How can we help our children to be better organized?

Learning the Quran requires some organization. Too often children rely on their parents to remind them what to do. Suddenly, as soon as the parents are overwhelmed, the children do not know what to do … and thus do nothing.

They need to be taught to organize themselves and to check their work only once in a while.

If the job is not done on time, we will have to think about sanctions. On the other hand, if the job is well done, then it will be necessary to think about a reward.

There is no silver bullet when it comes to organization. After 10 years of project management career, I had to use various methods depending on the clients I worked for.

VISUAL PLANNER

For children, I suggest you try a visual planner on a whiteboard that I have simplified as much as possible so that it is not too complicated for the child.

You will start by entering the reminders for a single subject. Here, it will be learning the Quran.

For each type of task, use a different colour because some children are more sensitive to colours. They can remember more easily that a certain colour corresponds to a certain task – without even having to read the title of the task.

In the planner below, I have chosen to put wide time slots rather than fixed hours because children do not know how to manage the hours very well. You are free to reorganize these time slots according to your organization. For example depending on the time when the child comes home from school or sports etc.

Make sure that the tasks / homework are always done at the same time so that the child gets used to it and gets a certain routine.

It is important that the child writes the tasks to be done because he will be able to read them more quickly (because it is his handwriting) and also because writing allows memorization.

If you do not have a whiteboard, you can use a brown paper on which you draw the framework of the schedule with a permanent markers (days of weeks and time slots)

Then you use sticky notes of different colours on which the child will write down the tasks to be done and he will stick them in the correct time slots.

Once the child has mastered the organization of these tasks, you can add more. But be careful not to overload the table too much!

No matter what format you choose (whiteboard or brown paper), it is important that the board is positioned at the child’s level so that they can easily read it and modify it if necessary. Markers, erasers, post-it notes must be handy. The child should not be forced to search for the material to make additions / modifications because he will not search for very long and will then risk to forget what to add / modify.

Also, remember to position the planner in a strategic place, a place where the child can see it several times a day and not in a hidden corner of a room.

If a task needs to be edited, you must empower the child and ask him to edit it himself.

Do audits once a week to make sure there are no errors in the planner.

THE VISUAL TIMER

Another concept that is difficult for children to understand is the « period of time ».

If you tell a child they have to complete a task in 20 minutes, they don’t know what 20 minutes corresponds to. It’s too abstract. So, to make it more concrete, I advise you to provide them with a visual timer that shows them the time that passes by, so that they can see how much time they have left.

Jamila Loutis

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