Organizing all the school stuff is a bit overwhelming. I have found a system that works for me and thought I'd share it. Take as little or as much as you want and find something that works for you. The most important element is to start with THIS year and work back. Don't try and go all the way back to the beginning, you will end up frastrated!
This is what my piles look like RIGHT NOW. Creating Keepsakes sold these wonderful school kits a couple of years ago and I bought 2! That is probably one of the best kits I ever bought. But, you don't have to have a fancy kit to get started. Just get any kind of folder. You could even get a manilla file folder (I would staple the sides so that there is an opening only at the top so stuff doesn't fall out when you pick it up). When I go through their backpacks everyday I don't keep everything. I don't even keep alot. Most of the everyday school worksheets go in the trash.(I know...gasp!) I try to keep at least 1 spelling test and some writing samples for them to compare to later on. But, here is what I keep...
1. Creative stories
2. Pictures created by them
3. Letters from teachers
4. All certificates and diplomas (these go into a seperate folder)
5. Programs, letters from school friends, some invites, valentines, etc.
6. Just about anything with their handwriting
The inside of the pocket looks like this..
I keep way more than I'm going to use. I go through it again and scan in some of the bigger items to fit on the page. For instance, if they bring home a 16x12 piece that has a picture on top and a story below it, I cut it in half and then scan and shrink it. After you scan it you can put it back on top of each other on your page. Or here...
I wanted to use this program but didn't want it to take up most of my 12x12 page. So I scanned it in and shrunk it down to about 3x5.
I also shrink my pictures down in Photoshop. I just open up a 4x6 canvas and add 2 pictures to that canvas. I save the image and send it off to Shutterstock. When I get it back I cut it and use the little pictures on my page. I get alot more stuff on my page when I shrink it down. This is what they look like when they are done in Photoshop...
Some items I keep in their original form like this Abe Lincoln piece R did.
I thought it was absolutely adorable. So, I just put it right onto my 12x12 layout. I use all kinds of sizes and shapes on my pages. There really is no rhyme or standard. I do try to balance out the pages though. I use lots of square and rectangle sizes for my pictures for continuity.
For every grade I keep the 12x12 layouts kind of similar. The first page has an 8x10school picture. I also add their daily schedule and the school name, year, etc.. On page 2 or 3 I always write a letter to my children. In the letter I highlight favorite activities, things they said that made me smile, and talk about their friends. I am really big on journaling. During the year if something comes up that I think I might forget I just write it down on scratch paper and stick it in the folder. I have lots of scribbly notes later, but at least they are there. I then go through them and include them in my letter. If you don't write it down YOU WILL FORGET IT!!!
In my albums I house the 12x12 pockets, 8 1/2 x11 page protectors with art work that I wanted to keep individually stored and 12x12 pages. I like using the different sizes, it adds a little interest. You don't have to scrapbook everything, just stick it in a page protector!
Once all this stuff is sorted and put together it is a lot of fun to look at over and over. Trust me the process isn't really all that bad. I got both of my kids' books caught up to this year last summer. Preschool too! :) Just remeber start this year and go back. Sort a little at a time. Oh! I almost forgot...I do keep a folder on my computer labeled "school pictures". This is where I sort and keep all the pictures that I use on my 12x12 layouts. So, the papers and misc. items are only part 1 of the process...I'll go into that on my next post, K?
Start sorting and have fun! When in doubt, keep it and move on. When you start scrapping, you will sort it even more.
This is what the album looks like when it's all done, I have 2 grades so far in this album...
I can fit 3-4 grades in one album. I keep LOTS of stuff though. So, it will just depend on what you want to keep. I use We R Memory Keepers 12x12 leather albums. Blue for my son, purple for my daughter. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or you can comment below.