My daughter is so unorganized! Last year in 1st grade I kept getting notes from the teacher about missing homework that I never knew about. How can I help her get off to a better start in 2nd grade?

Organization is really a skill that needs to be taught and there are tools that can help you do it. A new school year is the perfect time to start off with some good habits. Children in grades K-3 need a lot of parent/teacher support to build these skills that will last them through college and beyond.

Both parents should attend their child's open house. The teacher will go over expectations,when homework is given and how it is collected so you'll have a blueprint for the year.

Even if your teacher doesn't provide one, purchase a two pocket folder: label the front "HOMEWORK" with your child and teachers name. On the inside of the folder label one pocket "AT HOME" and the other "BACK TO SCHOOL". Teach your child that all important papers go into the folder at school and back into the folder every night. Make it part of the family homework ritual to check it, EMPTY it, and pack it into the backpack the night before school.

Children in grades 1-5 should also keep a calendar or agenda with the homework written down. It works best if the teacher checks it at school and the parent reads and initials it at home. Younger children will need to be reminded by parents to take out and turn in their homework folders and agendas when they get to school.