Cristy is a neat mom I know from church. Her blog is specifically written for and about families with autistic children, as Cristy's son Scotty has autism. She emailed me the following questions last week:
I have been meaning to write this question up in your blog but always forget. I want to get your advice on all those papers, worksheets, artwork that your children have done. Where do you put them? Do you just keep a few in your folder? What about those notes and lesson plans you write?
We use notebooks a lot. They have 5 notebooks each every year and I can't bear to throw them away. Do you keep any?
I'm attempting to unclutter our homeschool before we start school again...
Papers...ugh... worksheets are saved in their binders throughout the year (one binder per subject per child). Then at the end of the year I scan the best worksheets and schoolwork onto my computer into files. At the end of sixth grade, each child gets a disc containing the best of each subject for grades K-6. This also serves as a record of their work, and a disc takes up far less room than binder upon binder of paperwork.
As for artwork, I tend to display what they've lovingly given to me but then when they give me new stuff I discretely toss the old. I use some of their larger works for wrapping paper or little notes to grandparents, and I am entering some of their work in the fair this year, as well. I keep only the most sentimental items in a folder labeled with each child's name, but I am super discerning about this because otherwise the folders would be inches thick! So I'd say each folder contains 5-10 pieces of artwork.
I keep lessons plans and schedules stored on my computer for future reference, but the hard copies are usually displayed in one or two places in our home: on the fridge, on the hallway bulletin board, on the school room bulletin board, and on my clipboard that gets carried around the house with me.
I am a notorious tosser. It is not hard for me to get rid of stuff, so I know that for people who love to hold onto things, it's tougher. But think about what you have from your childhood- how often do you really look at it? I have two things from my childhood school years that mean something to me; the rest was tossed long ago and for that I am grateful.
Always here to help!