This past weekend our family parted, Matt taking our oldest on their annual summer camping and hiking trip while I stayed home with the littler ones. We started our Saturday with stop at a local office supply store to check off the list of necessary school supplies, it’s a ritual I love. All the pencils and markers and glue sticks and pen cases in bright colors, all fresh and new and ready for Monday morning.
I was especially lazy over the summer, paying no mind to the piles of paperwork leftover from last year that required sorting. But it’s August again and if I’m not equipped to handle the new school and sport schedules and looming homework assignments, it makes me crazy. So I spent two full days organizing and filing and readying the house for the fall semester.
I toss the kids’ school papers in a big drawer during the year after I’ve weeded through the weekly stash, but then I always have to purge once more. I find a few months of emotional separation from the previous grade (and the excitement of the new one) helps me sort through it all and keep only what’s funny, special, or shows their academic progress.
I use these canvas storage bins to compress two grades of work for each child into one place. They’re sturdy and large enough to hold that oversized artwork and I can store them away in the window seat in the study.
Last year, I made several improvements to our house to accommodate our family’s busy schedule that includes soccer, tae kwon do, swim team, and homework – I use this armoire in the family room where the computer and internet access can be supervised.
Inside I keep my “mom binder” filled with their calendars, schedules, classroom policies, school contacts, and computer login information in a binder for quick reference. I swear by this method of having it all in one place, it totally keeps me sane.
I was a on a roll, I also organized the junk drawer, and thankfully it wasn’t nearly as bad as last year. I credit these organizers and I was able to return it to this glowing state within an hour filled with a fresh supply of pens, pencils, rubber bands, and all those other teeny tiny things that need a place of their own.
We came to the conclusion over the summer that it’s better to separate our kids for their homework sessions. I used to have them do it together in the kitchen but after a few rounds of squabbling we decided separate is best for greater concentration.
Now the second grader is assigned to do his homework at the breakfast peninsula near me in the kitchen, since I work on my laptop there in the afternoon. The fourth grader is around the corner in the study in her new homework station. More pics of this space makeover here.
I’m curious, how do you handle homework in your household? At the dining room or kitchen table? Do your kids do homework in their rooms? How do you manage paperwork to keep your household organized and running efficiently during the school year? Do share your tips!