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Is your family ready for school?

Now that the school year has commenced, it's a good time to quiz yourself on your organizational skills. It may inspire you to change things up, particularly if you're a procrastinator with lame excuses.

Let's see how you fare on the following:

1) Do you have the right materials, multiple notebooks, pens, etc.? Are you, in short, equipped?

2) Do you stick to a homework schedule, a routine time of day you set aside for homework? Or are you easily distracted, bumping your slot for FaceTime with friends?

3) Do you have a place set aside, a quiet spot far from your blaring TV and your barking dog?

4) Are you a procrastinator with every excuse under the sun for why you can hold off on doing an assignmet?

5) Finally, are you positive, unswayed by an occasional poor grade on a test? Are you willing ask for help?

Eric Koehler, an independent tutor in Sonoma County, said setting organizational goals is key at the beginning of the school year so kids will thrive.

As for having the right materials, Koehler said he often sees kids with 5 subject notebooks and once they're half way through the school year, they're bulging.

“This is when kids start to lose things or file things in the wrong notebook,” he said.

When it comes to having a homework schedule, Koehler is a true advocate.

“When you have a schedule, your brain is geared and set to work on it,” he said. “You shouldn't be doing homework after dinner one day and after school the next.”

Having a quiet spot to work during that slot of time is also crucial, Koehler said.

“If you work at a desk that you also use as a leisure area, then that's not a good place,” he said.

Now if you're a procrastinator, Koehler has a great strategy. If you have a long term assignment, he suggests disciplining yourself to set aside 30 minutes a day to work on it.

“If you can get yourself to work on it for 30 minutes a day, you may even find yourself working on it for an hour,” he said.

Finally, staying unflinchingly positive is ideal, Koehler said.

“Some people beat themselves up ... ” he said. “There's no shame in asking for help."

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