The Paper Trail

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:

Dear Kendra,

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...



Hi Cristy-

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!