School Papers: What to Keep, What to Toss

I’ve found it helpful to create criteria for what school papers to keep in the memory box and what to let go of. I stick to that criteria as closely as possible.

My children are 10, 8, and 5. The kinds of papers they bring home have changed over the years, and I’ve had to shift my criteria with them. Here are the guidelines I use.

KIDS’ PAPERS I SAVE: -Handprint/footprint artwork -Paintings/drawings that show some skill -Quality photographs from the teacher

Preschool Years

KIDS’ PAPERS I DON’T SAVE: -Coloring pages -Cut/glue worksheets -Bulky items -Anything with glitter -Notes from friends

KIDS’ PAPERS I SAVE: -Quality writing assignments -Artwork that shows creativity/skill -Certificates or Awards -Report Cards

Elementary Years

KIDS’ PAPERS I DON’T SAVE: -Worksheets -90% of tests -Notes from the school nurse -School correspondence -Old workbooks

Once you have your criteria or guidelines set, enact them right away. If something comes out of a folder and isn’t keep-worthy, recycle it ASAP. 

Act on School Papers Immediately

My goal for the memory boxes is to capture who my children are for that snippet in time. If I save too much, none of it will be meaningful because there will just be too much.

The Goal of the Memory Box

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