posted by: Allison West
Summer’s Over – Time For School!
I picked quite a year to start first grade. Two weeks after my sixth birthday in July 1969, American Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon. Woodstock, arguably the most famous music festival of all time, took place on a New York farm for two days in August and attracted more than 400,000 fans. Manson, Nixon, and Chappaquiddick made headlines.
For adults, it was a summer of free love, peace signs, and long hair.
For me, it was the year I started school. With a Bobby Sherman lunch box in hand, and a book bag stuffed with scissors, paste, pencils, and crayons slung over my shoulder, I stepped aboard the bus that August and started a journey that lasted 12 years.
Memories are made of this
A new year in elementary school was always signaled by a mixture of smells, some good, some not – which I can still vividly recall. Close your eyes, breathe in and remember – a hot school bus full of sweaty kids; freshly waxed floors; daily school lunches; and brand-new crayons. School supplies were simple and fun to buy. A tote bag and a specially-themed, brightly decorated school box (picture a re-styled cigar box sans cigars) were all you needed for carrying and storing them.
The socially awkward, pimply junior and senior high school years weren’t quite as fun and still don’t evoke the same nostalgia as the years I spent on the playground or at Girl Scout meetings. Even organizing all the school supplies wasn’t as exciting. Teachers required us to have separate notebooks and binders for each class. Calculators, pencil cases, spiral notebooks of all shapes and sizes, and oversized folders for extra activities all competed for valuable locker space.
Too much stuff!
Keeping all those items organized and ready could be tough. Lockers may have appeared large enough for the jumble of books, supplies, and coats squeezed inside. In reality, actually finding the correct notebook or binder often proved to be a test of skill, even for the cool kids.
I’m certain dozens of students have suffered the social injustice wreaked upon them by uncooperative, overstuffed lockers. If you were unlucky enough to pull just the right way on that haphazard stack of books crammed on the too-small inner shelf, the entire mess often fell out and collapsed with a loud bang on the floor. This signaled anyone in a nearby hallway to cheer, whistle, clap, and generally make you feel like a real loser.
As if being a freshman with braces, glasses and a sad replica of a Farrah Fawcett-style haircut wasn’t enough punishment.
Lost in transit
Nowadays, school supply lists are longer and more intimidating than ever before. And the more school supplies and papers there are to organize, the more likely they are to get lost. Lost papers create stress, which can interfere with learning.
Think about a typical day in the life of a current high school student.
- After a commute by bus, car, bike, or train, they arrive at school and realize with a panic they left something important at home.
- Perhaps your student spreads papers everywhere. Table, desk, bedroom, or kitchen – just where is that homework assignment?
- Bringing the wrong notebook to class means a long walk back to the locker, often resulting in a tardy slip.
Each day your student is faced with an endless cycle of stuffing, rearranging, and locating the proper paper at the right time. Stressed out, unorganized, panicked (and often in trouble with the teacher) is not the ideal learning scenario for any student.
Set your student up for success
Student organization doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. An effective organizational system puts the student back in control and helps to lower stress.
According to Susan Kruger, founder of the SOAR® Study Skills program and teacher of over 20 years, the number one bottleneck for students is organization. Kruger has built an entire study skills program around the premise that if students can effectively organize and track their notes and assignments, they almost can’t fail a class (visit https://studyskills.com/about-us/about-soar/)
The power of one with UniKeep
How can you increase your student’s odds of success by selecting an ideal organizing solution?UniKeep school binders and customized pages are perfect for organizing class notes and other documents. It’s a fully customizable organizer for home and school that snaps securely shut, so nothing falls out or gets lost.
The school-themed organizers include all the tools necessary to organize handouts, homework, and other important documents. Your student can choose their own cover style from special themes designed for Physics, Geometry, Calculus, and French, to name a few.