Back to school season is upon us in Louisiana. School starts two weeks from today. If I am going to make a morning and evening checklist, now is the time. (In fact, I have a rough outline of the checklist from last year, but have not decided how I'm going to post it for the kids.)
Supplies are ordered (through the school), uniforms still need to be tried on and supplemented, and shoes must be bought. Backpacks are purchased and labeled, but everything else needs a sharpie label. Good thing I have a nice handwriting!
Last year, I did something wonderful. I did this:
The launchpads were the solution to the overwhelming amount of paper that school produces. All year, whenever a paper came home, I dealt with it. While the kids sat and did homework, I sat at the same table and did my paperwork for the day and went through their schoolbags.
Permission slips got signed, noted on the calendar, and sent back to school immediately. Things that took more time, like signing up for Cub Scouts, got noted on the task list with the deadline and put in the planner for getting done later.
But two types of papers were a problem.
First, there were papers that I had to keep, but not use unless there was a problem. Examples include the school cafeteria information sheet (complete with payment log-in instructions and password) and the teacher's classroom policies. The second problem was what to do with all the completed, graded assignments that the kids brought home. Dish baskets (cheap at the Dollar Store) were perfect for this.
Last year, I used a cheap dish basket (made for washing dishes) located in the launchpad area to have the kids toss all the papers into. They only kept worthy papers, of course. Most worksheets went straight into the trash. It worked beautifully.
This week, I went through the baskets, culled stuff I didn't want to keep, and reorganized the area. The picture below is a full view of the part of the closet that I use for the Launch and Land Zone. (That top shelf is video gaming equipment.)
Each child gets a box. See the manilla folder at the bottom of the box below? That's for reference papers, like those teacher policies and cafeteria log-ins that I mentioned.
The rest of the box is for any papers worthy of saving for the future. I try to keep final report cards, any funny bits of writing, a sampling of their art, and a couple of papers that show their achievements in math and reading.
The older kid gets a backpack hanging from the door.
The younger kid can fit his backpack on his shelf. We also put anything else they are bringing to school here. like snacks and such.
Note that I took the samples of school work from the past years and put them in manilla clasp folders. The folders keep the work together and limit the space so that I only pick the important stuff.
How do you keep track of school papers?