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Lack of organization is a problem that affects all aspects of a student’s performance.  We have found that rather than trying to squeeze in organizational assistance between explaining homework assignments and preparing for tests, it makes more sense to address the problem separately, right off the bat, before regular tutoring sessions begin.  Then once everything has been set up, tutors can devote a portion of their time with students specifically to organization.

Not all families want to take advantage of this particular service, but for those who do it can be very helpful.  Most students feel overwhelmed by the myriad tasks they are responsible for, from making their bed to finishing homework and working hard in basketball practice.  Teaching students skills that will help them handle their responsibilities with consideration and efficiency is usually a prudent place to begin.  Our process consists of several steps:

1. First meeting - The tutor meets with the student and parents to establish a clean working environment, to organize existing papers and books, and to identify the personal learning and organizational style and goals of the student.  A notebook system will be introduced, and possibly tailored, for the student to use in class(es) in which he or she is struggling.

2. Follow-Up Meeting(s) – Within a week, the tutor returns to assess the maintenance of the notebook system and its usefulness to the student.  Adjustments are made as needed, and once a successful system is established, it can be implemented in other classes. 

3. Ongoing Support - For families that request organizational assistance, a portion of each tutoring session will be devoted to tracking the student’s progress and helping him or her improve. Tutors run through a student-specific checklist at each meeting, taking data on whether papers and books are organized, study materials have been made, etc.
Many students are oblivious to the extent of their disorganization, and this assistance is meant to consistently provide specific information and support to address the problem.

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