Homeschool Tips Column, July 6, 2011

A homeschooler recently asked me, “What on earth did you do with all your kids’ school papers?”  During our twenty years of homeschooling we usually threw completed papers into boxes for sorting later.  At one point there was so much set aside I felt like Old Mother Hubbard, except it wasn’t having so many children I didn’t know what to do, I had so many boxes I didn’t know what to do!

Had the boxes merely included papers, it wouldn’t have been so bad.  They did not.  We had also saved art projects, models, science projects, display boards, shadow boxes, etc.  Multiplied by two children, that’s a lot of stuff.

Two other homeschool moms attempted to help me.  One of them, highly organized,  routinely discarded all but two assignments per subject for each of her four children.  She kept scrupulous records of everything they accomplished each school day and managed to pre-plan all her assignments!  Not I.

Another friend took a look at our boxes, saying, “Why don’t you take pictures of all these projects, date them, and store the photos instead of the stuff.”   Eureka!  This solution fit disorganized, on-the-go, eclectic me.

I have photos of our daughter patiently holding up hand-lettered signs, standing by each of her K-6th grade projects.  We dated each sign, using bold block letters stating what the project was, and then I snapped a picture.  This mollified our daughter, and caused my husband great relief because shortly thereafter I threw everything else away.

So what was my answer to the homeschooler?  First, if you’re well organized like my first friend, go for it.  With my blessings.  I will stand in awe.  If, however, you are more like I was, I highly recommend the second friend’s solution.

Now, if I could just find those pictures…

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