During the first week of pre-school or kindergarten, your child will proudly present you with their very first piece of classwork. They will draw a picture, or write their name, or create a multi-media noodle, glue, and glitter (lots of glitter) rendition of their favorite animal. The thought of how quickly your little one is growing up will wash over you, instantly reminding you to cherish every moment because time passes so quickly.
The next day, you will be presented with more fine pieces of schoolwork. One paper bears the letter S and a drawing of a hissing snake. Another has a shaky number 1 with one lime bean glued next to it. Yet another has 4 circles that have been neatly traced in red, green, blue, and purple, crayon. Now you don't just have one page of memories, you have four.
Days will pass. Weeks will pass. By the end of the first month, your refrigerator will have so many papers posted on it that you may not be able to locate the ice dispenser any more. You know that you need to get rid of some of those papers. Really, you do. But, just when the paper with the letter M carefully written 10 times falls from your hand and drops into the recycle bin, you see that on the back is the word "mom" and a stick drawing of you. Here comes the guilt.
What is a mom to do? Keep your kid home from school? Get a bigger refrigerator? Maybe a storage unit? How about a bigger house? Here's my solution for finding that balance between preserving classroom creations and maintaining control of the clutter.
When my daughter was younger I was emotionally attached to everything she brought home from school because they were all firsts. I couldn't bring myself to throw anything away. So, I got a large file box and collected every single piece of paper.
By the end of the school year it was a lot easier for me to weed out the mass produced worksheets and zero in on her original works. Once you have the true keepsakes, note the grade and year they were created and then do one of the following:
- Place them in a folder
- Three hole punch the pages and place in a binder
- Get out your spiffy binding machine and combine the pages into a book
Once the papers are organized in one of the ways listed above, you can store them in a memory box. My daughter's is a large plastic bin with books and folders of schoolwork, trophies, pictures, and other mementos.
Before writing this I was looking through it and not only did I find some books of her best schoolwork, I also found two lovely drawings of our family.
|Daddy, Mommy, Me, Maggie, Scooter and The Chilly Dog|