How To Keep Track Of And Organize Your Child's School Papers
School papers -- if you have school age children, like I do, you know they bring home mountains of these daily.
If you don't deal with that paper quickly and ruthlessly it will soon overtake your kitchen table, and then counter, and then creep throughout your entire house.
So, how do you keep these papers from overtaking your home, while also being able to find the ones you need when you need them?
Below is what I have found, but if you have your own ideas, please share your own tips for organizing these papers here.
At The Beginning Of The School Year Designate A Large Envelope For Each Child's School Papers
School papers are most useful for the school year they are issued, so start each school year off fresh with a big folder or binder, or something to keep each child's homework, notes, etc. in.
I suggest getting and setting up these envelopes or folders at the same time you buy your child's school supplies.
If your child brings home lots of stuff, you may even want to create a new one each semester or quarter. Whatever suits your needs, but the minimum is each year.
Go Through Your Child's School Papers Daily As Part Of Their Homework Habit
Every day my daughter and son need to do some type of homework, even on days when they don't bring a specific worksheet home.
If nothing else, they need to show me her backpack, which she cleans out to make sure there are no papers that need to be reviewed.
I put all graded homework in her folder for that year, once I review it, to get it out of the way.
Put All Dates On The Family Calendar
Other school papers that I review have information on them, such as assignments or dates to remember on them.
All tests, quizzes, homework assignments, projects, library book return dates, school closings, school vacation or holidays, field trips and special events should be written on the family calendar.
I also try to write on the family calendar the dates that my kids wants to pack their lunch instead of buying it, because they don't like the menu item being served that day.
Since I don't have a schedule for packing their lunch, since they only takes it sporadically, the family calendar is essential to keep track of this information.
Once I have written this information on the family calendar, which is in a central location, unless the school paper is really important I typically throw it away.
If it is important, you can place it in a folder in your household notebook.
Just be sure, if you do this, that you clean out this folder regularly, or you will soon have now useless information from two years ago cluttering up your home management binder.
I also keep the detailed instructions about projects, because the space I use on the calendar is not big enough to write all the details, just a summary.
Once the project is done, and graded, I generally throw the instructions away.
Every day, while your child does homework, you can look at the family calendar together to make sure you are on track for all assignments, such as studying for the spelling test tomorrow, or beginning the big assignment due next Friday to be able to do a little each day.
This crucial habit also allows you to figure out if you need to make sure your child is ready for the next school day, such as putting all library books in their backpack to be returned by their due date.
Put All Contact Information In Your Address Book
Each year your child may get new teachers and/or a new bus driver. I periodically need this information, which is generally passed out at the beginning of each school year.
I take the time when I get this big stack of school papers each fall to put all the information in the right locations for future quick reference when I need it.
If I didn't do this, I would never be able to find the paper with the bus driver's name on it, to know her phone number when I need it, for example.
And trust me, if I need to call the bus driver, it is some type of important reason, so I need that number, and I need to be able to find it quickly without a lot of hassle.
Fill Out All Paperwork Promptly And Return It To School
I have no idea if all schools do this, but my kids' school has Friday Folders. These folders are used to bring home the majority of information for the week, on you guessed it, Friday.
A Friday Folder typically includes lots of graded homework and tests, field trip permission slips, class or school newsletters, and a menu for the school cafeteria.
I suggest going through your child's Friday Folder while they are doing their homework and dealing with any paperwork as soon as possible.
I try to go ahead and immediately fill out permission slips or sign report cards, so I do not forget.
This habit also makes it easy to place it right back in the Friday Folder for delivery back to the teacher by your child.
Please note that another reason that you need to check your child's backpack at least quickly daily is because they are being entrusted to turn information back in to their teacher.
All children will occasionally forget to turn something in, such as a homework assignment or other paperwork. When you check their backpack daily you can generally catch a problem before it is too late.
At The End Of The School Year Clean Out Your Child's School Papers Folder of Non-Essentials
At the end of the school year your child's folder will likely be stuffed with school paperwork and completed homework assignments, because of all those graded worksheets and other information.
You can use their folder as a keepsake of their school year.
I like to keep my kids' report cards, and representative homework assignments in several areas of study from various points during the school year.
I also like to keep not just the A+ work, but I also like to keep some things which show their struggles and then improvement in various areas of study.
That is more like real life and what really happened then just the perfect scores.
You don't need to, and in my opinion, shouldn't keep all the school papers that your child brings home once the school year is over.
It just becomes a big pile of clutter once the school year is over. So cull out the repetitive parts and just keep the gems.
I hope my ideas have helped you spur some of your own for how to organize and keep track of the mountains of school papers your child receives daily.
So now it is your turn. My way is not the only right way, and maybe your way will work better for another person reading this. Tell me below how you keep track of your child's school papers, or read ideas that have already been submitted.
Tell Me How You Organize Kids' School Papers & Artwork
There are so many ways to organize and keep track of your kids' school work, artwork and crafts, and I'd love to hear how you do it.
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