Do you hate the look of a messy school folder?
Each year I routinely get one very specific question from about half of my class parents. “How do I help keep Maddy’s folder neat?” Parents then go on to explain how the papers that come home are always crumpled and school notices get shoved to the bottom of the folder.
To most parents, and to me in my first years of teaching, this seemed like an issue the child was having. Why couldn’t they just slide the papers in properly to the folder? Why wasn’t it logical to keep notices for parent’s right on the first page of the folder? I quickly learned however that this was not the fault of the children but it was a skill that had not been taught. How on earth could I expect my students to read without teaching them, or follow directions without explaining them? Organizing a folder properly was a skill that needed to be taught, and I was going to teach it.
Do you ever have this issue? Does your child’s folder come home with papers so mangled that you can barely read them? It can be super frustrating. I know. Here are some tips at how to help your child learn to organize their school folder. Doing this early on in the year will absolutely help with their organization going forward. This is a skill they will be using almost every day.
Lucky you if your child is a natural born organizer, but if not, here is what you can do to help them with their school folder. When they come home from school sit together in your living room/dining table/kitchen area and ask them to take out their folder. When it comes out, look with them at the papers inside and ask if they think these papers look like they did when she first received them. Tell them you know it can be hard to fit all the stuff in, and to get the paper in nicely, so you are going to show them how to do it easily.
- Take all the papers out of the folder. Look inside the pocket and show them where the papers should slide into.
- Then slide a piece of paper in to the folder to show it should fit.
- Now give your child a chance to try with only one or two pieces already in the folder.
It may take a few tries for your child to learn how to slide papers into the folder properly but with your help and practice, they will get the hang of it. Don’t be fooled! You may need to go over these steps again in a few months to reinforce the value of having and using a neat folder.
I hope this helps take away some of the frustration around bent and ripped school notices and homework.
If you have any other issues like this please let us know and we’ll see if we can help!