I have a wonderful 13 year old son. He is active in sports and a social kid. He really stuggles with his organization skills. His grades are going form B to Ds each quarter. This is so frustrating for me because I see how hard he works on his homework and he still has missing assignments. Which means he isn't getting full credit for his work. Which of course spirals me into a frustions fit. I have made arrangements for him to show me his planner every night, make sure his name is on all his work and still is disappears. It hurts me to see him want to do well in school but then he sees his grades and his world turns upside down. It's only because he doesn't stay organized and hand it his things. To me it's so simple but I just don't know where the disconnect happens. Any suggestion would bring peace to my house:)
I'm sure it's very frustrating for you to see your son not following through with what seem like simple organizational tasks. It's great to hear that he is well adjusted in most other areas of his life. He sounds like a great kid!
Your idea of checking his planner every night and helping him stay organized is great. It sounds like you are doing everything to support his academic success. Are you making sure his assignments are in labeled folders every night before he goes to bed? This will help him easily access his assignments when he needs to turn them in the next day. The disconnect sounds like it happens between home in the morning and his classes. Think about asking a teacher or coach to meet with him each morning when he gets to school and check that everything is in order for his classes that day. This way he is accountable to both you and that teacher/coach.
As I'm sure you're well aware, organization and homework aren't usually the #1 priority for a 13 yr. old boy, so it's great to hear that he's working as hard as he is to improve. Remember to praise him verbally along the way for all the hard work he's putting in. When his grades improve, that will be a powerful real life reinforcer to the hard work he's putting into his homework.
It's easy to slack off when things start to improve, so be sure to keep up with checking his homework and organization daily. Be sure to hold him accountable for the outcome whether it's positive or negative. It's ok to also give rewards other than just verbal praise such as a movie or restaurant night of his choice.
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Organizational skills do not always come naturally. They need to be taught. I suggest your son see an Educational Therapist or Coach who can teach him these important skills in life. He needs an everyday working notebook that includes categories for each class. He needs to be taught HOW to use an everyday working notebook, HOW to take notes in class and how to file them for studying, HOW to use a daily planner and utilize the family calender as well. HOW to put together his backback. HOW to read a syllabus and prepare for a class ahead of time. These are skills that he needs to learn and then practice a lot. Only then will he actually apply these. And also, you need to hire a professional. Kids don't like to take advice or lessons from moms and dads!
The Middle School Student's Guide to Ruling the World! and S.O.S (Student Organizational Skills) is a middle level work habits, time management and organizational skills curriculum. Organizational skills are learned. They do not come naturally to many people, particularly boys (no offense meant.) www.middleschoolguide.com has resources, tips and articles that can help. I am not a proponent of over involvement of parents in these matters. So, this resource is written for the student, with comics and graphics, etc., but parents can certainly "partner" with their child to help them learn and support their efforts at home. We also have 10 audio fun podcasts that supplement lessons in binder organization, planner/agenda, group project management, long term project planning, rules of rubric road, mental checklists (remembering your stuff every day), self-advocacy (it takes practice), and more.