Today I am sharing how I organize our kid’s school work (projects, drawing, tests) that they bring home.
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Do you feel like you have a ton of school stuff?
Your kids bring home papers, art projects, homework, tests, drawings… (this list will go on & on & on…)
Our kids were bringing home a TON of paperwork and they were doing a lot at home, too. I don’t want to ignore it or make them feel like I don’t love it. At the same time, I love to be organized (I was a teacher- maybe that’s part of it?)
Mickey and I have four kids (picture below) and I need to stay on top of things, so I’ve come up with a few solutions over the years.
Yes… kids bring home a lot of stuff!! That’s why I need to take my own declutter course every year. 🙂
It started years ago…
When our son started preschool, the crafts & papers came pouring in! Fast forward two years. I now have kids in preschool and elementary school. Imagine the papers that come home! My friend, Samantha, gave me a great idea and I was ready to get started. I grabbed materials and got started! I bought binders, plastic sleeves, sharpies and highlighters (to high-light dates on their projects). I printed out sheets out for every grade. (You can print this sheet & add your child’s name & grade)
So, each child picked one color (I bought their favorite colors) and I wrote their names with a Sharpie on the side (trust me, you don’t want this marker to run or it will look very messy- stick with using a Sharpie). I bought the widest binders that they had and I bought protective sheets to go in them.
Once I had the cover sheets printed & the school grades printed, I was ready to get started.
Next, just write their name on the side of the binder (I use a Sharpie for this, so I can be sure that it won’t rub off).
Here is how I organize school papers and artwork:
The first day that they bring something home, they pick which thing is their favorite and it goes on the refrigerator (each child has a magnet) Normally, it stays there one day. You could also display it somewhere in your house. The idea below, from Artists Helping Children, is so creative.
On day two, we will take Day 1’s paper and replace it with Day 2’s paper. We are only keeping one paper displayed at a time.
On Day three, we are going to go ahead and replace Day two′s paper with Day three′s paper… and so on.
What happens to school work that we want to keep?
If it is something that I do not want to part with (report cards, stories, letters about us or our family, hand-print/footprint poems), I put it in my binder. I have their earliest things at the beginning and their older things in the end. I slip things into the binder that I want to keep (Notes, report cards, ornaments, CD’s or Flash Drives with pictures on them).
I would include any first drawings or first painting on the front page and I plan to use the last page for their graduation ceremony program.
What else goes into the binders?
- Only Important things.
- Report Cards
- First Story of the year.
- Family picture drawing.
- Questions about family for Mothers/Fathers Day.
- Student of the Month certificates.
- Special notes from a teacher.
- Preschool Diplomas
- End of year notes.
Rule of Thumb
You will be giving this to your child one day, so make it count!
What about the papers you don’t keep?
You have a few options:
A lot of our family lives in Pennsylvania (we are in NC), so I send some of it to them in a card or on a birthday. (The kids pick what they want to send)
Secretly, put it into our recycling bin. After we have looked at it & talked about it, I take our pile into the kitchen & put it in the recycling bin – under other stuff so that they don’t see me doing this.
There are so many apps that help you keep their work. You can add other people to it (grandparents) to allow them to view it, too. It is easy to do! You just take a picture of the artwork & store it.
4. PHOTO BOOK
You can take pictures of your child’s work & upload them into a book (similar to the photo books that you make of people). I know that most companies will do this. This will keep all of those extra papers in one little thin book for you! This will cost money, but it may be well worth it to you. You could do one every year (just save the photos in a file & keep adding to them).
I hope this helped you to find a way to save your child’s school work!
If you want more organizing tips, check out my post on Organizing their Art Supplies.