How To Organize Your Children’s Schoolwork
School has started in many places, which means more mounds of paper clutter to keep under control. Here are some tips to help keep all of that school paperwork from multiplying, reproducing and generally taking over your home and your life.
Set a certain time and place to go through your kids’ backpacks and paperwork each day. Use this time to sign all those papers you need to sign, mark upcoming meetings or events on the calendar and sort through everything.
The best time and place to organize schoolwork will vary for each family. For us, it was best to do it the moment the kids walked through the door while it was fresh on their minds. I would have a snack ready for them, they would explain the papers to me and while I was dealing with them (signing, writing on the calendar or admiring their handiwork), they would tell me about their day.
Then I would return everything that needed to go back into their backpacks, trash the rest or put it in a special place or folder. This helps prevent things from getting tossed on the counter or table where they are eventually lost or forgotten.
Of course you will need a calendar and/or small bulletin board or dry erase board.
My calendar has very large squares where I simply mark what needs to be done. If there is something very important that I must not forget no matter what, I mark it in red, but I write everything else in pencil in case I need to change it. Then I can just erase it and make the necessary changes.
There have been times when I used a purple pen if I wanted the kids to remember something. I read about a study which found that people will remember things better when marked in purple.
Use different colored markers or pens for different things. For example, one child’s events will all be in green, all dentist appointments are in blue or whatever works best for you.
If there are special papers that go with an event, I either paper clip them to the calendar page, pin them to a small bulletin board or place them in a folder, making a star on the calendar so I know to look on the bulletin board or in the folder for the paper that goes with the event.
All my events seem to fit fine on one large square of a calendar. If your events don’t fit, you might need to look at changing a few things in your life and cutting back on some things. This could be a sign you are too busy.
There are many many fancy and expensive calendar systems out there. I personally find them to be more confusing and more work than they are worth but if they work for you, use one.
I know that some of you who work away from home need day planners and other organization systems but that is another whole subject that I deal with in my e book Plan It, Then Do It.
Another system some people like is to have a folder for each child with special papers in it. For example, if one child is having a class party, I will mark the class party on the calendar but then place the paper with all the info about it in the folder. Once again, I would place a star by the event to remind me more info is in the folder. Once a week these folders should be sorted through so they don’t get cluttered.
Always keep folders of any kind in an upright position in a holder. Most folders or papers that are laid in a horizontal position get forgotten, lost, piled on or not used.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. This could be the most important point of all. If it is complicated and too involved neither you or your family won’t bother to use it. Sometimes it isn’t our families which are the problem but the system we choice to use. Just because it comes highly endorsed by a famous organizer or some such does not mean it will work for you so don’t fight it and try something different.
Well I will sign off for now. I am looking at the piles of paper on my own desk and think I might need to take a break, practice what I preach and clear my desk. : )
Photo By: magma666