Book Club: The Organized Student by Donna Goldberg
The Organized Student by Donna Goldberg with Jennifer Zwiebel is a great resource for any parent struggling to get their child through school. It is jam-packed with helpful information, has an easy-to-follow format, and providers readers with explicit checklists and photos of suggested systems. I love that this book clearly understands its audience – the frustration, the previous failures, the desire to succeed. The authors cover all areas of student organizing from backpack papers to desktop filing systems, to archiving long term papers, to tackling the work space. If you’ve got a struggling student and an open mind, this is the organizing book for you.
“The concepts and practice of organization and time management…need to be a part of every school’s curriculum” (Goldberg pg. 5).
The Organized Student begins with a discussion on what it truly means to be a disorganized student verses a kid who is just messier than most but can easily find what she needs and is not stressed or suffering academically. It then moves quickly on to a discussion of learning styles and why understanding a child’s natural learning modality is crucial to their academic success. This background information is perhaps my favorite part of the book. While strategies are helpful, if a person does not understand the problem they are trying to fix, coming up with solutions will be more luck than anything else which can often lead to more frustration as they encounter yet further failures.
“If you want these interactions with your child to be productive, you can’t be the mom or dad she is expecting you to be. You’re going to have to make some changes in the way you approach her, and probably in the way you think about her as well” (Goldberg pg. 22).
I absolutely love that Goldberg and Zwiebel make it clear that both parent and child are involved in the process and both are accountable for the success. Children who struggle with organization and academics are often sensitive to failures and to disappointing others. It’s great that The Organized Student recognizes that the parent’s role is not to simply enforce new rules but to create an environment in which the child can learn to succeed.
“Your child will take her cues from you. If you can maintain a relaxed attitude about the process, she will feel comfortable experimenting. Let her know that the systems you come up with together may or may not work, but you’re in it for the long haul” (Goldberg pg. 36).
Great advice and a great transition into the practical strategies offered in the book. There are assessments, strategies, tips, and solutions for almost any challenge you may come across while working with your student.
Best of Luck and Happy Organizing!