dolphin turtle toggle_icon

Contact Information

Jennifer Cunningham
Aquatic Science Teacher
Pasadena Memorial High School
4410 Crenshaw Road
Pasadena, Texas 77504
Phone: (713) 740-0390
Fax: (713) 740-4156
jcunningham@pasadenaisd.org jcunningham@sciencerule.com

Ways to Help Your Child Excel

Developing good organizational skills is a key ingredient for success in school and in life. Although some people by nature are more organized than others, anyone can put routines and systems in place to help a child"get it together." Here's a list of strategies that you can use to help your child get and keep them organized. By keeping them organized, they will be preparing for education and all that education offers them.

  • Use checklists:
    Help your child get into the habit of keeping a "to-do" list. Use checklists to post assignments, household chores, and reminders about what materials to bring to class. Your child should keep a planner or weekly log of assignments for each class so they are able to refer back to information for each of their classes. Crossing completed items off the list will give him a sense of accomplishment.

  • Have your child organize their assignments:
    Before beginning a homework session, encourage your child to number assignments in the order in which they should be done. Your child needs to look at due dates, length of assignments and how long they have to work on assignments for that assignment time.

  • Designate a study space:
    Your child should study in the same place every night. This doesn't have to be a bedroom, but it should be a quiet place with few distractions. All school supplies and materials should be nearby. If your young child wants to study with you nearby, too, you'll be better able to monitor his progress and encourage good study habits.

  • Set a designated study time:
    Your child should know that a certain time every day is reserved for studying and doing homework. The best time is usually not right after school -- most children benefit from time to unwind first. However, waiting until very late at night will not produce positive results as the child will be ready to rest and go to sleep. Discuss with your child when the best time for them to focus on their studies. If your child has reviewed their planner and has no homework, they should use their study time as a time of reflection. They should review their notes and assignments that they did that day and write any comments about the assignments including questions, concerns or thoughts about the topic.

  • Keep organized notebooks:
    Help your child keep track of papers by organizing them in a binder or notebook. Found out what classes require a binder just for that class. This will help him review the material for each day's classes and to organize the material later to prepare for tests and quizzes. Use dividers to separate class notes, or color-code notebooks. Separate "to do" and "done" folders help organize worksheets, notices, and items to be signed by parents, as well as provide a central place to store completed assignments.

  • Conduct a weekly clean-up:
    Encourage your child to sort through book bags and notebooks on a weekly basis. Old tests and papers should be organized and kept in a separate file at home.

  • Create a household schedule:
    Try to establish and stick to a regular dinnertime and a regular bedtime. This will help your child fall into a pattern at home. Children with a regular bedtime go to school well-rested. Try to limit television-watching and computer play to specific periods of time during the day. If a student has had rest and sleep, they will avoid falling asleep in class and missing information given in class.

  • Keep a master calendar:
    Keep a large, wall-sized calendar for the household that lists the family's commitments, schedules for extracurricular activities, days off from school, and major events at home and at school. Note dates when your child has big exams or due dates for projects. This will help family members keep track of each other's activities and avoid scheduling conflicts.

  • Prepare for the day ahead:
    Before your child goes to bed, they should prepare themselves for the next day. All work needs to be placed neatly in binders and then put in their backpack. The next day's clothes should be laid out with shoes, socks, and accessories. This will cut down on morning confusion and allow your child to prepare quickly for the day ahead.