Paperwork: Organizing that Big ol’ Pile

Dale came in from work the other evening and remarked that the kitchen table wasn’t really for eating, but rather it was an, “educational resource center.”How true!! Our table is free of books and papers for about one month before I start getting involved once again in the planning of classes for the coming school year. Perhaps you are like me and have your kitchen as not only a place to eat, but also where you do most of your school with your children. I honestly thought once school was finished for the year my table would be clutter free. It hasn’t happened yet and I have to be honest with myself realizing it probably never will be, oh well.

So, how do you and I deal with the school papers, workbooks, art projects, etc. that are a part of school life? First of all, you will need to come up with a system that works for you. Some ideas that come to mind are:

  • A large portable mailbox with hanging file folders. You can place graded and dates papers in there according to subject. If you have several children, give each student different colored folders. For example:have blue for Junior and red for Missy.  The various subjects would be what is written on the Home Education Notification form: language arts; math; social studies; science; health/safety/first aid; and fine arts.
  • A large plastic bin. You can still use folders for each student.  If you have more than a few children this will work better, but follow the same idea as stated above.
  • Different colored binders for each subject area. I think a 1″ binder will work nicely if you do not have a large amount of paperwork for that particular subject. Purchase a larger binder for subjects with a larger amount of papers such as math.
  • A 3″ binder will work if you want to keep all paperwork together instead of keeping subjects separate. You can purchase tabs and label each subject. I have found the plastic page protectors to be beneficial to slide art projects, multi-page reports, ticket stubs from plays or symphony performances, timelines, etc.
  • Take pictures! If you have a child who loves crafts, art projects or Legos, the amount of creativity will overwhelm your household. 🙂 You can’t keep everything, but you can take pictures and have those for a lifetime. It cuts down on the amount of paperwork and clutter too.
  • Have one central area for all your supplies. Store construction paper, writing paper, computer paper, (you get the idea) that is accessible, yet out-of-the-way of your traffic pattern.  School and art supplies can be stored there as well.  I have a three drawer plastic cart that I use and that seems to work rather well, plus it was inexpensive. Perhaps you have a closet that can be repurposed for school. Maybe even a shelf in the pantry if you have school in your kitchen. Hmmm…. maybe I should have Dale build a low shelf in my pantry…

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