Staying organized at school is a challenge for many children and young adults. Bipolar children often find the task even more daunting. The frenetic activity that occurs in the mind is often reflected in their desks, assignment books and binders. Disorganization leads to missing assignments and poor grades. Anxiety and feelings of low self esteem are almost certain to follow. Creating a structured plan for organization and then following through will greatly reduce the mess and chaos.
Enlist the Aid of the Teacher
Whether you child has been classified or not, your child’s teacher should be your greatest ally when attempting to keep your Bipolar child on the right track at school. If the child is young enough that he or she still keeps to one classroom and has one desk that is used throughout the day, here is where it all starts. Explain your child’s challenges to the primary teacher and seek his or help in staying on top of the state of your child’s desk. More frequent reminders may be needed for your child to discard unneeded papers and supplies. A little extra prodding to put assignments and projects in their proper place can be very effective. If the desk maintains a certain sense of order, the organization can continue to flow.
Create and Maintain an Organizational System at Home
Designate one area of the home for school books, backpacks, and projects. Never waver from using this one area only. Your older child may balk at this, but keeping the items confined to one area serves two purposes. You can clearly see what is coming home and back to school each day and reduces the probability that important assignments will be overlooked or misplaced. A quick run through each day or evening will ensure that your student knows what’s on hand and what can be thrown away.
Make Your Child’s Schoolwork a Priority
Whether your son or daughter with Bipolar Disorder is in elementary school or high school, there is a strong likelihood that your assistance is going to be needed on a continuing basis. The amount of your involvement may fluctuate, but your guidance will always be pivotal to your child’s success. Keep in close contact with teachers and school administrators. Check the school’s online system frequently so that upcoming tests and projects do not sneak up on you or your child. Let your son or daughter know that you will be asking on a daily or weekly basis about grades and homework. Spell out your expectations in no uncertain terms so that arguments and episodes over schoolwork is reduced to a minimum. The less conflict at home over academic matters will greatly influence performance and efforts to stay organized at school. .