When my brother was getting ready to go off to College at Penn State, he and I went into our dining room and opened up my mom’s china cupboard. This is where my Mom kept all of our ‘special’ school papers- our first stories, our family drawings, our report cards. She didn’t keep too much- just enough. I loved looking through our stuff!
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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!
Here is how I handle it:
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. We will call this Day #1’s paper.
So on Day #2, we replace Day #1’s paper with Day #2’s paper.
On Day #3, we replace Day #2’s paper with Day #3’s paper… and so on. They can help with this!
So what do we do with the “day-old” paper?
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 into my binder.
I went to Wal-mart and bought four different colored binders. (Great recommendation from my friend, Samantha) Each child picked one color (I bought their favorite colors) and I wrote their names with a permanent marker on the side.
I had also bought the widest binders that they had and I bought protective sheets to go in them.
I have their earliest things at the beginning and their older things at the end. I would include a first drawing & first painting into the front page and I plan to use the last page for their graduation programs.
Our kids had many ultrasounds because of my high-risk pregnancies, so I even included all of those in our first few pages:
What else goes into the binders?
I do not pick a lot of things. I want each item to have a special meaning. First story? First family picture that he/she drew? Report cards every year. Special notes from their teachers. Whatever matters to you gets saved. If it is not too important, you don’t need to keep it. You will be giving this to your child one day, so make it count! I have even gone back through & thinned it out a bit (if I can’t remember the reason for keeping it or if it no longer brought up an emotion in me, it went back to the recycling bin) Here is an example of a few pages in our oldest son’s binder:
What do I do with all of the other papers?
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.
Use Artkive – this is an app that lets 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.
First, you set up an account & add your child (& grade level). Here is where you add the grandparents & anyone else that you want to share with. Next, you take a picture of their work (if you already have pictures taken, they can be uploaded). You can have multiple children on this & just “tag” the child’s work when you upload or add them. It will add a date for you. Done! Wasn’t that easy?!
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 on a file & keep adding to them). Ex: Kindergarten Work.
This book was made at Picaboo.
I hope this helped you to find a way to save your child’s school work!!