Janet Schiesl shares tips for managing a busy family and organizing your home, such as how to organize your child's school work
Hi! I am Janet. I would like to talk to you about ways you can organize your children's school work. Any mother of a preschooler will tell you, the amount of paperwork that comes home from school everyday is astounding. You need to think of your child's paperwork or school work as a business would think of their inventory; how a business puts away things for long-term storage and how a business files things away for short-term storage. You can also think of all the paperwork that your children will bring home over the years in the same way. For preschoolers, they bring home large art projects all of the time. You need to keep a hold of these -- a handle with these. One way to do this is, you can buy portfolio from any art supply store. But you also could make one, or have your children make one as a home project, just with a piece of poster board that you fold in half and tape the sides, then your children can write their name, the year you're saving in this cardboard portfolio or draw a picture on there; then it really becomes their own. That's an easy and very convenient way to save these large art projects. Then when your children get into making 3D art projects, you might want to use a digital camera; this way you can save a picture of their project instead of having to save the actual project. It can be stored on your computer, or you can print out a copy and let your child hang that on a bulletin board. Usually, they are happy with that. Another thing I like to do with my young children's art work is send them to relatives, long distance relatives especially love stuff from the kids. As your children get older, they bring home a lot of spelling tests, math worksheets. Their backpacks can become filled with them. You always want to give your children a place to empty their backpacks of papers they no longer use. A lot of times that can be just a simple box near your landing pad in your home. That way they can empty their backpacks everyday if they would like of all the things that they really don't need. I would suggest that you don't throw these items away very quickly, because once in a while they need to search for something that they have left in the box at home. When you are ready to clean out the box, start from the bottom of the box and work your way up. I always found the best way to go through all the papers was at the end of a year during the summer; then you could look at your child's entire school year and evaluate what you really need to keep. As your children get even older, they need to use a system where they can keep their papers, so that they can study for tests using papers that they have worked in that chapter or set. A great way for that is to give them a file box, having a file for each subject, and they can put their papers in by the subject, and then when they have to study for that math test, they know exactly where to find those papers. It's great also, if they are working on a project; they can organize everything that they are doing in the project -- in this file box, and then they know exactly where the items are when they go back to work on the project days later. The next thing you need for especially an older child, but it's great to start young, is a homework area. Some children like to do their homework in public spaces of the house; they just like to sit at the kitchen table or the dining room table, that's fine. Some children like the privacy of their bedrooms - and thats fine too. Just work with your child and see what they are happiest with. In their homework area is where you should put the file box, so they can store their papers easily. You also need to provide them with school supplies; just extra paper, maybe notebooks, ruler, scissors, markers, pens and pencils. That way they are not hunting all over the house for supplies in order to do their homework. It takes a lot of time and effort to do all of this, but in the end, you would be able to evaluate your children's learning and all their school activities at one time, and find a great way to store them for the future.