Tuesday, June 23, 2009

School Supplies Return Home

This is the last week of school. My fourth-grader has been bringing home all the school supplies that he's used throughout the year, most of which we sent into school in September in a very over-stuffed backpack. A few extra things came home, too. Some partially used workbooks and, of course, a stack of tests and papers from throughout the year.

This is what the pile looked like after school today. It has the potential to become clutter that hangs around on the kitchen counter for a couple of weeks. But, I'm determined to take care of it right away. Many of these things can be used again next year. The boys can use the pencil boxes, colored pencils (hiding inside one of the pencil boxes), some of the folders and binders again. I need to sort the usable stuff from the unusable and the school work that I'll save from the stuff that goes in the recycling basket.

I used to save every art project, worksheet and coloring page that my oldest son produced. But, I've since learned that we'd be buried in paper if I didn't get a little selective. Now, I only save things that show his creative side. Art projects that he puts a lot of effort into and essays that really show his writing ability go in a 3-ring binder. I don't save math worksheets, spelling tests or anything else of that nature. My five-year-old also has a binder. His holds projects from the past two years. I don't put every random doodle in there, just the special things. It's kind of neat to look through the binders and see how their skills have developed over the years.

This is the box that holds all of our school supplies. It's not high tech, but it works. Anytime the boys need something for school, I "shop" here first. I check circulars each week over the summer for deals on back-to-school supplies and restock the box. My oldest son's school supply list will come home with his report card this week, but I won't get my new kindergartner's list until August. For him, I'll buy all the standard stuff, like crayons and watercolor paints, as they are on sale. I'm sure I'll have to fill in with a few specific things, but at least I'll have a head start on it.

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