Both kids seem to be in need of some better study skills, though not necessarily the same ones.
A is having issues with remembering:
1) what he has for homework
2) to bring home the necessary books for said homework
3) to take the completed homework back to school.
He has an agenda, but he only really uses it for the classes that require him to (and it only helps with #1). So this afternoon I cleared an even larger area of the dining room table (his preferred study location) of anything extraneous and filled a pencil box with basic supplies. We went over his agenda and I filled in extra assignments. Then we checked the area and the agenda at the end to make sure that all the homework was back in the backpack. I'm sure this will help in the short run and I'm hoping that some of it will stick for the long run.
M is having more issues with time management, trying to multi-task homework, videos, facebook, iPod, etc. And then still be doing homework at 10pm, when he is well past his optimum thinking. He just finished up tonight at 10 and headed off to the shower. He has also had a few issues of forgetting what the homework is or not checking the online sites to see if he has any. He also has an agenda, but I think it gets even less use than A's does!
I know its still reasonably early in the school year, but I also know that things tend to slide rather than improve spontaneously. We'll see. I have a conference scheduled with one of A's teachers next week.