Taming School Papers

I thought I was drowning in paperwork when my two children were in preschool together. Looking back I had no idea just what it felt like to deal with paperwork from elementary school and middle school. Each day I am inundated with school papers, homework, order forms for citrus fruits, membership forms for Girl Scouts, sports signup forms, PTA newsletters, report cards, and the list goes on and on.

Over the years I have used in boxes, file folders, envelopes, bins, milk crates, wicker baskets to control the endless flow of paperwork from school. My conclusion after 8 years and three children in school…none of these receptacles work.

There is only one system that works for me: a simple 3-ring binder, a hole puncher, a a spiral notebook for each of my 3 children. My system is:

– paper comes in

– paper is evaluated for whether it needs to be returned to school with money, saved, or tossed

– saved papers are hole-punched and added to binder.

Each child’s binder contains report cards, class placement assignments, teacher’s requirements for each class, and any written correspondence from teacher.

I use the spiral notebook to record information from back-to-school nights, parent-teacher conferences, and any phone calls/meetings with teachers about each child. I could not function without having the binder and notebook at my fingertips. I bring both to parent-teacher conferences for easy reference.

3 comments for “Taming School Papers

  1. Sue (spbray)
    November 9, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Great idea, I need to start a system. Whst do you do with all the returned work?

  2. Mom on the Run
    November 10, 2008 at 5:06 am

    I sift through returned work and keep in paper grocery bag until end of school year or bag gets too full. I will go through and decide what to keep. In K-2 I keep everything as it is all cute. Grades 3-5 I keep all writing, some math, and most social studies. My 7th gr. recycles most of her stuff. I try and retrieve a few things here an there, but most are worksheets.

  3. Lisa
    November 10, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I hate all the papers sent home from pre-school, my kids aren’t even public school yet. I like your idea of the binder- I will have to remember that!

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