Once school starts, the schedule gets crazy and it’s VERY easy to feel discombobulated with the flood of papers, emails, forms to complete, and activity schedules.
Schedules on top of schedules! Ugh!
My guilty hand is up!
When I was in the classroom, I was guilty of sending home mounds of papers, homework packets, and emails . . . emoji with the big staring eyeballs! But that just goes to show that it takes a lot to run a village, no matter your role.
As an educator, I learned that work habits + organizational skills were a challenge for many of my students (and classroom parents too, if I’m going to tell you the whole truth!) So, I integrated teaching organizational skills in to EVERY.THING.
Doing the work is only one part of the equation. Where does the work go after that? Crumbled in the bottom of the book bag, or left on the kitchen table this morning, is not the answer.
So, I feel your pain, here’s one simple project that will keep your family organized all school year long . . . drumroll please . . .
Think of it like this, this is your everything reference binder for all things school. I recommend one Big Ol’ Binder for the whole family. If your children are age 7+ they can certainly do the bulk of the gathering of papers + the assembly. Younger ones can help as you lead. We want to empower the children to help create The School Binder so they can take ownership and responsibility.
Let’s dig in!
You will need:
- 1 1/12-2 inch Binder (Make sure it’s of good quality, so you can re-use it for years!)
- Plastic Sleeves (at least 20)
- Plastic Tabs with Pockets
Now it’s time to put the children to work! For the front cover, have the children create a binder cover. It can be a creative crafty project or a computer project. Include your family name and school year. For the back cover, create a master list of all school websites, usernames, and passwords. You won’t even need to open up the binder to check a grade or make a lunch payment!
Next, let’s get to the nitty gritty . . . the contents.
Round up the following most-used papers and place them in the plastic sleeves at the front of the binder:
- Lunch Menu
- School Calendar & District Calendar
- Class Schedules – For littles, this will be the specials schedules so you can remember Gym and Art days. For the bigs, it will be their actual class schedule.
Next add the tabs with sleeves. You can label the tabs for things like PTO, Curriculum, Box Tops, Reading Logs, After-School Teams + Activities, you get the idea. If you have multiple children, you can make a tab for each child. Organize the tabs to whatever makes the most sense for your family.
Well, that’s it! The School Binder to keep up with all the people. Let me know if you found this post helpful.
I shared The School Binder on the Empowering Kids Podcast for Back-To-School 2019. I’d love to know if you stopped by after listening to that podcast.