Monday, February 9, 2009

School Paperwork ! How to keep it under control. 2009.Feb.09

School Paperwork.

How to keep it under control.

Are you buried in school paperwork ? Are you rushing around in the morning for a pen to sign some form that "But it has to be in TODAY Mom !" ?

We have a whole after school routine which I will go into detail about in a future blog. However, part of this routine is that they have to empty their backpacks of all papers and agendas and they are to be placed in a big wire basket in designated spot our kitchen. Right next to this great wire basket I have a pen and pencil cup holder filled with working pens and sharpened pencils. I cannot stand hunting for pen that works to sign notes and the kids searching for a pencil to do homework. Next to the pen and pencil cup holder is a pencil sharpener too !

It is their job to get all their agendas, weekly school newsletters, monthly newsletter from their teachers, notes, paperwork, forms, everything into this basket right after school before doing anything else.

It is my job to go through these and do whatever needs to be done with them before they go off to school the next morning.

So, I read agendas and sign them and return to backpacks first because often they need to look at their agendas to help them remember what they need to do for homework.

I sign any notes, permission slips, or fill out book orders. If there is any money involved, I put the cash or check with the form in a ziploc sandwich baggy so there isn't money floating around their backpacks to get lost. If a form is not due for a week or two, I fill it out right away and just do it. No point in trying to remember when it needs to be turned in and waste your precious mommy brain space - just fill these out right away - don't delay !

I take any important reminder notes and put them on our big communication bulletin board that is in our kitchen with our huge family calendar (more on that later too !). I write down any important events to remember like field trips and school pictures on our family calendar so I am not surprised that they are going on a field trip a particular morning because I have seen it on the calendar all along.

There usually are papers left over that don't go back. I keep them in this wire basket until I decide if they need to be kept or put somewhere else.

I used to have a basket for each of my 3 children. Now, I have streamlined it to just one basket for all of them. Then I am limiting my back-up of paperwork to just one basket and how hard it is to look in one basket for all three kids? So, my lesson was having a basket for each kid was just too organized.

So, run out and get a wire basket, a pen cup hold, a box of pens, a box of pencils, and a pencil sharpener and set up your school paperwork station !

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