Saturday, November 29, 2008

What to Do With Your Kid's School Paraphenalia

Let's be clear. I don't scrapbook. If I did, my scrapbooks would consist of empty books with a pile of photos and other stuff on top of them. I know this because I DO make books that contain school memorabilia for each of my kids.

These may sound like scrapbooks to you, but I don't make a whole lot of effort to make them attractive. Basically, if something comes home from school that I want to keep, or if I take a photo of something school related, I either glue or staple it into the book and call it done.

I do this largely because when I was growing up, my mom had a little book with two pages for each grade. On one side was a pocket in which you were supposed to put report cards and other items like that. On the other side, you put your class photo.

I loved this book as a child and wanted to create something similar. Hence the "school books" I put together for my kids.

Mostly this involves a box in my closet, into which I toss everything that needs to go into the book. Periodically I will sit down and sort it all out and put it all in the books.

On Thanksgiving I decided to sit down and work through my stack. Said stack dated back to January. You can see the stack in the foreground here, in the Office Depot box. The school books are in the back. I paste their school photo on the front each year.


I sorted the pile by child, with a different pile for artwork to go into my artwork boxes. Plus I made a pile for "things to deal with later" and put that back into the original box.

This is a photo of all the items after they were sorted. No really. It is.


Those green expanding files are where I keep selected art. I obviously don't keep everything, and there would be too much to paste into the school book, so I have a file for each kid.

Then I sat down and started with the smallest pile—Quinn's. I organized it into chronological order and started gluing and stapling. I put things like emails from the teacher, photos of class celebrations, certificates of achievement, and "special artwork" into the book.

Here's a sample page from Jack's book:


I didn't really get rid of anything, unless you count used up glue sticks, and I don't, but I did a lot of organizing. And when my kids are 18 and leaving for college, I can pull out these books, look at how cute they were, and be happy that I spent a couple of hours once or twice a year putting them together.

10 comments:

practiceliving said...

This is a fantastic idea! When I 'graduated' from Grade 7, my mum gave me a huge binder like this, that documented all of elementary school. It's one of my most precious belongings!

BetteJo said...

Oh, you're such a good mom!!!

*m* said...

I make photo scrapbooks for my kids (not the super fancy kind), and they do love to look at them. You -- and they -- will be so happy to have these days documented years from now.

Dawn said...

What kids of books do you use for this? I need to do something like it!

Stimey said...

I use books that I got at Michael's craft store. The ones I use are probably 12"x18" or so, but you can use any size or shape book. I like the bigger size so that I can display whole pieces of paper vertically or horizontally.

Thrift Store Mama said...

These are really cute. I used to be a hard core scrapbooker - and haven't done but 8 pages in the past 3 years. This might me a way better alternative.

Threeundertwo said...

I've got the boxes full of unsorted stuff. Guess I need to take the next step!

I have tons of oversized artwork. maybe I should just take pictures of it and let it go.

Manic Mommy said...

I thought I was doing a good job getting a rubbermaid bin for each year. You put me to shame!

Seriously, what a great idea! I may actually try this...

Anonymous said...

You sound like a "closet scrapbooker" to me. Watch out or you might join the dark side....

~C

WkSocMom said...

Oh those are awesome. We've kept so fricken much in random boxes. i tried to get my son to create his own book, but he pretty much puts one single photo and 800 stickers per page, and the project stuff is still in lots of boxes and piles. Every once in a while I try to throw some stuff away, and live in fear my husband catches me, which happened once.

When they were littler I got rid of stuff by putting it all in a photo album and mailing it off to grandma.