Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Works-for-Me Wednesday: Organizing School Papers

Organization does not come naturally for me. I have to work on it constantly.

I really struggled last year with keeping up with papers from school. Way too many nights (or mornings) before school, I ended up searching for a missing paper that required attention or had information I needed.

This year, I have 3 boys in school (one in preschool and 2 in elementary school). I recognized before school started that I was going to have to do something different. I came up with a new system. So far, it is really working for me.

I bought 3 baskets and put the kids' names on the outside. When the kids bring home papers from school (or cub scouts or soccer), I put the papers in the baskets. Later when I have time, I throw out what I don't need to keep and I note the dates of activities on our family calendar. I keep the baskets on the top shelf of our desk.



Every Tuesday my older boys bring home a "Tuesday Folder" from school. It is full of papers like notes from their teachers, work completed in class, fliers for extra activities and the school newsletter. My kids come home from school hungry. They have to have a snack before homework and reading. I make a quick pass through the papers and then I file them away in the correct baskets.



My youngest son is in preschool. The baskets provide a safe keeping for special pictures that he draws or paints (until I can file them away in his art binder).

Yesterday, my kindergartner took his first trip to the school library. No more trying to figure out where to put the library book! It has a home in his basket.



The beauty of this system is that it is easy, it is accessible to my children (they can easily grab their homework or library book), and my children love it (probably because they no longer have to wonder where everything went).

I am posting this as a part of Works-For-Me Wednesday. Stop by We are That Family for other Works-for-Me ideas.

20 comments:

Nowheymama said...

Great idea!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE IT!! Is it okay that I love it so much I had to use all caps? Sharon

Anonymous said...

I home school my grandson and I use this method for his many different subjects. I have a shoebox for each subject,which he was allowed to decorate according to what subject the box was for. We no longer search for hrs before getting down to the work at hand. It's in the box by the work station and ready for him, when it's time to work.

Foursons said...

Really great idea. I usually end up picking up stacks of papers on the weekend sifting through them and throwing 90% of it out.

RLR said...

I'll have to find a way to incorporate something like this into our new 'kid office.'

Jen said...

Managing all the school paperwork can be a nightmare - glad you found a system that works for you! My problem is the pending 'stuff to be dealt with' versus 'stuff to be filed away' (like art) versus 'stuff I may need to reference at some point'. Oooh - maybe a binder for the reference stuff! Gotta go.... :)

MiMi said...

It's amazing how much paperwork a little person can have in 1st grade!!! I've been thinking about finding a system, and now I'll copy yours! :)

Lacia said...

What a great idea! I just may steal it!! I have 2 in school and one in preschool and our dining room table practically disappears during the school year under the piles of paper that come home.

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

What an awesome system! I only have one little guy in school but it sounds handy!

:)

samantha said...

Very nice!

{ L } said...

The named baskets are a fabulous idea! I will have to copy you. :) Thank you.

He & Me + 3 said...

That is awesome! I may have to borrow that idea. Love it.

Angie Kerr said...

The baskets are a great idea! Perfect for those items that are too big to fit into a folder system like mine.

Thanks for visiting my site today!
I am now a follower of yours. Lots of great info!

Carrie said...

Simple is best...and I think I will need to try that too :) I just have one bin on top of the fridge and sadly it ALL goes there! Their little desks seem to be working for their homework, but all the other papers really need a home...gee...all those trees! haha!

Great job!

Brandi said...

Love this idea!

McCrakensx4 said...

Great idea!! I was just going crazy this morning cuz Colin (&me) were so unorganized!! And love the Harold and purple crayon book!!

Khourt said...

That is a great idea. I do something similar but my box is just a single box and ends up with a huge variety of papers. I like this one much better.

Angela said...

LOVE IT! This is a wonderful idea, we are homeschoolers but I can see how this would totally work for us too and then those Sunday School and Coop papers. This would just be great! Thanks for the visit and thanks for sharing.

Angela

khull05 said...

Thanks for the comment! I am from Knoxville, and a just slightly less than annoying Vol fan!! =)

Great idea and one I'm sure I'll use down the road! We are just getting started on the preschool path.

Teresa said...

I love this idea (just found it), but I am wondering how do you do your art binder???