Organization and the Gifted Child

“Constantly late for school, losing his books, and papers and various other things into which I need not enter – he is so regular in his irregularity in every way that I don’t know what to do.” – Winston Churchill’s Principal

Organization and the gifted child

Sound familiar? A common trait in gifted children is asynchronous development which can affect their executive functioning skills. Big words, huh?

Translation – gifted kids can be incredibly unorganized. They may be able to recall the license plate numbers of the neighbors (future stalker skills?) or remember the author of every book she’s read (wish I could) but are seemingly incapable of keeping track of shoes.

Or homework.

Or hairbrushes.

Or permission slips.

You get the idea.

Over the past several months we’ve worked diligently on developing strategies to help our daughter get her organized groove on. I know this will be an ongoing process for all of us, as evidenced by my Organizational Dreams board on Pinterest, but here’s where we’ve got so far.

Create a Schedule

We have our weekly routine but each weekend we look to the coming week to be sure we take account of any special circumstances. And there are always special circumstances. Looming homework projects require additional time. Testing for martial arts may mean missing a play date. We simply make adjustments and get them on the schedule. Simply talking through the coming activities relieves a lot of stress. A lot.

Set Priorities

Stuff happens and you have to know what’s most important to you and your child or there’s the potential to just freak out over everything. Better prioritizing my life has been one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself and I’m trying to pass this along to my daughter. Everyone needs to learn that it’s ok to say NO.

Control Distractions

This was a big one. I loved the idea of my daughter doing homework at the dining room table while I was nearby making an amazing meal and available to give her guidance and answer questions. We’d bond over food and books – two of my favorite things.

That was a recipe for a hot mess.

She was distracted by everything but mostly by the smoke alarms that seem to go off when I’m in the kitchen.

So at the beginning of the last school year she got a desk in her room. Seems like a no-brainer but her room is pretty small. What a difference. No more nagging (from me) and no more staring into space (usually from her). Homework’s completed peacefully and on time. Usually.

Simple ideas but the secret always lies in successful execution. That means consistency and adapting when needed. So far it’s working for us.

My fingers are crossed.

How do you keep your kids organized? Tell us in the comments.

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