Beyond a laptop or tablet, some pencils, and a calculator, what more do students need to excel? If your holiday budget allows for it, consider investing in one or two additional tools that will feel special for students and encourage good habits, especially for students who experience academic stress or struggle with organization and planning. Our director of executive functioning services, Jenna Prada, shares her favorite educational gifts below.
Subtle, calming fidgets
From Jenna: “Calm Strips serve double duty for calming academic stress and providing a quiet way to fidget. Students can add these texture stickers to their notebooks or use key chain accessories to attach them to bags. If your child is self-conscious about having a fidget toy, the wide range of cute shapes and patterns makes these a perfect alternative!”
Clever Fox Paper Planners
From Jenna: “Planners from the Clever Fox are my absolute favorite paper planners. They make sure that you remember to take care of yourself as a whole human and encourage you to break down tasks into approachable steps. If your child isn’t ready to get into the weeds planning specific times to tackle their assignments, I’d recommend this planner as a wonderful way to maintain awareness of the big picture without getting overwhelmed by an overly detailed system.”
From Jenna: “Everyone should use timers! They help us keep track of where our time goes and build in important brain breaks. While I love aesthetically pleasing options like this hourglass trio, my favorite digital timer is toggl because it allows students to set-up easy recurring projects (think one for each class, one for breaks, another for social media, etc). But if using a phone may be too tempting, this two-pack of classroom timers can go almost anywhere with their stands, magnets, and hooks.”
Circle and Square Decor Assignment Checklist
From Jenna: “Setting up a helpful physical work space is paramount to a successful homework routine. The acrylic school assignment checklist from Circle and Square Decor is the perfect item to hang next to your child’s desk to help support them in keeping track of daily priorities.”
From Jenna: “If the collection of binders, notebooks, and folders that your child has been using so far this year isn’t working, give them the tools they need to start fresh in 2023. I love these expandable folders from SkyDue: they’re great colors and feature sturdy construction that can hold a ton without the hassle of binder rings or torn paper folders.”
From Jenna: “A growing body of research suggests that the blue light from our screens has a negative impact on brain patterns, especially as related to sleep. Blue light-blocking glasses are the easiest way to combat those effects, and you don’t need to spend big to get effective an effective pair. This model comes in a host of fun colors and definitely won’t break the bank – not to mention it has the seal of approval from the New York Times.”
While we believe these tools are useful year-round to help your child develop a personalized organization system, the holidays can provide an excellent opportunity to introduce a new tool into your child’s life. Need more specific advice on helping your child’s academic skills develop? Contact us for a consultation.