It is often during the middle school years that our tweens and teens are expected to operate more independently. The discrepancy between the expectation of independence and the lack of targeted instruction (i.e. skill building) to facilitate such independence is likely to create a perfect storm for frustration, declining academic performance and possible lowered self-esteem in students. The 8-week Organizational Skills Training program will teach essential executive functioning skills required to help middle school students navigate the demands of school.
Over the past several years, Behavioral Management Group (BMG), LLC has had the privilege to provide services for many children and adolescents presenting with organizational skill challenges. Throughout the years, many parents have expressed their frustration often stating, “My child will complete the homework, but often times, it is never submitted or “Why does my child always tell me at the last minute about a project.” Similarly, the child has often experienced his or her own frustration, embarrassment, or anxiety as it relates to this pattern of behavior. From the child’s perspective, he may ask himself, “What’s wrong with me? Why do I keep losing my papers or Why do all the other students seem to have no problems keeping up with everything and I always feel behind?” As can be expected, such behavioral patterns have often resulted in strained parent-child communication.
In an effort to address the above noted concerns, BMG sought to find a program model that best helps both the parent and child to navigate these organizational skills challenges. With that stated, the content of this program has been adapted from the empirically-supported Organizational Skills Training Program, which was developed by Gallagher, Abikoff, and Spira (2014).
Who should participate?
During the initial implementation of the program, we will begin with middle school aged children given that this age group is often expected to manage multiple classes, multiple teaching styles and multiple assignments without the direct support offered during their elementary school years. It is often during this phase of development that our tweens and teens are expected to operate more independently. The discrepancy between the expectation of independence and the lack of targeted instruction (i.e. skill building) to facilitate such independence is likely to create a perfect storm for frustration, declining academic performance and possible lowered self-esteem.
Once a child is able to develop a solid organization system for himself or herself, such skills will foster his or her ability to be successful not only in middle school but throughout the rest of one’s life.
Organizational Skills Training Outline
Week One – Parents Only
- Overview of Program
- Complete Organizational Skills Survey
- Parents expressions- concerns about child’s organizational skills
Week Two – Parent & Child
- Overview of Program to Children
- Learning Style Survey – Completed by Parent & Child
- Discuss Results of Learning Survey
Week Three – Child Only
- Mastermind vs. Glitches
- Organizational Tools – Book bags, accordion binders, color coded systems and apps
- Introduction of DAR (Daily Assignment Record)
Week Four – Child Only
- Review of DAR Usage – Pros/cons
- Review & Implementation of Assignment & Test Calendars
- Introduction of Organizational Apps & other Technology-based Organizational Tools
Week Five – Parent Only
- Progress/Feedback Session
- Parents as Behavior Modifiers – Teach skills to reduce organizational glitches
Week Six – Child Only
- How do you prepare
- Introduction to Study Skills
- Study Skills Video
Week Seven – Child Only
- Old School Studying – Leitner Flashcard System
- Design-Your-Own Study Box
- Choose Your Own Study Music
Week Eight – Child Only
- Putting it all together
- Review of Organizational & Study Skills
- Lessons learned
Week Nine – Parent & Child
- Post-evaluation – Organizational Skills Survey
- Program Evaluation
- Closing Ceremony