Posted by: Ellen Hankes | October 6, 2008

Why is My Child a Disorganized Student?

What makes a student disorganized? Why do some students move with a swirl of papers surrounding them? Why is a crisis associated with every assignment, project or textbook?

There can many reasons for chronic disorganization in a school-age child, including Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), learning challenges, insufficient tools for maintaining organization, medication, and others.

Whatever the cause of a young person’s disorganization, it is important to address not only the cause but also the solutions. While the solutions may vary with the child and with the issue, it is important to have appropriate tools or materials for organizing as well as adult assistance and encouragement.

Organization can be a source of conflict between adolescents and parents. A helpful book written for parents is The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond by Donna Goldberg with Jennifer Zweibel. These authors do not overlook the value of time management for the student, so check out that section with care!

A professional organizer may have experience in helping disorganized children. Helping a child to develop and practice sound organizational and time management techniques is a life-long investment for success.

We are interested in how you have helped a child become more organized. Use the comment section and let us know what worked (or didn’t work) for you



  1. If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version and iCal are available too.

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