This time of year gets me thinking about how I have been doing as a teacher for our kids in homeschooling. What can I do better? What is working well? I also start thinking about organization. What in our homeschool space needs attention? With this Christmas/New Year’s break I have time to focus on these things. One thing that seems to draw in my attention is all the kid’s school papers that have been piling up. Over the years I have tried different strategies to keep the papers organized and filed, but honestly none of them have seemed to work consistently. Even still each year when I go for our state required teacher evaluation I always get compliments on how neatly organized I am. Ha, if she only knew. So let me share with you, how this not so consistent, not so organized, ADHD, homeschool Mom can keep a handle on all those mounting papers.
Each year for our teacher evaluations I bring a binder for each kiddo. In the binders I have all their completed school papers, pictures of their activities and projects, sometimes flash drives filled with presentations, etc. Anything that I feel this teacher, who hasn’t seen the kids all school year, would need to know that I have actually taught my kids. Having this binder filled with all their schoolwork, neatly organized by subject and date, makes our conversation about the school year so much easier. Not only can she review their work, seeing their progress from beginning to end of the school year, but also helps me to remember what we did. It is amazing how easily it is to forget some fun things we did for school that really are helpful for her to know.
So what does having a Year-End Portfolio Binder have to do with this Christmas/New Year’s break? I know, I know, it isn’t the end of the school year yet, but getting a jump on organizing those papers really helps. Anytime we have an extended break I take a day and prep for the upcoming weeks of school. One of those things I do on my prep day is to file away all the kid’s school papers in their Portfolio Binders. If you have never put together a Portfolio before. Here are the simple steps I take.
- I start with sitting down and sorting through all the kids work.
- Separate their work into groups for each kid.
- Take one kid’s stack of papers and sort their papers by subject.
- Sort each subject pile by date.
- Now that the sorting is done, I hole punch all the papers and file them away in their portfolio binders by subject and date, with dividers in-between the subjects.
- To finish it off for now, I print out a cover page with the school year and the kiddo’s name.
Next time we have an extended school break, I will go through this process again, but that time will be much quicker since the binder is already set up. This is such a simple thing to do, but makes a big difference in our house. I don’t have the time to deal with filing all their papers each day, or even each week. Not only that, but I don’t have the space for accordion files which would really help speed up this process. Having one folder or stack of papers is all the space I have available for storing them, until they are in their portfolio binders. So for any homeschool parent dealing with schooling in a small space, this way just might help you get a handle on all those accumulating papers.