Top 5 Tools to Help Families Get More Organized
Executive Functioning is a set of behaviors that help us complete tasks. Students who struggle with executive functioning often have a hard time with scheduling, organization, and time management.
Below are our tried and true tools to help improve a student and a family’s executive functioning. The key is customization – use what makes sense for your personality and your needs!
Paper Calendar – Check it out!
This calendar is spiral bound and opens up to 15″ x 22″ so plenty of space. It includes 189 star stickers to track chores and rewards, and 357 appointment and reminder stickers so your family can keep organized at a glance. It also includes a message and challenge board, a telephone, emergency, and medical directory, recipes, to do lists, kid’s chores, and inspirational quotes.
Whiteboard Wall Calendar – Check it out!
You can use different colored Sharpie pens for each member of the family to keep things looking neat and clear.
The Cozi Calendar App – Check it out!
This family calendar program is available as an app and on the web; there is a free version and a paid premium version. It allows for tracking of each individual family member’s commitments, organized by a unique color. Each family member has their own login, but can view everyone’s calendar simultaneously. Families can view the schedule by monthly, weekly, or daily views. It also has a grocery list function!
Time Management Tool
The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent way for students who tend to get overwhelmed by their assignments tackle work in bite size time blocks.
Students establish an amount of time that is for doing work (~25 mins or whatever feels manageable) and focusing exclusively on one particular assignment or project. When the timer rings, the student should get up, walk away from the desk, and have a snack or stretch to help the brain reset. Be sure to establish a clear period of time for breaks (e.g. 5-10 mins), and set the timer for this “off” time. When the timer goes off, the student should go back to focusing on school work for the allotted “work” time.
This is also an easy way for parents to help and not add more stress; give your child space while he/she studies and use the time to prepare a snack and have it ready for when the Pomodoro “timer” goes off. You can use any timer, but this one is cute.
Helpful Homework App
My Study Life – Check it out!
This free app starts with asking for a start time for the school day and an average class length. Then you have the option to “View Dashboard” or “Add Schedule.” The Dashboard displays the day’s total classes, number of attended and remaining classes, exams that day, tasks due, tasks assigned, and number of exams in the next 7 days. There is also a space for overdue and incomplete tasks for three days. Adding a task was simple enough – the app asks for a subject, title, and detail. Classes are color-coded! And you can pick the color! You can also set as many reminders as you want for an assignment, but they have to be entered as separate tasks. To enter an exam, module, seat, room, and a “Reset” check-box. The class schedule accommodates a same day schedule, a numbered/lettered day rotation, and a weekly rotation.