Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Archive for the Math Category

Published on: December 29, 2013  

Helping Your Child Develop An Effective Organization System

Keeping schoolwork organized is important for helping you and your child know where their work is and when it is due. Organizing handouts, a record of tests and quizzes and upcoming projects makes it easier for your child to stay on top of academic responsibilities and ultimately leads to school success.

Please let your child or teen’s teachers know that you are working on an organization system and ask for their help in the process.  You’ll be delightfully surprised by their encouragement and support!

Here are some simple steps you and your child or teen can do to develop an effective organization system:

  • Put Together a Binder- It is a good idea to have a separate folder for each subject, organized together in one large binder. This helps to ensure that work for one class is not getting mixed up with work for another. Variations include using a small binder for each class or using two medium sized binders, one for morning classes and one for afternoon classes.
  • Create Separate Notebooks- Just as it is useful to have a separate folder for each class, having a separate notebook for each individual class is also a good idea.


  • Develop a Folder Specifically for Completed Homework- Having a separate folder for homework to turn in and special papers to go home is an easy way to help your child remember where his homework is and what needs to be turned in. Please let your child’s teacher know that a specific folder has been developed so that they can remind them should they become distracted and forget to turn in daily assignments.


  • Develop a Planner- Keeping a planner or organizer is essential for tracking assignments and long-term projects! Often times, schools provide a planner for their students. If not, you and your child or teen should create one on your own. Your child should be encouraged to write down his homework assignments following each class. In some instances, it is necessary to have the teacher initial the planner to ensure that assignments are written down correctly. In turn, you can initial each assignment to communicate to the teacher that it has been completed.


  • Help Them to Organize Their Backpack and Clean Up the Clutter- Encourage your child to clean out his backpack each night. Non-essential items should be discarded. Papers should be placed in their appropriate folders and homework should go in the homework folder. This is also a good time to take a look at the planner to see what’s ahead. Once the class folders are organized and completed assignments are in their appropriate places, place necessary materials back in the backpack. Keep the backpack in the same location each night, such as by the front door. These steps will prevent hurried packing of the backpack in the morning. It will also ensure that your child arrives at school with all assignments and that he knows where to find them. You may have to help your child or teen develop these routines initially.  Keep in mind that you want them to be able to manage this routine on their own.
  • Provide Lots of Praise and Encouragement- Praise and encouragement goes a long way in motivating your child to continue to stay organized.  It lets them know that they are taking important steps to improve their academic performance and can get them thinking about how they can stay organized in other areas like organizing their room (keeping it clean) and chore completion.

These are simply a few ideas to help keep your child and teen organized. Always be sure to follow school guidelines regarding necessary school supplies and organization strategies.

If you would like some additional support in helping your child develop an effective organizational system and improving their academic performance, behavior at home & in the community, please give us a call, 360.236.0206.  We’re here to help!

Warmest Regards,

Gyro Psychology Services



Health Disclaimer

Published on: November 7, 2013  

Parent-Teacher Communication

We’re a little over two months into the school year, which means that school conferences are being held right about now. Parents, you’re probably anticipating this conference with your child’s teacher and wondering what the teacher(s) will say about his performance so far this year. Did you know that school-to-home communication has been linked with increased academic and behavioral performance in children? Here are some things to keep in mind during this season of conferences.

If you expect that your child’s school year is off to a great start, that’s wonderful! Take the opportunity at the parent-teacher conference to find out more about what your child is currently learning.

  • You might ask questions about the curriculum and how you can supplement your child’s learning at home.
  • You’ll also want to know what’s coming up next in the curriculum so you can prepare to help your child if they need it.
  • If it is in fact true that your child is meeting academic standards and performing well behaviorally, you might ask for specific examples of ways that your child is succeeding. Not only is it nice to hear as a parent, but it would also serve as a great basis for giving some specific praise and rewards to your child.

If you suspect that things are not going so well for your child this year, bring some specific questions with you. Your child’s teacher(s) are having this conference to share information with you, so don’t be shy when it comes to determining the details.

