THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK: Helping Disorganized Students


[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Lori Gibson



How delightful would it be if every student came to class on time, had their assignments done and did their best work? Unfortunately this is not the case. While many kids are organized, many kids are not. These disorganized kids can be disruptive; they are stuck in a downward spiral of failure and let’s face it - they drag down your school’s test scores. In this course you will learn eight ways kids can be disorganized and the practical plans for getting your students to take charge of their own destinies.

This independent study course is appropriate for teachers, administrators, support staff and parents. Required text, That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week is available from for approximately $11.

In association with Amazon, you may purchase this text by using the link provided.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

Upon completion of this course, participants will know:

  1. The conceptual framework for understanding chronically disorganized and discouraged students based on Ana Homayoun’s work.
  2. The 5 factors that typically play a role in why organization and time-management are significant issues for disorganized students
  3. The beneficial vs. the detrimental attitudes/approaches that “supporting adults” contribute to student difficulties
  4. The 8 different types of (dis)organizational styles from the text and be able to identify them in students.
  5. The 6 target areas to potentially consider in an over-arching plan (i.e.: goal-setting, organizational tools) and the accompanying strategies for students and the supporting adults to implement.
  6. The complexities involved for students with “specific considerations” (LD students, multiple homes, illness) and the accompanying strategies for these students and supporting adults to implement.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week by Ana Homayoun. Perigree Trade, 2010.  New York, NY. 304 pages. ISBN 978-0399535598.

  • That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life
    ISBN# 9780399535598
    by Homayoun, Ana

    Buy from Amazon


$11 for the course text, That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week from Also available from other booksellers and at local and some school libraries.


Lori Gibson, M.A., currently works for Spokane Public Schools as an elementary counselor. Lori holds a Master's in Counseling Psychology, as well as a K-12 teaching certificate. Over the past 22 years she has held positions as a counselor for North Chicago High School in Illinois and the Lake Washington School District in Kirkland/Redmond, WA. During those years she served and/or provided leadership to the LWSD Safety Committee, both districts’ critical incident teams, and the LWSD Elementary Counselor Leadership Team. She has instituted proactive, early intervention school-wide programs including Steps to Respect, Kelso's Choices, Peace Builders and Peer Mediation. Lori has also taught parent education classes and volunteered for over fifteen years in community settings with children and adolescents. 


THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK: Helping Disorganized Students


Dawson, Peg and Richard Guare. Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential. Guilford Press. New York, NY, 2009.  314 pages. This book clearly explains the basics of “executive functioning” and how deficits in that ability to control and regulate behaviors can cause difficulties with organization, staying focused, controlling impulses and emotions. This book is geared for 4 to 13 year olds, however the authors also have one geared toward teens.

Dawson, Peg and Richard Guare. Smart but Scattered Teens: The “Executive Skills” Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential. Guilford Press. New York, NY.  2013.  293 pages. This book is the companion for teens. It also describes “executive functioning” and offers step-by-step strategies for developing executive skills. The emphasis that is placed on the supporting adult building a supportive relationship with the adolescent through the process is an added bonus.

Goldberg, Donna. The Organized Student. Touchstone. New York, NY, 2005.  288 pages. This book complements the course text. The author has filled this book with hands-on strategies for organization and includes a four-step plan (PACK) for purging and reassembling a backpack or locker that educators and parents could teach to their students. This book would be a great resource and encouragement  to give a frustrated and overwhelmed parent of a disorganized student!

Gurian, Michael and Kathy Stevens.  Boys and Girls Learn Differently! A Guide for Teachers and Parents: Revised 10th Anniversary Edition.  Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, C.A., 2010. 400 pages. This book is a fascinating read because it outlines the brain differences between boys and girls and with that point of view challenges the notion that both genders learn best in the typical classroom setting. The authors cite studies as well as anecdotal evidence to support their viewpoint. The overarching idea is that teachers need to be aware of the differences, and vary their classroom methodologies and management so that their classrooms can be a better fit for both genders.

Moss, Samantha and Lesley Schwartz. Where’s My Stuff?” The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide.  Zest Books. San Francisco, CA, 2012. 104 pages. This is a short, fun book for intermediate through high school students that focuses on organizational skills and strategies. The authors use plenty of humor and illustrations to keep the pre-teen and teenager engaged in the material. I think the charts are very useful for students who can become overwhelmed by daily tasks. Definitely a useful resource to have in your classroom, counseling center or home for disorganized kids to access.

Woodcock, Susan Kruger. SOAR Study Skills.  Grand Lighthouse. Grand Blanc, MI, 2006. 160 pages. This book is a comprehensive program that is based on four (4) steps. It does not just deal with organizational issues but also includes study strategies. This book can be used by a pre-teen or teen student or can be used by teachers as a curriculum for teaching study skills in their classes. The author has many other products and services for students, teachers and parents that can be found at her website