Organizing school papers and homework

Being organized and staying organized means creating a process and making it a habit.  This goes for the children in your home, too.  We are trying to raise independent people and part of that is giving them some responsibility and the result is that our household runs a little more smoothly.  Every day after school, my kids unpack their backpacks.  Usually (OK, almost always) this requires me reminding them.  They take out their snack bags and their lunch boxes and they get dropped on the kitchen counter near the sink.  Their papers in their home/school folder go into their mail slot, (available at The Container Store) and their home/school folder stays in their backpack.  Their backpacks get hung on their hooks in our pseudo mudroom. (I used 3M hooks, and despite my husband’s insistence that they would soon be ripped off the walls, they are still holding strong :) Shoes get deposited into the toy chest turned shoe storage, and coats get hung on coat hooks.

Each child has 2 slots in our school work organizer.  One is for their papers/homework and the other is for their school library books.  Their school library books do not ever leave their slot, unless of course it’s to be read, in which case it immediately gets returned to it’s slot.  (If the book is too large for the slot, it goes on the end table in our family room.  The point is to designate a spot, so on “library” day, they know exactly where their books are.)  Every day I go through their papers and take action on necessary items, talk to them about their other work and then, hold on, get ready… it goes in the trash.  There are some pieces that I intend to keep (like the persuasive letter my son wrote about why he should have a puppy). How to store and organize these items will come in another post.

Our kids are 8, 6 and almost 5, so they don’t get a lot of homework. But they will and they already have busy schedules with activities so we are trying to teach them how to manage their time by setting up routines.  Most days, after we get home from school we have a snack and relax a bit and then we do homework, whether it is teacher assigned worksheets or reading or practicing handwriting or math.  Any work that needs to be returned to school goes back into their school/home folder.  If we are headed straight to an activity right from school, the process just starts when we get home.  So, that is the process in our house to organize the kids’ school work and papers, and (hopefully!) it will become a habit when I don’t have to remind them.

school work organizer