Monday, June 1, 2015

Taming the Papers- What to Do With All The Artwork

This time of year backpacks come home stuffed full of all the things little ones have poured their effort into this year.  It is fun to see all their work, but what do you DO with it all?  Here is what works for us:

1) Work and art gets admired and then goes into a storage bin that sits in the office.  The kids know that is where it goes, and know that we don't throw away their work- if they want to see it, it is there.  Likewise, if we ever need to look back at a spelling test or homework assignment, we can find it.

2) After school ends, Hubby and I sit down after the kids go to bed (under the cover of darkness) and sort through the items.  We sort them by child first, and then pick out 6 or 8 of the best items from each child for the year.  Those go into a portfolio that is divided by school year.  The items that are not selected go into black bags and right into the recycling and garbage bins.

In the future, we will probably include the kids in sorting through the items, but right now they are at the age where everything would go into the keep pile, and that is just not practical.  We like this system because we are too sentimental to toss things into the garbage when they first come home, and we don't believe that it is kind to toss kid's work out in front of them.  I, for one, would be pretty crushed to work hard on something just to have someone throw it away (and they always seem to find it, the little trash-monitors!)  I know people do this all the time- you should see the trash cans at preschool- but it hurts my teacher heart.  I just can't do that.  So we save things.  Time gives us perspective on what the best items are to keep, and also gives us some distance from the moment to throw away the non-keepers.  Plus it is fun to look back over the whole year, recall the highlights and see how far each child has come.

So there you have it- one way to deal with ALL THE PAPER!

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