Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 4: So Much Paper!
One of the greatest conundrums of parenthood and homeschooling is what to do with all that work! It’s so precious and so sentimental! It gives your children an opportunity to see how much they’ve progressed, what they learned, and even give them a glimpse of what they were like at a certain age.
And it should be kept. At least a bit of it. The problem comes in whenever you have multiple children who do ALL of their work at home and you don’t know what you need to keep and what you don’t so you keep it all. Then you’ve ended up with so much stuff stored that you don’t have any room to actually put the things you need!
Now, I feel very fortunate to live in Tennessee where the law requires only that we turn in a few papers every school year. We don’t have to present portfolios or show work or anything that requires us to keep mounds and mounds of paperwork. If you live in a state where those are the requirements, then of course, you have to follow the law.
This is what I do with our completed work.
I actually keep more than what I should, for a while. Every piece of work that the children do is kept for the entire school year. But since real estate in my home is limited, at the end of the school year, we do a major purge and the children (or just me if they aren’t big enough) choose work to include in a yearly scrapbook for each child.
Their scrapbook doesn’t have to only have school and art work. They almost always include photos, event tickets, and newspaper clippings. Often, they have rocks and dried plants, bug specimens they’ve collected, wrappers and receipts from special treats, even once a bit of special dirt that the child had kept for the year. Everything NOT included in the scrapbook gets recycled or trashed.
It works out great for both of us: the kids and I get to keep mementos from the year, and my house gets to be relatively uncluttered. Plus, the child gets to decide what they really treasure and want to be able to keep forever. It work for us.
What works for you?