I wrote this article for my Best Nest column in Cornelius Today newspaper shortly after this past school year came to a close. I hope that parents find it useful! The infamous end of grade test (EOG) results are in; class parties have occurred; and teachers have cleaned out their classrooms in preparation for summer break. As a result, parents have been inundated with tons of paperwork and class projects from the past school year. While proud of the accomplishments of our little ones, it is not practical to save every little finger painting, paper airplane, or spelling test. Running a home and keeping it organized can be overwhelming and exhausting!
Just like pruning out your closet of things that no longer fit and no longer worn, you should do the same thing with your child’s art and schoolwork. Save important certificates, report cards, and those extra special creations. Some pieces can be used to create cards or gifts for grandparents and other family members too. The rest should be purged!
The remaining pieces should be sorted and organized by grade, and there are several ways to accomplish this. You could purchase an art portfolio or organizer such as My Art Portfolio by ALEX (AlexToys.com). The portfolio is constructed as an accordion storage case with nine expandable pockets. You can designate one pocket for preschool, one for first grade, and so on. For a personal touch, it also has a pocket for a 4”x6” photo of your child on the front of the portfolio.
There is also a really great store in Huntersville called Author Squad where you can hire them to scan each piece individually and create a custom bound book of your children’s art work which will last forever. Last but not least, you can accomplish virtually the same thing at home by using the scanner on your personal printer or by photographing larger pieces individually. Then upload the JPG files to your favorite photo web site and design your own custom book online. So at the end of the day…or school year, when it comes to all of those paper memories created throughout the year, keep some; deep-six some; create with some; gift some. Then move on. Don’t let the thought of it overwhelm you!