Tag Archives: teaching organizational skills to kids

The Leftover Magnets: Organization Gone Awry

We used to have the magnetic calendar featured above. Someone gave it to us when our son was around 4 years old, and I’m sure they thought it would be a good way for him to learn the months of the year, the days of the week, even his numbers. Secretly, I hoped it might help him develop some appreciation for the concept of time.

Recently, Tech Support and I did a big purge and we came across some of the leftover magnets that he’d deemed useless. I distinctly remember my 5-year-old son saying, “I’ll never use these,” and watching him throw them into a wicker basket along with a lot of other crap very important items.

Turns out, he was right.

For example:

We don’t need this magnet in Rochester, New York. Why? Because in general, the forecast looks like this:

In these parts, kids learn pretty quickly what clouds mean.

And these?

I can tell you that my boy does some serious flips. On the couches. Over the couches. Onto his bed. And he has some ridiculous dance moves. But we have managed to make it almost 13 years without magnets to remind us to do these things.

This one?

If my son is horking loogies or spewing chunks, the last thing I have ever thought about is whether or not I had the appropriate magnet.

Oh, and if we get one of these:

We are all outside doing this:

Also, I was a professional organizer for six years. So this magnet?

It’s kind of a given at Chez Jacobson.

In our house, we all have our own systems of organization. I possess an irrational love for binder clips and composition notebooks. We all hoard Scotch brand Magic tape, Post-It Notes and 3-ring binders. (Hubby’s are blue, Tech Support’s are black, and mine are pink & orange.) It’s terrifying fantastic. My son prefers Ticonderoga pencils. Hubby wants blue Bic pens. And I prefer pens with green or purple ink. Tech Support has a daily planner that was given to him at school. Hubby keeps his entire world on his cell phone. I have less faith in technology, so I keep the master calendar on the desk.

How do you teach your kids to organize themselves? And what is your favorite organizational toy or tip?

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