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5 tips to organize tweens for school

Help your tween learn to be an organized student!


My 12 year old son started junior high this year.  He is moving from an environment with one teacher, one desk,and one location to eight classes with eight teachers.  It is a challenge for students entering middle school or jr. high to keep track of many papers and books! 

How to help your middle school student get organized

Here are 5 tips that I have found helpful as each of my children moved from elementary to middle and high school:

Keep everything!  

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School teachers are dealing with loads of paper and even the best of them occasionally lose something.  I teach my children to keep all assignments as they are returned until final grades are posted at the end of a quarter.  

If an assignment is showing up missing in the teacher’s grade book, the student can bring back the graded assignment for proof rather than having to re-do it.  I start this habit in 5th or 6th grade.  Returned assignments can be kept at home in a file drawer or accordion file then thrown away at the end of the semester.

The 2 inch binder  

A binder can be heavy to carry, but the value of having everything in one place is worth it.  Students need a divider with pockets for each subject to keep their papers organized.  Some subjects my require extra dividers.

Single-subject notebooks

Single subject notebooks are better for keeping subjects straight compared to one large notebook.    These could be color-coded to match the dividers in the binder.  

If the notebooks make the binder too bulky, use regular notebook paper that can be sectioned out for the different subjects.  Not all subjects require note-taking so just get notebooks/paper as needed.


Planners are important for young students to learn to use.  My son’s junior high provides them with a planner and many of his teachers do “planner checks”.  Teachers check the student planner for homework assignments written down and checked off as finished.  

What a great habit to create!  If your child’s school does not do this, parents can do it at home to teach children good planning skills.

A Supply pocket

Supply pockets inside the binder keeps students from hunting for pencils and other essentials.  My son had a zipper pocket with 3 holes that fits inside his binder and holds his pencils, pens, and highlighters.  Adding paperclips and a mini 3 hole punch can help your student organize papers as he/she gets them.

Teaching your child organization skills will help him or her succeed as they move along in their school career.  A few inexpensive supplies makes starting school fun and helps them achieve a good beginning, middle and end.  Welcome back to school everyone!

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