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Ideas For How To Organize School Papers

by Taylor


I've found several great ideas for how to organize school papers as your kids bring home stuff in their backpack each day, both on the web and in videos, and have shared these tips with you below.


What I found as I did research into all the methods that parents use to keep themselves from drowning in a sea of papers from teachers, old homework and graded test, and permission slips, is to create a system for dealing with these items on a regular basis.

It really doesn't need to be an elaborate system, or even look very beautiful.

Instead, it needs to be tended to regularly, and habitually.

Even better, it is great when you make your kids a partner in this organizing process so it is not completely your responsibility, but instead something you're assisting your kids with (and teaching them organizational skills at the same time).

You can read about my own system for organizing the kids' school work here for even more ideas and strategies you can employ.

Of course, I would love to hear your ideas too. If you've got a suggestion or idea that has worked for you, make sure to tell it to me here, and I'll add it to this page, making it hopefully an even better resource for parents dealing with this issue day in and day out during the school year.


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Organizing Kids' School Work - A Video

by Taylor


Below is a video of a Mom who explains how she organizes her kids' school work, by using folders.

The more I learn about how everyone organizes, the more I see how everyone does it a bit differently, but at the same time, lots of different ways work.

With organization, as in life, there are lots of right ways to do something. I hope that this video gives you some ideas of what might work for your family, for organizing the mountains of paper kids bring home from school.



***Update: A HM101 reader shared a comment about the video. She says:

"OOOOO,....I'm liking that. Might have to try something like that. I have a 5th grader so it will be a late start for him, but my 3rd, kinder and preschooler can benefit!"

***End Update

Photo by Caitlinator

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How Mom of 4 Organizes Her Kids' School Papers

I saw a great blog post from the Gravity of Motion blog, and wanted to share it with you.

Jane Anne is a Mom of 4, with two in elementary school and one in preschool (and a beautiful baby).

She has encountered the problem each of us has -- children bring home so much paper, it is hard to keep track of it all.

I like her system, which includes setting up a wire basket for each of three oldest children.

She regularly goes through the baskets, putting information on the family calendar, and takes the time to deal with the permission slips, school notices, etc. before things get lost or forgotten.

See her entire blog entry to see how she organizes her kids' school work.

So what about you? With the school year just beginning, how are organizing and dealing with your kids' school papers?

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Folders Aren't Enough - I Needed A File Portfolio For Each Child's Papers

by Megan Schrade
(Oxford, CT)


Megan shared how she has organized and tamed all the paper clutter that was coming into her home in her kids' backpacks each day.

Megan says:

This year my son started 1st grade, daughter started kindergarten, and little daughter started preschool.

Last year I had a folder for my sons papers and one for my daughters preschool papers and found it wasn't enough. I needed something for homework, class lists, forms, teacher correspondence, events etc.

This year I bought 1 expandable file portfolio for each kid and I am loving it!

Each paper has a proper place and is easy to lay my hands on when I need it. Then it can easily be put away so as not to clutter up the joint.

I also check backpacks and clean lunch boxes right as the kids get home. It takes about 20 min.

This gives me a chance to file everything into its proper spot, and gives the kids a chance to unwind a little before beginning homework.

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing your method for organizing your kids' school papers Megan.

It sounds like you've got a great system, and you're right, sometimes having dividers between the pages can be quite helpful, so I like the idea of these file portfolios.

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Organizing A Child's School Work And Artwork - A Video

by Taylor


I found a helpful video I wanted to share with you giving suggestions for organizing your kids' school work and artwork.

Some of the most helpful suggestions from the video, in my opinion, were:

  • Have art portfolios to put your kids' large art projects in

  • Use a digital camera to take pictures of large, bulky 3D artwork

  • Send some of the artwork to relatives

  • Make sure your children empty their backpacks regularly

  • Go through all the school papers at the end of every school year to have a massive purge of papers

  • For older children let them use a file box to store papers they need to reference later in the school year

  • Have a designated homework area for your children, which is stocked with school supplies




Photo by chazzvid

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Save All The School Information In A Three Ring Activity Binder

by Michelle


Michelle shared on the site's Facebook page her system for organizing school information for her kids.

