The Organized Student
by Donna Goldberg

I especially like that that the author describes more than one way to get organized, and the methods are not complicated. I've observed that schools (& parents) tend to attack lack of organization with even more folders, binders, etc., as if adding to the quantity will somehow reduce chaos.  The initial thing I was looking for was advice on a workable planner for my middle school son. The author recommends one that has 2 pages for all 7 days of the week, and lists subjects down the side, so that the student can easily see patterns in assignments as well as a weekly view. The author writes over a teacher planner, as the proper layout is impossible to find. I ended up using this model to create one of our own using a page layout program (MS Word) & getting it wirebound at an office supply store ($6).  The author describes a simple yet very effective way to set up a ring binder system for keeping & filing papers & notes. However, ring binders can be awkward for some students: left-handers, those who must cope with small desks in class, or those who find binders hard to work with in general. The alternative system involves a portfolio with divided pockets to hold papers by subject; these are later filed into a binder or tote box at home. Either way, the student must "own" his system in order to make it work.There are other very valuable chapters on organizing lockers, desks at home, and filing old papers.This book is an extremely valuable resource for parents and students, and I discovered it just in time.  Update, 11/8/11: My now high school senior son has been using his planner & filing system every year with great success. He gets a new planner every semester for class changes & to make it a bit thinner. Even though he now takes a laptop to school for note taking & monthly calendar, the paper planner is still invaluable for schoolwork.   It is faster to access, never runs out of power, & will never crash.   I expect he will take a version of his planner to college.  This book is something every parent needs for helping children develop & maintain workable organization skills.


reviewed By MDP (Texas)