This book project began with an unexpected invitation from Kevin Weiss to teach concepts from my Discipline of Organizing book (written for college students and practicing professionals) to 5th and 6th graders in the East Windsor (New Jersey) school district. I was skeptical at first… but it was during the Covid pandemic and we were all stuck at home, so why not?

So I taught a Zoom course with 12 30-minute sessions in the Spring of 2021, which went much better than I had imagined it would. I especially enjoyed trying to think like I was 10-12 years old — what kinds of examples and activities would make sense?

I was toying with the idea of turning my presentation slides into a book and had written a handful of chapters, so I did a webinar “Teaching Children About Organizing” hosted by my longtime friend Scott Abel in December 2021. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so there was no turning back.

I then turned to my granddaughters Lali and Mirabelle, who were perfectly suited as informants because they were slightly older and slightly younger than the target audience. Watching and interviewing Mirabelle as she sorted her Halloween collection became Chapter 3, a cornerstone of the book. Her “before and after” bedroom is on the book cover. Lali very patiently explained how she used locker, desk, notebook and other organizing resources for school. She also read most of the finished draft to help me ensure that the examples made sense for the target audience.

I also want to thank Heidi Feldman for encouraging me to take on this project and introducing me to Damon Korb, whose “Raising an Organized Child” book helped me develop my “theory of mind” for kids. Adele Goldberg, Tania Lombrozo, and Jenny Saffran — all experts in cognitive and language development — were very helpful as professional and personal supporters while I wrote the book.

I had enough of a book draft completed in early 2022 for a Zoom course for New Jersey, but this time I enlisted the most eager students as my “book buddies” to provide systematic written feedback after each lecture. So let me thank them all here, along with their teachers, Jessica Sanborn and Alexis O’Rane:

  • Leon Velena-Lam
  • Aarush Marchareddy
  • Cody Lisk
  • Henry Goodman
  • Antonio Calabrese
  • Lucas Goodman
  • Aaron Motley
  • Riya Patwardhan
  • Rudra Patel
  • John Sullivan Fleming
  • Farhan Shiraz
  • Srinidhi Mudaliar
  • Adrianne Ambogo
  • Alyona Pandit

I have also benefited from careful reviews of the book by Orli Griffiths, Ivy Leval-Ruch, and other kids in the target population. I am sure I forgot some of their names but I am grateful for their help.

And last but not least, let me thank Josephine Hostin,  student of cognitive science and design at Brown University/RISD, who helped with making the book more “kid-friendly” with better examples and interactive quizzes.

Bob Glushko
February 2023


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"The Discipline of Organizing" for Kids Copyright © 2022 by Robert J Glushko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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