If the Paper Work Doesn’t Kill Me, the Homework Will

children-in-library1Back-to-school is still in full swing at our house. I still have papers to complete, agenda books to sign, class expectations forms to sign and return. When will it end. We’re 3 weeks in. I see no end in sight.

With three kids in two different schools, I seem to be managing the schedule well. No missed buses. No forgotten lunchboxes due to running out the door in a blur of backpacks. But, it’s the papers that overwhelm me each year.

I have yet to sort through all the papers from last year. I have each child’s work lovingly(?) stored in a paper grocery bag. I *should* go through each bag and sort. By sort I mean decide what to keep. Here’s my criteria for school papers:

1. Go through and toss any Scholastic News, flyers, agenda books, etc.

2. K-2 Language Arts — For K-2 keep all writing and drawings. I know it’s a ton of papers, but anything written or drawn by your child is a keeper.

3. K-2 Math — I’m going to show my nonlove for math. For math papers, many will be duplicates or show the same type of problems. I keep a representative sampling of graphs, pages of problems, and word problems. 

4. Grade 3-5 Language Arts — I keep all writing. I tend to not keep the reading comprehension pages with the multiple choice type answer sheets attached. I do keep all assessment tests.

5. Grade 3-5 Math — I keep a representative sampling of math papers. Many, many will be duplicates. I don’t keep homework assignments.

6. Middle School — My oldest recycled many of her papers at school before I could see them. Don’t worry her grades were good. I think she was overwhelmed by the sheer number of papers given to her. Without the trusty rusty elementary school desk, she must tote all her books, binders from locker to class and back to locker. Her teacher told me that sometimes she would have students go to their lockers and do a clear out of papers. Consequently, I had very few papers from her to save. The ones I managed to get hold of were good ones though…a poem for the county literary magzine, a brochure for coping with stress, a History Day Project.

7. Final note on middle schoolers — don’t fret if your middle schooler does the old “toss out of papers” because more and more middle school teachers require students to type up assignments. I can go green by reading her work on the computer without printing out the papers. Win!

How do you deal with the papers from school? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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