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Tips for Staying Organized — Online Study Help

Student working with a learning coach

The key is finding organization strategies that work for students and learning coaches.

Organization is the foundation and launchpad of a successful school year. Students and families who are organized have enough mental bandwidth to concentrate on lessons and assignments, without the distractions of last-minute dashes to practice or frantic searches for misplaced schoolwork. 

It’s especially important to know how to stay organized in cyber school, where visits to a physical classroom daily are not part of the routine to constantly reminding students what’s expected of them. Fortunately, even people who weren’t born with an organization gene can learn a few quick tips to keep their affairs in order. Make organizing a habit, and online class becomes a place for learning and wonder — not for scrambling to find that textbook under a pile of papers.

Benefits of School Organization

Staying organized offers a host of benefits, especially in online learning.

  • Less stress. Knowing where things are and what’s expected of you reduces worry and fretting about keeping up with your daily tasks.
  • More time. Less time looking for stuff means more time to concentrate on the things that matter — studying, putting together “wow” presentations, family time. Plus, a few minutes a day tidying up will save the hours needed when you have no choice but to clean up a disaster area.
  • More productivity. Digging through piles of junk is time spent not doing homework, studying for a test or perfecting the baseball swing. 
  • Better grades. In one study, teachers found a direct correlation between students’ low grades and their messy desks. Organizational skills, such as starting the day with the wookbooks, pencils and highlighters needed, help children feel prepared and ready to learn.  
  • Never late. Well, maybe not never, but organized people stick to a schedule and build cushions into their calendars to make sure they’re attending class and practice on time, without the rush. 
  • Save money. Did you ever buy a new set of, say, dry-erase markers, only to find a never-used set in the back of a drawer just a few days later? Organizers have systems that allow them to track what they have and when they’re running low on essential supplies. 

Elementary School Organization Tips

  • Workspace Organization Tips

    • A well-organized workspace signals to your child that it’s time to learn. In elementary school, the online school student’s learning space should be stocked with pencils, rulers, craft supplies and all the items needed for the day, organized in bins and baskets. 
    • Use color coding to distinguish siblings’ supplies. 
    • Organize assignments in binders by subject. Keep books on a shelf or in baskets where you can find them easily. 
  • Improve Communication Organization

    • Ever wonder how salespeople remember so much about their customers between meetings? It’s because they use systems to keep notes of their interactions. Create a system or use an app that helps you note every time you reach out to teachers, administrators and classmates. Make notes about what was discussed. Include outcomes and next steps.
  • Schedule Organization Tips

    • Keep a calendar for everyone in the family to see, whether on an app or hanging on the wall in traditional style. Color code each family member. Enter everything — every practice, church group, play date and field trip. Make sure your calendar includes the time needed to get ready, so no one’s rushing around trying to find cleats when you should be out the door.    

Middle School Organization Tips

  • Workspace Organization Tips

    • Your middle schooler is starting to develop independence, but organization is still important. Keep the learning space neat and free of clutter with baskets, binders and bulletin boards. 
    • Equipment such as calculators and recorders should always be kept in the same place. 
    • Start every day by checking the power levels of all devices needed. Make sure that fresh batteries and chargers are always where you can find them.
    • Books are getting heftier, so invest in a bookshelf that will hold them by subject and display them clearly for quick reference.
  • Improve Communication Organization

    • Online learners develop self-sufficiency and personal responsibility much sooner than their traditionally schooled peers. In middle school, students start learning how to reach out to teachers themselves. Your child should keep track of questions and discussions, make note of the teacher’s suggestions and create time to reflect. The goal is applying what children have learned to their assignments and projects. 
  • Schedule Organization Tips

    • Middle schoolers are increasingly responsible for their own schedules. They can’t drive themselves anywhere yet, but this is the time when they can learn to keep their own calendars. Teach them it’s their responsibility to update their parents on their obligations to avoid last-minute surprises.

High School Organization Tips

  • Workspace Organization Tips

    • By high school, students might not be as prone to distraction from their online lessons, so they might be able to work wherever it’s comfortable for them — a sofa in the family room, or in a local library or coffee shop. In this case, consider creating a mobile workspace, such as a backpack filled with all the supplies needed for the day. 
  • Improve Communication Organization

    • At this age, assignments get more complex, making time management an increasingly important skill that’s aligned with organization. Keep an academic calendar that notes not just due dates but milestones toward those deadlines. If a big project is due at the end of the month, build in benchmarks and reminders at the four-, three-, two- and one-week marks.  
    • Along the way, keep track of communications with teachers, guidance counselors, coaches and employers. Make note of what’s expected of you, and transfer those tasks to the daily activities calendar.
  • Schedule Organization Tips

    • High school students usually have jobs and extracurricular activities, in addition to academics. They also have drivers’ licenses that free them from dependence on others — and make them personally responsible for being where they’re needed. Keep the calendar constantly updated, and review it every night to prevent those “oh no!” moments when you realize you’re not where you were supposed to be.

CCA Is Committed to Helping Cyber School Students

As more and more families are finding, online learning is an exhilarating, empowering way to school their children. Cyber school families get control over their schedules in ways that traditional brick-and-mortar schools never granted. In this environment, organizational skills are crucial to success. CCA is ready to support parents on the journey, with guidance from staff and tips from veteran families. CCA’s personalized approach delivers learning that’s customized to your child’s interests and learning style, for an experience that makes learning fun again. Contact us to request information and learn more about CCA’s commitment to helping students achieve and families thrive.


Commonwealth Charter Academy


June 15th, 2021


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