where school papers go to die, but they also become the cause of future chiropractic bills. Back packs have to serve many roles now including laptop storage, school supply organizer, water bottle holder, and keeper of ALL school books. The need to be strong, durable, large and in some cases having wheels is really in the best interest of our teen’s future back health.
JanSport Ashbury 15 Inch Laptop Backpack – Comfortable School Pack, Prisma PythonAUGUR Laptop Backpack Lightweight Minimalism with USB Charging Port Fits 15.6-Inch Notebook (Black)SwissGear ScanSmart Laptop Backpack, Black, 19High Sierra Powerglide Wheeled Backpack, Black, One SizeJ World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack. Roller Bag with Wheels, Blue Vine, 18SKYMOVE 19 inches Wheeled Rolling Backpack for School Students Laptop, BlackTargus Compact Rolling Backpack for Business, College Student and Travel Commuter Wheeled Bag, Durable Material, Tablet Pocket, Removable Laptop Protective Sleeve for 16-Inch Laptop, Black (TSB750US)Samsonite Wheeled Backpack with Organizational Pockets, Black/Charcoal, One Size
Other Must Have Organizational Tools For Teens
There are tons of other tools that can help teens with their executive function skills. Some of these may seem a little old school, but sometimes teens don’t need high tech, they needs something to keep it simple and easy. Post-it notes will forever be a great way to jot down a quick reminder or mark an important passage when studying and there pens that do the work of three different tools in one are space and time saving. Oh, and if you have a teen who doesn’t just forget assignments, but loses keys, book bags, etc there’s Tile, a tool for that too.
EASTHILL Big Capacity Pencil Pen Case Office College School Large Storage High Bag Pouch Holder Box Organizer Yellow OrangePencil Case, Big Capacity Pencil Pen Case Multi-Slot Pencil Bag Pouch Holder Box for Middle/High School Office College Adult Girl and Boy (Black)Post-it Super Sticky Notes, Assorted Bright Colors, 3 in x 3 in, 15 Pads/Pack, 45 Sheets/Pad, 2X The Sticking Power, Recyclable (654-15SSCP)Post-it Super Sticky Easel Pad, 25 in x 30 in, White, 30 Sheets/Pad, 2 Pad/Pack, Great for Virtual Teachers and Students (559)Post-it Flags Assorted Color Combo Pack, 320 Flags Total, 200 1-Inch Wide Flags and 120.5-Inch Wide Flags, 4 On-The-Go Dispensers/Pack (683XL1)Post-it Flags + Highlighter, 3 Pack, 50 Color Coordinated Flags/Highlighter, Yellow, Pink, Blue (689-HL3)Post-it Flag+ Ballpoint Pen and Highlighter, Black Ink with Blue, Pink, and Yellow Flags, 50-Flags/Pen and Highlighter, 3-Pack – 691-HLP3Koogel 300 Pieces 2.2 x 3.5 Inches Multicolor Kraft Paper Binder Ring Easy Flip Flash Card Study Cards/Memo Scratch Pads/Bookmark/DIY Greeting Card/Index Card Stock/Note Card(50 Sheets per Set)USB Flash Drive 1TB, Thumb Drive: Lekikpo USB Memory Stick, Ultra Large Data Storage USB Drive, Portable Jump Drive Zip Drive with KeychainTile Inc., Pro Black and White Combo, Bluetooth Tracker and Finder, Water Resistant, Replaceable Battery, Easy to Attach for Keys, Pet Collars and Bags (4 Pack), combo – black & white (EC-18004)Apple AirTag Leather Key Ring – Saddle Brown
Parenting teens and tweens is hard, but these popular posts that other parents found helpful, might just make it a little easier: