We all know kids bring home A LOT of papers from school. From school information and policies at the beginning of the year to school work and newsletters each week. If you don’t have a system in place to take care of this type of paperwork you end up with a big cluttered mess of papers everywhere and it gets quickly out of control. If you need to reference an important paper, good luck finding it!
Today, I am sharing with you my system I have set up to organize and take care of all that necessary paperwork. I have 3 kiddos. One is in second grade this year, one in pre-k and the baby is starting preschool 2 days a week.
I have a built in centralized desk area in my home with cabinets and that’s where all the important things go. I love having a centralized area that I can sit down and do work at while still being with the kids and also having a space dedicated to school paperwork and information that is easily accessible.
Here is what my desk area looks like. The cabinet on the right is my “school/info” cabinet.
Opening it up I utilize the cabinet door to put up a school lunch menu and the kids school calendars. I just attached cork board to the inside of the door and thumbtack those papers on. The cabinet door area is for papers/calendars I want to see for quick reference. I don’t like to have paper cluttering up my walls or refrigerator so I love utilizing the inside of cabinet doors.
The bottom of the cabinet stores my info binders, planners and notebooks. The middle shelf has paper trays for each child where their school paperwork is stored. The top shelf isn’t used much but school workbooks sent home or extra school supplies go up there.
The most important tool for organizing school papers is the Kids School Parent Binder. This binder is for my reference only. The kids rarely need to access this.
Let’s jump in and I will show you how I set my kids school binder up.
First thing I have in the binder is a hole punch that I use to punch papers to place them in the binder. Next, I have a zipper pouch I use for money that could be for field trips, t-shirt orders etc. I also have a plastic pouch for any small things that just need a place.
I have 5 main dividers.
- Calendar: I have a blank calendar sheet where I can write in things myself to help plan and also keep track of absences or tardys. I also have my kids school district calendar.
- To-Do: This is where things go that needs attention. Whether it be field trip forms, order forms etc. Things that need to go out goes in here.
- Each Child (I have 3): Each child has their own section of the binder where all of their information goes. I have them broken down in sub-categories to help keeps these items more organized and easy to locate.
Each Child’s Sub- Categories-
- School Info: Where all info regarding school and classroom policies go. You know, all that paperwork you receive at the beginning of the school year.
- Monthly Calendar: This is where the school or classroom monthly calendar is filed when not in use on the inside of the cabinet door.
- Newsletter: The school and/or classroom weekly or monthly newsletters are placed in here.
- Report card: For progress reports and report cards.
- Health: Doctor physicals and immunizations records are filed here. Sports activities and some schools require them so they are here for easy access.
- Activities: Any info pertaining to extra activities goes in here. For my daughter it’s cheer and gymnastics, for my older son it’s baseball.
- Other: I have an other tab where things can go if it doesn’t exactly pertain to any of the other categories.
I created a cute binder cover for my kids school binder and I am sharing it with you for free if you’d like to create your own binder! Click DOWNLOAD below to download the binder cover file and print your own. For best results, print on white card stock.
When they get home from school first thing they are to do is put their back pack/school bag in their locker in the mudroom, take off their shoes then wash their hands. Next, they empty their bag putting their lunch box and water bottle in the kitchen and placing their papers from school on my desk. Whether it be just a stack of papers, notebook, folder or journal. However their teacher does it.
Then it’s my turn. I go through the papers and sign anything that is required and place those items back in the backpack. The papers that need to stay home are separated into school work or important papers. The school work goes into a paper tray that each kids has dedicated to them in the cabinet. Once that tray gets full we go through it and trash things we don’t need to keep and file the work we want to keep for memories. The papers we want to keep goes into that child’s school memory box with a file folder for each year. If you’d like to see how organize my kids school memory box click here. The important papers that need to be kept for reference are placed in my kids school binder in the appropriate divider as I explained above.
That’s it! We have a pretty good routine set in place and it works. I have been using this type of kids school binder for over 2 years now and it’s easy to keep up with it. Hope this helped out and gave you some ideas on how to organize your kids school paperwork!!
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