New Jersey Jewish News
The paper chase: What to do with your kids old schoolwork
Its as sure a sign of the summer break as flip-flops and beach blankets: the last day of school deluge. Math quizzes, spelling tests, Picasso-inspired portraits once the makings of our childs buzzing classroom, now heaped en masse on our kitchen counters.
Faced with this predictable but overwhelming onslaught of schoolwork, we deliberate our options. We could take the quick and easy route, surreptitiously tossing it all into the recycling bin. But such a clean break hardly feels comfortable after our child put plenty of time and effort into that plethora of papers. Besides, how could we possibly do away with the her Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing book report when shell never be in fourth grade again?
We could try the packrat approach, stuffing the teeming stack into super-sized Tupperware containers and sealing it for posterity; but adding on an extra room to the house for the sole purpose of storing schoolwork seems a bit extreme.
We could find the answer to our decluttering prayers in a handy little system called the scholastic portfolio (which also has the fringe benefit of teaching kids to recognize and take pride in their academic achievements). Heres everything you need to know to take back the kitchen counter and get this marvelous system working for your family:
Once the final selections are made, its time to drum up an audience to ooh and ahh over the assemblage. Grandparents are always eager for the job, as are empty-nester friends and relatives. Rather than stashing the portfolio away in the basement after the show, keep it easily accessible; you may be surprised to find your child flipping through her fond school memories and basking in the glory of scholastic successes for years to come.
Finally, head off any future last day of school deluges by kicking off each new academic year with a fresh portfolio. Whenever your child returns home with a backpack full of papers, have her lay out her work, add any extra special pieces to her collection and recycle the rest for posterity.
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