Tuesday, July 12, 2016

our system for filing away school treasures

We haven't gotten to our nifty post-school-filing yet for most kids, but Claire was on-the-job even before school wrapped up.

Each year we sit and sift through the mountains of work the kids drag home in their backpacks.

Art projects and reports spilling out of well-worn folders from months of being carried around in heavy backpacks.  

Notebooks filled to the brim with information carefully written about everything from the three branches American Government to how a cell functions.

And for some reason all that work makes my heart turn to mush.  I imagine them sitting in their desks writing, getting up to sharpen their pencils, their satisfaction with the parts they did well.

Another year complete that has helped formulate their own theories of the world and to better understand the bigger picture.

I find post-school work to be a certain kind of "art."

So I love to have a way to record it and keep it close.

We take pictures of the big stuff we can't really keep, send mountains of stuff to the recycle bin, and file away the stuff we can't live without in our little hanging file folder bins:

Each child gets one to fill up from pre-school and kindergarten to the end of high school..
 ...one hanging folder each year.

(The problem is that Lucy's is already pretty jammed and she just finished third grade...we'll have to work on that one.)

So Claire and I had a good little afternoon reminiscing on her 6th grade year.
Lots of work and creativity went into that last year of elementary school for her!

Here's one of Lucy's projects we had to take a picture of before it headed to the trash:
I can't get enough of that writing and coloring.

She sure worked hard on that sucker.

Some day we'll get to all the other stashes of papers waiting to be sorted, but every year I'm grateful for my friend Nichole for such a great idea to help store away all those grand memories.

More about post-school filing back HERE and HERE and HERE.


  1. I just wanted to say thank you for this great idea to file and keep schoolwork. Even if I have only one child we can't keep everything from school. (And thank you for posting from your life that is so very different fom mine. You seem to be agreat mum!)

  2. We have a similar system, except we use 1 rubbermaid bin and 1/2 inch binders. I have found that some kids are ready to do this the day after school lets out and others need to wait several weeks before they are less attached to the work they did and can stand to see it recycled. Also, all of those projects you took pictures of? We make ours into small books (blurb.com) so the kids can look at them whenever they want (often during sacrament meeting).

  3. Hi Shawni, My name is Laura Betts and I live in Utah. I have read your blog for years and I love it. I feel like I know you and your family (that sounds a little stalkerish :) ). I couldn't see a place to send you an email, so I thought I would just write a comment. My sister and her family are moving from Alberta Canada, to live in the Gilbert area. They are moving just in time for their kids to start school. They have 4 kids, ranging from 16-5. Their oldest daughter is going to be a Junior at the high school your kids attend. They are all very nervous. They are coming from a small town and this is extremely overwhelming for all of them. They are an amazing family and I was hoping that there might be a chance that you could email her and offer any advice about the area and the school. The other kids will be going to the American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek. Her email is theggie3@gmail.com . They are a great family! I thought you might have some insight on adjusting to life in a new Country. Thanks for your amazing blog!

  4. this has been a lifesaver for us! :)


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