Unorganized Gifted 11 year old

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My 11 year old Sarah is in all honors classes, GT program, academic team, ... but is not doing her best because she is so unorganized. She turns in papers late because she loses them and has to get another copy. We have tried a folder for every class, notebooks, organizer systems but she just doesn't seem to grasp the concept of putting papers where they belong any suggestions???

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Stacy - posted on 12/04/2009

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Being disorganized is a very common trait amongst gifted kids. It's partially to do with their brains are processing things at 90 miles per second and they can't focus on every thing at once. My 8 year old is the same way and its frustrating as heck but we do our best to help her stay organized by using planners and charts so she knows what she needs to focus on entirely and when. They're great tools to use. I also have to keep on her about keeping her room clean too because if I don't within 24 hours it looks like a tornado and a hurricane blew through it simultaniously.

Linda - posted on 10/07/2009

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I don't know, both of my gifted kids are also disorganized -- my son almost pathologically so! What sometimes seemed to work instead of binders and folders (he hated putting papers in 3 ring binders) is the expandable portfolio, and he had a section for each class, and one for homework. It wasn't perfect, but it did work better than binders.



My daughter is 15, and she's doing better. They have A/B days, and instead of one big zipper binder like she used to do, she has a smaller binder for each class. That way she doesn't have to carry all 8 around with her. I think it works, but also -- she's older, 10th grade, and maybe I'm just less aware -- because I think she's still overflowing with graded papers, assignments, etc.. she just manages her own chaos now.

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Harvinder - posted on 02/04/2011

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Hi,
My 11 year old son is very gifted in Math but his teacher complained that he was so disorganized in class that he (teacher) found it disruptive. I have been working with his teacher to get him somewhat organized. I was quite upset when I went and saw his desk the first time, there were papers overflowing out of his desk and he had things all around the floor around his desk as well. His teacher gave him mostly B's with a few A's thrown in because he felt that my son needed a wake up call. Well it worked (for a while anyways)as my Son is used getting all A's without much effort. His desk is not neat and organized like my daughters but it's not overflowing either. The big board in his room also works very well.
I have to say here, though I appreciated his teacher's efforts and interest in my child I also didn't like one of his comments, "Your son is extremely bright and what takes him 5 minutes to learn takes the rest of the class 5 days but he takes up my time because of his disorganization that I could be spending with the other children that actually need it." At first I thought yes my child doesn't need your help and so you should use that time for someone else but later I thought but just because my son is a fast learner doesn't mean he should get any less attention from his teacher. Has anyone else run into this? Am I being selfish?

Jami - posted on 12/01/2009

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My 12 year old son is the same way. He is a very unorganized fella.. Would have straight A's if he wasnt this way.....I have currently took away computer gaming....we shall see...

Janelle - posted on 11/27/2009

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This was and still remains a problem for me. Here's my advice as the "gifted" unorganized...organized teacher. She has so much that she is juggling in her mind, that she has her own filing system in her head. What you see is what she may call an organized mess. When the juggling get's too much, she's loses control of it...it's a mess.



Look at each subject she has, math, reading, writing, s.s., sci., music, etc. First see what system her teacher has. Maybe he/she has the kids color their reading notebook red. Then at home, have a red bin, red folders all for reading, green for science, blue for s.s., purple for writing etc. As she is working on her papers, she can just throw it into the right bin/ folder. Each bin has a color coded hanging folder with the 12 mths. The last weekend of the month, let her put everything that pertains to that subject in that folder.



Also be aware that the late papers, may not always be that she can't find them. She may be a perfectionist, and is letting the issue of her paper not being "perfect" get her the A-10 pts. for lateness. Which is still a B.



Planners may not work for her, she may lose them, or not get to write in them. A Huge wall calendar w/stickers, (color coded) may be better, where she writes the due dates on the calendar.



Post it notes!



My mom started leaving "dont forget" notes on the mirror of the bathroom, the kitchen table, etc. A little annoying as a teen, but they worked. As an adult, I use them all of the time. You can get her a set fr. stores like michaels with her initials, in her favorite color, so she can write her own notes.



Incentives: Teachers use incentives, marbles, stickers, tally marks. Find out what she really wants, what incentive trackers the teachers use, and use an incentive chart at home. Every time you notice her putting her things away, packing her bag the night before school, using her wall calendar or checklist, add a sticker or marble, whatever incentive system you've chosen and motivate her to slow down and take the extra step. Hope this helps somehow. It took me 30 years and grad school to figure it out.

Teri - posted on 11/21/2009

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My 11 yr old daughter also goes to a GT magnet school and is very disorganized. I talked to her teacher recently and was given the suggestion of making her a list of everything she needs to get done in the day. She is better than she used to be at bringing her stuff home but had organization issues everywhere else. I had to start putting things on her list that I thought would embarrase her like putting on deodorant and washing her face but I think she likes these little reminders in the morning. Since this began her grades are getting better, our fighting has stopped and all is quiet in my house. Of course I also said that if she got it all done she'd get $5 a week. I'm not above bribery.

