Having two children in elementary school is a lot more stressful than I anticipated. Keeping track of what electives happen on which day, what projects are due, and when tests will be taken can be quite overwhelming with more than one child.
I took some time shortly after school started to get some things organized and systems in place to keep track of all of their activities. This past week I’ve started to feel overwhelmed again as I get myself back together after being sick. While I was sick the Mr. managed to hold things together like food, baths, and laundry and threw all kinds of shade to the wind about my school work organization plan . All of their papers are in a pile on the kitchen table and I feel so unorganized thinking a child has missed something or wasn’t properly prepared for a test. As I try to get order back in here with their schoolwork I thought I would share a few tips with those of you like me who might be switching up the day the light bill is due with the date of the spelling test.
Setup a Separate Email Address: I appreciate teachers who communicate well with parents. My son has two teachers and my daughter has one and on average, in a week from all three teachers I get about 10-15 emails. To ensure I don’t miss any important information amongst my Gap, and Michael’s coupons I decided to setup a separate email address where only teacher and school related correspondence comes. It has made a huge difference in keeping things and dates organized.
Color Code Each Child: My planner seems to have something written in every square. To give myself a glimpse at which child has something due on a given day I color code their activities. My daughter is pink and my son is blue. All activities pertaining to that child are written in that color and while it may seem silly it helps tremendously with planning.
Write Important Dates Down Immediately: When I go through each child’s paperwork from the day, I have my planner and pink and blue pen by my side. From conference letters to Scholastic ordering days I write those things down right then. I don’t depend on my brain to remember because that makes me crazy. I mean you are already sitting down sifting through pages of work and permission slips. It’s so simple to just transfer the information to your planner right then.
Decide What to Throw Away and What to Keep: This has been one of my biggest struggles. Who doesn’t want to look back and see budding handwriting skills on hundreds of pieces of worksheets sent home daily? I personally know how hard it is to throw away every piece of paper that your child completes in grade school, however keeping unnecessary papers makes it hard to organize and keep up with the important papers. Set up an area where you keep important papers like calendars and lunch menus so you have them within reach. I only keep artwork, and a few handwritten worksheets for nostalgia sake. I would recommend keeping the exceptionally great pieces and toss the others, when the babies aren’t looking of course.
Keep Your Child in the Loop: When the most expensive of planners fail and your phone alarm didn’t go off, never under estimate the power of a child to repeat to you verbatim what the teacher told them about turning in those boosterthon pledges and school picture payments on time.
To keep things running smoothly during the school year, create these lists weekly, and use these tips to stay organized throughout the school year.
TiaOctober 12, 2015 at 6:13 pm
I have been having the hardest time trying to decide what to keep and what to toss. I have so many art projects from school that I could probably open up a small gallery featuring Savannah’s artwork. It’s only October and I’m not sure if I can keep up with all of the projects that will be coming home between now and May. Do you save the “big” art projects? How do you decide what stays and what goes? I’ve been tossing daily homework assignments.
mimiOctober 19, 2015 at 12:27 am
I do keep the big projects. I keep one sheet of just worksheets a week and file them away. If it includes glue and construction paper I usually keep it! I’m going to do a post on scanning some of the other items that I want to keep but don’t want the paper clutter. I’m still working through that process!
AmandaOctober 13, 2015 at 6:23 pm
I really needed this one! I’ve been struggling since the beginning of time with organizing the kiddos school work. I will try this and hopefully I can stick with it. Good suggestion for a separate email….
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