  • Talk to your child before you attend this conference. Ask your child how they would “grade” himself or herself, if they were the teacher. What does your child expect the teacher to say?
  • If a teacher tells you that your child is struggling academically or behaviorally, ask to see some data. Teachers have been collecting information for the last two months. If they have tried any interventions or new strategies to help your child, ask to see the data from those interventions, so you can see if it truly is working.
  • Ask the teacher if they have suggestions for how you can help your child at home. Determine what strategies the teacher is already using in class that you can also implement at home.
  • Consider implementing some kind of school-to-home communication system so that you can stay on top of your child’s progress. You might ask if the teacher can send you weekly emails, or if the teacher could send home a daily note about your child’s performance.
  • Ask the teacher if more intensive intervention needs to happen. If things don’t get better with some supports in place at home and school, what will you have to do next? For example, what are the teacher’s thoughts on an Individualized Education Plan or Section 504 Accommodation Plan for your child?

If things have not been going well for your child for some time now, but the parents and teachers have already made some accommodations/adjustments to your child’s school program, your family may need some more help.

  • Parents have the right to request a special education evaluation to determine if more individualized instruction is necessary for their child. Ask the teacher about the school’s procedures for requesting a special education evaluation.
  • Ask the teacher, counselor, or other school professional about additional resources at school and in the community that might help, such as after-school study halls or tutoring services.
  • Consider bringing the child to a psychologist, who would be able to conduct a full evaluation to determine your child’s specific academic and behavioral needs. Then, and more importantly, the psychologist should be able to give you some recommendations on how to proceed, and may even be able to provide some treatment for your child and the family.

We know that it can be difficult to navigate a school’s many systems. If you are concerned about your child’s performance in school or at home, consider talking with one of our Child and Adolescent Psychologists here at Gyro Psychology Services, Inc. We can help you determine what your child needs to succeed academically, behaviorally, and emotionally. Please give us a call – we are here to help.

Warmest Regards,

Gyro Psychology Services

Lacey, Washington


Health Disclaimer

Published on: November 7, 2012  

How to Succeed in Middle and High School

Middle School

Welcome new middle school students! This is a transitional time for you. You’ve moved on from the small world of elementary school into a much larger environment. You have more teachers, more homework, a little more independence, and less recess. This time is where your learning starts to branch out and you slowly prepare to enter high school. Take this time to learn the skills that will help you to do your best.

The advice I’m about to share is just not for new middle school students, it is relevant to you returning students too.

  • Have a good place to study. This may be the first time you have had to really study for classes. Make sure you have a quiet, well-lit place to do so.
  • Eat healthy. The better you eat, the more energy you will have to get through the day!
  • Always do your homework. Get into the habit of it now.
  • Listen and ask questions. The more you pay attention the more you learn and the better you will understand the material. If you have any questions, ask! Don’t let yourself stay in the dark if you do not have to. Your teachers are there to help you.
  • Try new activities. Whether they are clubs, music, or sports. Explore what interests you.

There is more to succeeding in middle school than just the academic side. It’s also important to learn how to deal with the new social environment. In middle school there is a lot more drama than elementary school. Just remember, drama is unimportant. Avoid gossip as much as possible and do not surround yourself with drama causing people. Find a good crowd of people to be a part of. Most importantly, do ever let anyone pressure you to do something you don’t want to do.


High School

A lot of what is important to do well in middle school also applies in high school. In high school you still need to eat healthy, pay attention and ask question, do your work, and create a good place to study. But there is also more than that to succeeding in high school…

  • Find a study buddy. You can help each other learn by quizzing each other and explaining things to one another.
  • Take good notes. Make sure they are complete, organized, and neat.
  • Talk to a guidance counselor. Your guidance counselor can help you create your schedule, deal with drama, and help figure out and prepare for what you are going to do once you graduate.
  • Join a club or sport. It is important to be involved! Not only is it an opportunity to make new friends and have fun, it also looks good on college applications.
  • Make goals for yourself. Do you want to get a B in math this semester? Do you want to work of up the courage to try out for the school play? Set goals and work to meet them! Take charge of your high school experience.
  • Remember school is important! Don’t let work or your social life get in the way of studying and doing your homework. Your grades are important.

Just like middle school, the social aspect of high school can be difficult at times. In high school you will probably find out who your real friends are. Find friends who encourage you to do your best and kick the ones that bring you down to the curb. In high school you will probably be exposed to parties, drugs, alcohol, and sex. Just remember to never let anyone pressure you to do something that makes you uncomfortable or is against your values. You don’t have to drink or smoke to be liked. Be friends with people that respect your choices.

Take a look at our November newsletter to get more tips on becoming a great student.

Warmest Regards,

Gyro Psychology Services, Inc.


Health Disclaimer