Well here it is. My last instalment of the Back To School Series. And it is all about how I organise school work.
This little system of ours has been working famously for about 3 years now, and I would love to show you what we have done.
It has been so much fun sharing how both Hailey and I organise everything school related, but all good things must come to an end, so enjoy this last instalment on for our Back to School Series.
Earlier Hailey took a look back at what we have covered so far in terms of school organisation. If you missed any of these posts click the links below to jump back and take a peek.
Today I will be showing you how I organise and keep track of my son’s school work. This has been working for us for about 3 years now, and we are continuing on with this again in 2017.
Since starting high school, Zac has been bringing home a little less of the artwork that was very prevalent in primary school. And he now brings home a lot more notes. Handouts from class, notes written in class, and a bit of homework also.
Keeping track of this work was a priority for me. Zac is not the most motivated child when it comes to organisation. If it was up to him, his English notes would end up with Science, the History notes would be nowhere to be found, and he would never, ever have homework. Of course.
So we needed a system that was easy to access. If it wasn’t easy to access, he wouldn’t use it. It needed to be simple to use. Again, the harder to use the less it gets used. And fast. Lets face it, teenage boys have far more important things to do than keep track of their school and homework.
So we came up with a simple system using a suspension file box, and suspension files.
It was really quick and easy to set up, and of course, there was plenty of room to expand as the year went on and more and more notes came home. It also sat perfectly on my washing machine so accessibility wasn’t an issue either.
How I created this system
I had a bit of trouble finding where you could buy one of these now. But luckily located it at Australia Post which you can find here. Originally I started with a file storage box that I borrowed from my dad, which had a lid. I loved the idea of everything being hidden away and looking nice and tidy, however Zac was stacking everything on top of the lid rather than putting it away. So it had to go.
I then added a suspension file for each subject. There is also one for his diary and timetables, which as it turns out, the school is still using this year after all.
I loved the J. Burrows coloured suspension files from Officeworks, which you can find here.
And lastly we pulled out our trusty labeller and added the name tags for each subject, as well as a name label on each of his folders.
This year our old labeller died! Although we haven’t re-labelled the tabs for his file box, we used this new one that we purchased to label everything else. It is fantastic. And while it was a little more expensive than the regular one we had, it was well worth the money. It does two lined labels, lots of different fonts, frames and so much more. I know that this labeller is going to be doing a lot of work this year. You can find this here.
So this is what we ended up with.
Every afternoon when Zac comes home from school, he removes all items from his school bag. His lunchbox and drink bottle go to the kitchen. Dirty sport clothes go in the laundry basket. And all schoolwork is put on the table. From there, we determine if he has any homework. This is usually written in his diary, but I always ask as well, just in case he forgot to write it in. It happens!
If he does have homework, we leave those notebooks out until the homework is completed. The rest of his notes are sorted into the suspension files that correspond with that subject. Any loose notes or worksheets are dropped straight in the file folder too. At the end of each week, I ask Zac to go through and tidy his notes. Loose pages are stuck into books, notes that were completed on his computer can stay there, however I do like to see that he is completing his work.
And that is pretty much it. Simple, effective and easy to use.
The Best Part:
For me, the best part about this system, is at the end of the year, when I am sorting through his notes deciding what to keep and what to toss, everything is already grouped in its subject.
The pile at the back is what is going from 2016, and the small pile in front, is what I am keeping. I have to be happy with that.
Now, I have to confess here, I am not up to date with sorting all of Zac’s schoolwork for every year. In fact, I have only sorted the notes from the past 3 years, since using this system. The rest are in a plastic box, labelled with the year, the teacher and the class, and put away in my buffet and hutch. I can honestly say it was only this year that I was able to be so ruthless, in what I kept. I literally threw everything out apart from certificates, reports, and one or two of his assessment tasks that he had created a product for that was really innovative. The rest was trashed.
In all seriousness, there is no way Zac is ever going to want 15 years of schoolwork. So by being ruthless, I was able to eliminate a world of angst and only keep the best of the best. And the goal is, to do the same with all of his previous years work.
I hope this helps when deciding how you might want to keep your child’s school work organised. It really has been a successful way for us to stay on top of it all.
Thanks again for joining Hailey and I on our Back to School journey, and stay tuned for lots more ways that I am keeping An Organised Home.