Thursday, August 16, 2012

Be Prepared for School: Back to School Organizer

We are wrapping up our second week of school already.
I grew up not starting school until after Labor Day,
so I can barely wrap my head around this concept of school in early August.

Last years organizer

Every year I make a
Back to School Organizer
(I shared it last year on Meremade)

I do not make my binder pretty and cute -
for me this project is about function,
but I can imagine them all dressed up.
In fact, I may just make a fancy one with Duct Tape this year

I am perpetually disorganized, so I am just getting around to putting together our School Organizers. These very EASY organizers are actually more than just for school they are for life.

Joe's original Preschool binder (2005)

When I had one kiddo, I could keep it all straight in my head...but with 2 in school...not a chance! So, while I have been doing this since my son started preschool, back then it was for memory it is necessity.

Again, let me reiterate that you can jazz these guys up as much as you want. I chose to keep mine simple. It is all personal preference!

It does not seem like it was that long ago Joe started preschool!

Here is how I keep my kids school/activity/sports schedules on track
(and more importantly me on track) !
Supplies (per binder):
  • 3 ring binder. I like a minimum of 2" 1-2 packages (I can always find these at Goodwill for like $2.00)
  • Clear sheet protectors
  • Tabbed dividers

1.  I like the clear view binders, so that on the cover, I can insert the school year schedule (info at a glance!)

2.  I also include a sheet in the front with a copy of the emergency info and all necessary school numbers/email...just in case my hubby needs to be updated or I am out of town, etc.

3.  Label each binder with the kiddos name - I just simply used stickers to put their names on the spine.
4.  Determine your categories.

My son's categories:

  • School Year Calendar
  • School Policy/Rules/Info
  • Class Information/Rules/Info (we need a section for EACH class in Middle School), Activities
  • Sports (also subdivided as different sports begin)
  • Mementos/Memories
  • Boy Scouts

My daughter's needs are simpler, it is Kindergarten after all!

  • School Year Calendar
  • School Policy/Rules/Info
  • Class Information/Rules/Info
  • Activities
  • Sports (also subdivided as different sports begin)
  • Art/Mementos/Memories (I save anything with hand or feet prints!)

5.  Slide the pertinent information into sheet protectors and insert in the correct section.

I like to keep about 5 extra empty sheet protectors in each section to make it easy to slip new info in. 

And that is it! Easy Peasy.

You want to know my favorite part of this...
apart from not forgetting anything or losing important paperwork...

I discover cute things like this:
my son and daughter's self-portraits
(same age, same school, 6 years apart!

 How do you stay organized during the school year...
I am open to any and all help!
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  1. I love this idea! Quincy and Clara start preschool next week (Hallelujah!) and I'm chronically disorganized...this would help so much! And I like the idea of having all of their cute keepsakes together in the binder.

    How is kindergarten going? For both of you? :)

  2. Oh how I miss homeschooling my children. They are in college now, but those were the best of days. Each year I made them folders like this. So glad you shared it for others to learn.
    Have a fun year.

  3. Oh my gosh, I have one in college and two in high school, and I STILL haven't mastered the organization! One thing that HAS worked pretty well are brief daily after school "meetings". They update me on HW, projects, due dates, school activities -- I plug everything into my planner. I update them on the family schedule, make suggestions, and set my expectations. This helps all of us stay on the same page (for the most part!). They only last about 5 minutes per kid and are WELL worth it!
    Wish I'd had your binder idea about 14 years ago!
    xo Heidi

  4. AH.. a woman after my own heart...sitting down to do this next week!! :)

  5. I love this idea! VERY clever. This would be so helpful especially with ds crazy schedule and adding dd to the mix. Thanks!


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