School doors are opening once again and soon parents everywhere will be asking questions such as:
Student Learning Styles – And How They Affect Student Organization Skills
We all have unique learning styles, and for students these can be even more pronounced. The way we learn affects our abilities to take in and retain information, as well as organize our thoughts. There are three major learning styles – and lots of ways we can encourage our kids to use their styles to their advantages.
Visual Learners – This learning style represents the largest portion of learners. Students who thrive on visual learning benefit from seeing information and making visual connections.
Auditory Learners – These students retain information best when they hear it presented, such as listening to someone read, give a lecture, or by having a conversation.
Kinesthetic Learners – These are the kids who might seem fidgety in their seats or be prone to wander around when you’re begging them to “focus”. However, their brains are wired to benefit from movement – and for them learning and focus require a body in motion.
For more information about how to identify your child’s learning style – and how to turn that into an asset for their organization skills when heading back to school, be sure to listen to this great Smead podcast by Kathy Jenkins! What are your tips for helping your kids get organized for school and homework?
Big or little....decisions are everywhere in our lives. They can haunt the back of our minds as we move through the day or be one of a million we make subconsciously.
The ones that drive me crazy are the little ones that become big and cause angst and churning. Personally speaking, when I have a big decision I'm grappling with I find myself getting bogged down in little ones - like what to wear, or what to make for supper. Easy enough, right? Yes, unless indecision is weighing me down.
My solution? It always comes down to a list (What did you expect? I'm an organizer - I thrive on lists!). In this case, a brain dump of all my thoughts regarding the decision at hand. Paper, white board, post it notes (these are really my favorite), word doc - whatever tool appeals to you - and then dump all your thoughts regarding the decision. Actually, all thoughts in general - the "to do" tasks and thoughts of daily living - need to come out, too!
Then I divide the list into pros and cons - which is why post its are my favorite method - they can just be moved around on a wall and, voila! You have a visual of the struggle going on behind the scenes in your brain. Highlighters can also be helpful to distinguish pros and cons - color adds another dimension to the visual decision making process.
"It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions." - Jim Rohn
How do you make weighty decisions? Do you have a tool or process that works for you? I'd love to know more - please share in the comments below!
Welcome to August....and National Immunization Awareness Month - which goes hand in hand with back to school readiness! Now, I don't want to debate whether immunizations are necessary or not - each camp has its right to its opinion. For those who do choose to immunize, keeping records of immunizations shouldn't be just a shot in the dark.
Whether we're talking about your toddler or you are tracking your own healthcare (yep - adults get immunizations, too!), knowing where to find those records is important. Schools and sport teams need access to this information. Adults have their own lists of immunizations, too, for the shingles vaccine and more, and you never know when you're going to need access to this information on short notice.
When my kids were younger we got little booklets to record the type and date of immunizations, as well as the name of the Dr. who gave them. I kept them in the file cabinet under each of their names, along with other medical information.
In the digital age, we have a plethora of options! Parents can use the little booklet the Drs are still handing out, or use an online printable like the ones provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - they can be printed out or saved as a PDF and filed as such. And, of course, there are many apps for tracking immunizations, such as Shots (love the logo with the needle - NOT!). The Shots app has the complete set of vaccine schedules from the CDC, along with up to date information about risks, adverse reactions, contraindications, etc.
No matter how you choose to record immunizations, remember WHERE you keep them, and keep them up to date. Healthcare record keeping shouldn't be a shot in the dark!
That got your attention, didn't it? Who'd turn down that offer? Not me....
Here's my little rant for Thursday - according to the Self Storage Association, we spent $24 BILLION on storage in 2014 in the U.S. alone. Ummm....HELLO.....that means we are spending money to shop, then spending more money to store and organize the things we thought we needed or wanted. The smallest storage unit can run $50/month. That's $600 a year spent on something we obviously aren't using, probably don't need, and definitely don't love (because if you loved it, it wouldn't be in storage!). That $600 is just the beginning - climate controlled units start at $100/month. That would buy A LOT of good coffee!
Yes, of course there are times when storage units can ease the burden of moving, or provide needed space for transition periods. These are not the cases for the majority of the renters, however.
Enticing thought to move our excess clutter into a storage unit and out of our living space? Absolutely! The Self Storage Association even offers a marketing campaign called "Declutterfy - Your Home, Your Office - Your Life!" which encourages you to move the clutter into one of their storage units.
I'll end my rant here, my friends. Please, if you don't use it, need it, or love it - don't buy it in the first place and PLEASE don't spend additional money storing it!!! Sell it, donate it, or find a friend who truly needs it. Don't pay to put it in a giant closet. Then treat yourself to that good cup of coffee!
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who