Michelle says:

I have a 3 ring binder that has any calendar that my girls have for their activities.

I also have my volunteer info in that binder.

There is a pocket in front and in back. One for each of my girls.

I love those those plastic sheet protectors.

It has all the school info plus teacher name.

I do have post it notes that I put notes on if the event is in the next year!

My daughter is gonna be star of the week in March....made that note.

I call it an activity binder.

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for sharing your method keeping track of all these school papers Michelle. It sounds like you're system is working really well for you!

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How Do You Organize All The Papers The Kids Come Home From School With?

by Jen
(PA)


Here is a question I received from Jen about how to organize papers from school for her two boys.

Jen's Question:

I have 2 sons, one in 4th grade, the other in 6th grade. I am having trouble organizing two different papers from 2 different schools. Any suggestions?

Taylor says:

Jen, it seems like schools send home way too much paper to me, which can get a bit stressful if you don't keep on top of it.

My suggestion is to take a couple of minutes each day, as soon as the kids come home from school, to deal with it. Dealing with 1 or 2 pieces of paper a day is not such a big deal, but dealing with big piles randomly can be stressful, and things can fall through the cracks.

Anything that can be dealt with right away, easily, should be. That could be adding a date to your calendar, that you need to remember. It could also just be signing a field trip form, and paying your money.

If it takes more time to deal with, but you have a little bit of time before the deadline, I always place that stuff with my bills, which I pay once a week. It is my paperwork and desk time, and I make phone calls and other things then, along with bill paying, so you get it done rather quickly but at a time convenient for you.

As for keeping the papers organized, and easy to find, I've written an article on the site about keeping up with the kids' school papers which might help, as well as reading the other suggestions here from readers.

I hope these ideas help you. In addition, if other readers have any other suggestions or ideas I would love to hear them too, to get more ideas for how to organize school papers.

What works well for one person may not work as well for someone else, so lots of perspectives and ideas are always appreciated.

You can click here to share your own ideas and tips.

***Update: Jen wrote back, and shared this comment. Jen said:

"Thanks for the suggestions. I guess the hardest thing is, most of the days, the kids are home before me, or I work 3-11. By the time I am ready to deal with them, everyone is in bed, or we are out running. Thanks!" ***End Update 1

***Update 2: Susan shared this quick idea. She says: "Scan them to the computer, put them on a CD, and you will have memories for a life time." ***End Update 2

Photo by frazzledjen

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De-Cluttering School/Office supplies
by: Brenda

I have one of those 5 drawer white carts on wheels that you use to organize stuff. Works great for school/office supplies and a drawer for papers used and new. It is available for anyone in the house to use but put away and organized. I started using this method after purchasing items I later found in our home. Now I know what is needed and what we have and how much of each. Works great for holding extra printer paper and ink cartridges as well.

Organizing Papers from School
by: Megan

I have a kindergartner and a baby, and I find that in PreK and K, they bring home a TON of drawings, papers, etc. Probably more than they will in the future, since when she finishes one assignment, they give her paper to draw freely. So what I have done is grabbed a 3 ring binder (we use the kind with the pocket in the front so she can choose what she wants the front cover to look like) and a bunch of page protectors. We started out with each paper getting a page protector, and that quickly took up way too much of the binder space. Now, each school day gets a 2 page spread. We choose her favorites and put those facing out, and then everything else goes behind those pages in the same protectors. This way, they are not lost but there are plenty of protectors for future artwork. Also, I try to date everything she brings home, but sometimes I forget. With this method, you may not have an exact date, but you can see that a certain page is between March 1 and March 14, for example. I like knowing *about* when she did each paper, so that at the end of the year we can compare her work, and she can take pride in how much she has learned.

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