Staying sane in school: Organization is key

By: Lisa McDivitt Email
By: Lisa McDivitt Email

With after school activities, sports, and homework, kids have a lot on their plates these days, and it can lead to a lot of stress. With such hectic schedules it's important to stay on top of things and not fall behind.

So how can you help them not only get everything done, but also stay sane? Experts say, organization is key.

Four Central High School students sat down with 11 News to talk about what their lives are like and how they stay at the top of their class, even though they’re scheduled to the max.

"I'm a three–sport athlete," says Haleigh Higgens, a senior at Central.

"Student senate, which I'm very involved in," says Jennawade Bochmann, a junior.

"After school, I play volleyball until six," says junior Jenna Shearer.

"On Monday I'm at school until 7:30," says Bridgette Roybal, a junior.

Many students have a lot on their shoulders and teacher know it.

"Our high school kids.. or kids in general, they're facing stresses that people at least in my generation didn't have to face.... Certainly the high–stakes test taking that they have to do," says Gary Johnson, who teaches a class at central high school that helps students excel.

He says much of their success hinges on staying organized.

"To be successful in today's world and it isn't just being successful in the world of work, successful in college, etc. It takes a certain amount of organization," says Johnson.

And the four Central High School students have each have their own secrets to success.

"I carry a planner, and for every class I write when things are due or what homework I have," says Higgens.
Shearer says, "I have different folders for each of my classes, and so I see it when I open my notebook, I see it the homework I have to do that night."

But not everyone has a natural knack for getting organized.

"Organizing is not something you're born with. You learn it," says Jessica Downing–Ford, owner of SpaceWorks, a company that specializes in organizing space and time. She recommends a white board for making lists... And she also says to start them young.

"Kids really thrive with organization and schedules. What we do for our children in their early years, it sticks with them,” says Downing-Ford.

And while kids should be careful about taking on too much, having a full schedule may not be a bad thing.

"I see that kids with extracurricular activities, whether that be band, drama, sports, clubs, etc., when they're involved they do much better grade wise, because they know they have to structure their time," says Johnson.

But don't forget to schedule in some fun.

"Make sure you have something that helps you relieve stress," says Bochmann.

With all that students have to juggle these days parents can help by supporting and encouraging them. And if you need a little extra help, District 51 has an online program called Parent Bridge, which allows parents to make sure their kids aren't taking on too much, and that they're keeping up with their grades.

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