Does it seem like you are bombarded with paper once the school year starts? It does for me. It seems like every year the kids bring home tons (and I do mean tons) of ‘priceless’ memories. I’m pretty sure we’ve cut down our own rain forest with the amount of papers we get each year.
From artwork and school work; to special drawings and creations I find myself in a mound of paperwork. I always feel guilty when I don’t keep every little of piece of school work that comes home (the guilt often comes from the author of the so-called work). So I would usually keep it and put it in a box. Then it would pile up next to other papers until there were MOUNTAINS of school memories.
Last year I decided I had better figure out a better system. So now, at the beginning of each year, the kids each get a binder. They each get to put 25 sheet protectors into their binder.
They each fill out an All About Me page that goes in the first sheet protector. This page is full of favorite facts that always seem to change from one year to the next. These facts include: age, weight, height, who their teacher and friends are, favorite foods, books, songs, color and most importantly what they want to be when they grow up. Then they fill the margins with stickers and sign their name, so cute!
We make handprints and footprints. I also take a picture of each of them or use a recent one. This paper becomes the cover of the binder (I use the ones that have a clear cover so I can slip in a cover sheet). So each year we get new handprints and footprints that have grown bigger since the last year.
Then, throughout the year the kids choose (and they learn pretty fast to be selective since they only have room for 50 pages) what to keep and what to throw away. Once in a while I choose things to keep which I slip in there myself. I try to make sure the papers have a name and date so I can see the growth throughout the year. At the end of the year they get to put their final report card in the pocket at the front of the binder.
It’s fun to see how they change and I love to see the growth they make over the year.