I can see that some of my friends have already embarked on their summer break and I am jealous. After the amazing three day weekend we just had, the school/struggle bus arrived early Tuesday morning. As the last few days of school trickle down for my girls, the end of the year paperwork and supplies are rushing in. I mean my oldest literally dropped off an armful of graded paperwork for the whole year on my counter Tuesday afternoon and I instantly became queasy. Since this isn’t my first end of the school year rodeo, I’m here to pass on some tips that will hopefully help.
School paperwork and artwork
It would be extremely difficult to save every single piece of paper your child has drawn or written on in their entire school lifetime. I’m not advocating to be completely heartless and throw it all out or recycle it, at least not while they’re looking, but there are ways to manage the beast.
For us, each child has a folder in my daily file system where I snag my favorite pieces. At the end of the school year I’ll only keep a few items from the beginning, middle, and end of the year along with the final report card. I found clear standard paper sized envelope folder. It has a pocket where I printed out the year and the teacher name. In addition to school stuff, this is where I keep cards from immediate family or any certificates they receive through the year. I am keeping these folders in a plastic bin along with their year books. Another great option a friend of mine suggested is to snap a picture and use a service like Shutterfly to create a digital book of all your child’s artworks and projects.
It doesn’t always happen, but by girls may come home with the left over supplies from the year. This includes notebooks that aren’t completely used. I use a utility knife to cut the used pages out and let the girls have the remaining pages to doodle and draw over the summer and throughout the year. The plastic pencil boxes that have survived the year we have used in a variety of ways. I keep one in my glove box as a mini office. I’ve used it as a first aid kit. Or even just a box to keep markers in the car for trips. I use a caddie for all the colored pencils, markers, and crayons, which is handy for kiddos who love to draw and create. We also use supplies to make a homework station complete with glue sticks, erasers, pencils, and scissors just for the kids. If you’re lucky, any unused/unopened supplies, consider saving and donating to schools who have a greater need the next school year.
Backpacks and lunch boxes
Once the school year is over, I do a thorough cleaning out of the book bags and wipe them and the lunch boxes down with clorox wipes. We found that investing in good back packs, we can get about two years use out of them. Even if you do opt to buy a new one for the next year, you may be able to sell it on local mom swap sites or even consider donating to a local orphanage or homeless shelter.
Before we dive into summer break and head out on that family vacation, it’s nice to put the school year behind us and focus on the future. I hope the little tidbits I have passed along are helpful. Please feel free to pass on any other ideas you may have!