Becky - posted on 11/13/2009

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Ugh... my continuous struggle with my 13 year old is this. I ask daily if he knows what all of those papers hanging out of his math book are and why doesn't he have the notes for science in the science folder. He has already lost a science workbook and an $80 social studies textbook this year. After years of hounding him and exhausting myself every night doing it for/with him, I have given up. I try to enforce that it is his responsibility to keep up with these things. He also has ADD which can be a common dual diagnosis with being Gifted. It takes a lot of patience and repetition. When you find the answer let me know! ps... he gets poor grades often because he lost assignments. I wish that the school system would put more effort into recognizing his abilities not based on a letter grade and offer some assistance.

Dede - posted on 10/14/2009

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Wow, this is very helpful information. I am a very organized person and it was driving me crazy to see how totally disorganized my gifted 5th grade daughter is. It's nice to know that we are not alone. lol I guess I can give her a break now. :)

Jennifer - posted on 10/12/2009

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Quoting patti:

my son is 9 and in gifted and has a higher iq than i do, still not sure how he got so smart lol cody is the same way. i went to speak to his principal as he goes to christian school, no conselors or other staff. the principal,a highly educated woamen, told me most smart kids are disorganized and actually work better with their homework or work spread everywhere. nor much help there, next stop my 6 year olds conselor for his adhd, she told me to stay on him and remind him and i do it everyday. she explained to me that smart kids think about smart things and not minor details. i talkrd with codys teacher and she gives them organizers and i go through his book bag everyday .he is so bad i have to give him his weekly lunch money infront of school and tell him atleast 2 times, bring it to mrs crippin or he will loose it or forget and mom has to save the day by going into office and paying for his weekly lunch.i hope this helped, sorry it is so long i just started and had to tell it all. so to end this my advice is stay on top of her ,it is a pain but it works good luck


hi i found this very reasureing especialy the bit about filling there heads with smart stuff & not haveing room for the minor day to day bit, my son who's also gifted is 7 nearly 8 & we have to talk him through the same things everyday as if its the first time he's done it if it doesnt have a fact or involve large numbers he just doesnt take it in, its nice to know were not the only ones lol

Joanna - posted on 10/10/2009

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Chris, I feel your pain!! my 9 y/o son's school has different folders for each class. He has 6 classes, and 6 different colored folders. Doesn't work for him. The teachers tell me that they ASK for the homework, and he gets home and I find the assignments in his folder still. He lives in his own little world......and its a magical place. From reading other posts from the group, and from doing research on gifted kids, I have found that this is SO common. Why can't teachers understand and help us?? My son's teachers tell me what a great kid he is, and how wonderfully smart he is, but they would just as soon give him an F on a missing assignment (that he has in fact completed) than to work with him a little more. So frustrating.

I hope that he grows out of it a little bit as he gets older. I just try my best....and it is very, very hard.....to not get on him too bad, because it is not his fault. He is not neglecting his responsibilities, his brain just works differently than most peoples do.

I don't think that there is anything that you can do except deal with it. I am learning to do that myself. I appreciate all of my baby's gifts and must deal with all the little idiosyncrasies that come along with them.

Patti - posted on 10/10/2009

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my son is 9 and in gifted and has a higher iq than i do, still not sure how he got so smart lol cody is the same way. i went to speak to his principal as he goes to christian school, no conselors or other staff. the principal,a highly educated woamen, told me most smart kids are disorganized and actually work better with their homework or work spread everywhere. nor much help there, next stop my 6 year olds conselor for his adhd, she told me to stay on him and remind him and i do it everyday. she explained to me that smart kids think about smart things and not minor details. i talkrd with codys teacher and she gives them organizers and i go through his book bag everyday .he is so bad i have to give him his weekly lunch money infront of school and tell him atleast 2 times, bring it to mrs crippin or he will loose it or forget and mom has to save the day by going into office and paying for his weekly lunch.i hope this helped, sorry it is so long i just started and had to tell it all. so to end this my advice is stay on top of her ,it is a pain but it works good luck

Lisa - posted on 10/09/2009

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Both of my children were gifted and both were unorganized with school work. Your daughter sounds just like my kids did. The best thing we found is to stay on top of them everyday with the paperwork and keeping the things that needed to be turned in in the in a separate folder. We also worked with their teachers in making sure assignments were turned in. My daughter is in her last term at college and still very disorganized with her papers but has worked out a system she can handle and does turn things in now. Don't give up hope, just keep with one system and never stop checking. They will learn from your persistence.

Donna - posted on 10/08/2009

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My son was like this until this year. We always checked his planner and went throught his backpack - I guess I knew he wasn't ready yet. He goes to a GT magnet school and now at 13 in 8th grade he has finally organized his binder with sections for everything. Just hang in there, remember gifted kids are not the most organized. She'll come around and figure it out soon.

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