School supplies to organize students with ADHD


  • ADHD Parenthood
  • School and learning

1 in 10

Accordion folders


Simplify procurement. I cannot stress this enough. With the permission of your child’s teachers, purchase multifunctional items. Fewer things to manage means fewer items to forget for each class. Think simple and streamlined, which is always best for a student with ADHD.

One idea that works well for students who like to keep each topic in a separate binder is an accordion binder that comes with a loose-leaf section for taking notes AND a 7-pocket accordion folder for storing homework, tests, etc. . The accordion itself is suitable for composition notebooks, an academic diary, and small books. This eliminates the need to transport all of these supplies separately. And since it’s available in 10 different colors, it can easily color-code any of your child’s subjects.

If your child has a block schedule (different lessons on different days), an accordion folder will keep everything they need in one place.

2 out of 10

Office hutch


A desk hutch maximizes vertical room space and, more importantly, places essentials in the line of your child’s eyes. Having books and supplies in the front and center also provides students with a visual cue to get them to do the job or bring the right materials to class.

For more ideas on maximizing small spaces, take some of my tips for organizing college dorms.

3 out of 10

Message center


If you have enough wall space, hang display panels or pegboards. They are available in fun colors and provide space for notes, lesson plans, charts, timetables, or other visual teaching aids. Or use your wall space to create a message center. Use magnetic, cork, and dry-erase boards or clipboards to organize documents you need to access quickly, keep to-do lists close at hand, and make the daily schedule easily visible to everyone.

If your child is learning at home, this message center is a must-have for home education organizations.

[Read this Next: School Organization 101: Clutter-Free Backpacks and Bedrooms]

4 out of 10

Clear folders and drawers


Clair is king! If your child can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Clear, transparent folders, dividers and binders are natural visual reminders of the physical locations of its resources. Try using clear, transparent folders, bins, plastic sleeves, or even magazine binders to organize papers. And don’t forget to label each one.

Keeping paper in a visible container also means you can say goodbye to disorganized stacks of paper.

5 out of 10



Labels are your best friend… and your child’s! Be sure to clearly label each container. This will serve as a visual reminder of what’s inside and also help you know where things are going when you get tired after a long day of school.

6 out of 10

Paper diary


A paper diary is a time management tool; not a “list keeper”. A good school planner also helps you visualize what to expect so that you can plan and manage when you have the time to do so. He should follow the academic calendar and leave the subject descriptions blank for ultimate customization.

If your child suffers from dysgraphia and has difficulty writing in a diary, please find an electronic version of a diary that is presented in a grid system, which displays both weekly and monthly views, and which allows him to ” write down both homework and any extra activities that require your time. This will give it the big picture – the sum of all of its moving parts.

And just a little food for thought: I have a lot of students who have writing problems and they always use a paper diary. Many of them have devised their own shortcuts or abbreviations or use “texting” language.

Either way, the best school diary is the one that’s right for your child.

7 out of 10

Office divider


Does your child prefer to sit at the table with her siblings as it gives her a much needed boost of energy, but seeing them is too much sensory stimulation for her? If so, outfit her with an inexpensive three-sided tabletop presentation board to block her view when she’s seated at the table. This way, she has privacy while enjoying the benefits of being near her siblings.

Desk dividers are also useful for creating sensory friendly spaces for online learning.

[Get This Free Download: Teacher-Approved Apps & Tools for School]

8 out of 10

Noise canceling headphones


Listeners and a white noise application are a must on ALL students’ list. These tools are great for when your teenager needs to muffle noises when they are working anywhere, but especially in a dorm room. Many white noise apps can keep her focused while also dampening the sounds of her roommates

9 out of 10

Big Rings


The best way to keep spiral notebooks and folders together is to use large metal rings, available at any office supply store or online. For large lectures, it is much easier to use a notebook and folder in matching colors, held together by a ring, than to try to keep a large filing cabinet under control. Make sure to include this handy item on your child’s college packing list.

Anyone who has lost a paycheck to The Container Store or IKEA knows that organizational systems, while supremely attractive, cannot cure ADHD. That said, equipping our kids with smart school supplies and strategies for using them can give them a boost – and useful new habits. Here are 10 of my favorite back-to-school supplies for kids with ADHD.

10 of 10

Magazine File Folders


Magazine files will be your student’s best friend for organizing school supplies; especially when dorms and rooms are running out of space. If her desk has a hutch, put the magazine files on top, label one for each class, and place all of her books, files, etc. when not in use. This makes it easy to find what he needs so he can grab and go in no time.

School supplies for ADHD: next steps

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