My 6 year old DD thinks she needs to keep every scrap of paper that the school sends home. How can I get her to realize that this is way too much to keep and help her minimize her paper stack? I have explained to her that it is way too much to collect, and we just don't have the room. We live in a small 2 bedroom apartment on an extremely tight budget and cannot afford to buy storage containers for her to keep the stuff in.
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My son is the same way. I keep an accordion folder with the months of the year on my desk. I put ALL of his papers in it by month. At the end of the semester, I go through them with him and we decide which ones to keep longer. I do this again at the end of the year with all the months. He usually relinquishes about 1/2 - 3/4 of them.
My grand daughter lives with her mom in a small one bedroom apartment & had the same problem (saving every paper she did) So I went to the dollar store & bought some colorful plastic clothes pins & I took 2 pushpins & some yarn (or rope). I hung about 4 feet of yarn horizontally between the 2 pushpins on the wall. To make a sort of "clothes line". We hung her pictures on the "line" with colorful plastic clothes-pins.
This is her very own art display & it takes up no room at all because it just hangs on the wall next to her bed & will only hold 5 or so pictures. When you make the "art line" you'll need to tell her that for every picture she hangs up, she has to take one down. (because of the obvious lack of room on the line) If you like you can make a two tiered clothes line.... (one on top of the other) which will hold more.
As far as the artwork in the basket. You might buy a pretty folder with her name on it or use a fancy box, & decide on a number, say 30 for example, & when she gets over 30, she needs to decide which one to get rid of to be able to add a new one to the bunch. If you do this at the same time you hand up the "art-line" she will know you are so proud of her work, you want to display it & maybe she will be more receptive to letting go of the rest. Tell her if she want's to use the art-line, the rule is: She HAS to get rid of most of the work in her overflowing basket & decide on a more manageable number of papers to keep.
* I was in the very same situation myself, way back when... I lived in a super-tiny place & every time, I brought home another dress or outfit from the thrift store, my boyfriend would highly encourage me to give another outfit away.... I didn't like it, but it sure worked!
One more idea is to get a large piece of poster board & make a collage of her favorite older work. This way she can cut up pieces of her work into fun shapes & glue them to the poster board. Well... at least that's one way to get her to let go of her proud accomplishments & display them at the same time.
I have been saving my daughters school papers since she started preschool at age 3 and she is now 8. I make sure the papers are dated and punch holes in them and then place them in a three ring binder. For larger art projects or those items you can't put in a binder I put them in a box/plastic container that fits under the bed.
other than art work, maybe she is fearful that she needs these papers...if that is the case, get the teacher to tell her that she only needs to keep them from one report card to the next. Teachers are always right at her age.
I keep my grand daughters that way, because I have had several instances where the teacher claimed she did not turn in her work, as there was no grade in the lesson book. I found out what she was supposedly missing and located the papers and turned them in myself.
Teacher's are NOT perfect.
Once you are an adult, you know this fact, or should
Each night when my girls come home from school I put their daily papers in a shirt gift box - like the kind you find at Christmas to wrap shirts in. It usually takes 2 boxes to get through a school year for us. Then at the end of the year you can decide if you want to keep the ones from the year before. It doesn't take up much space to keep one years worth.
If you have a scanner, you could keep the papers on file in your computer. Your daughter could look at them from time to time if she needed to.
Thank You for all the great ideas. This really helps!
I would try to "nip this in the bud" right now if you can.
I made the mistake of saving every paper my daughter brought home from school.
I have 3 kids that love to bring all their artwork home. I have blue tacked a huge piece of white butchers paper in each of their rooms for them to stick favourite bits of work onto. At the end of each term we take all the artworks down and choose 5 or 6 pieces to go into a large scrapbook or to be scanned onto the computer for future looking at. My husband is in the process of putting up large corkboards in the kids rooms. I put up the butchers paper in the family room at Christmas and easter time when the kids like to go keeps of craft. We then pick 2 special pieces for each child at the end of the season and I have a special scrapbook for Christmas and easter craft masterpieces.
Having had a mom that never saved anything, tossing all my tiny treasures the minute I left the room or home, I became the way some of you describe as how a child will turn out unless you moms toss it. I cannot tell you why this hurt me so much. Perhaps because I had a low self-esteem then, perhaps because our home was too empty and boring to a child, colorless and cold, like a museum? Perhaps because my mother wasn't truly interested in me?
I believe a nice balance can be achieved, each piece "graded" and the best ones kept. This way the child is motivated to do the best work, and thinks that mom cares, even if the mom is bored. It truly is heart-warming to look back over the things a child has obviously worked very hard to achieve, even if meaningless on the surface. Many are laughable to grandchildren if made by their parents when they were young. Take the time to date each "best paper".
What is useless to adults may be priceless to a child. Perhaps it is a paper the teacher bragged about the most. Perhaps it is the day the child FINALLY began to get a subject correct, a momentous occasion for
a tiny one.
Packrats often become inventors, scientists, engineers, Nobel prize winners, and most made it through the Great Depression, remember.
There is a much better way to help a child than to toss most of their schoolwork. Make a special drawer, decorate a "BEST WORK" box, fill the door of the fridge with art and magnets. Life is too short and every child deserves as much love, attention, and encouragement he/she can get, don't you agree?
Knick-Knacks are one thing, old dusty newspapers and rags are another, all clutter, but a child's handiwork is the product of their "JOB", ie, the successful learning process and it's accomplishments.
It isn't too much to ask to find a way to keep only the better work, telling the child that you will only keep lesser papers if they can prove to you why you should keep them. Chances are that unless they know why, those are the papers that can go into the "later box", which you can then toss slowly, one by one, when the child is at school at the end of a month's collection, not making a fuss about them needing to be tossed.
They will be grown so much sooner than you think. They won't remember how crowded their home was. Treating them and their few possessions/paperwork with respect will have a greater lesson than whether or not they become packrats. It will teach them consideration for others and other's belongings; honor in pursuing their best work. It will motivate them to become the best person they can, "to be like my mom who did her best to show her love to me." God bless and show you His way. : )
Some people are just naturally "pack Rats''.They really have a hard time throwing anything out. Since you are in such a small place, you have no choice but to limit the amount of papers your child keeps. I liked the idea of the clothes line across the wall. I think you and your child should sit down on a regular basis and go through the schoolwork together. This could be a bonding time. Maybe the two of you could decorate a box for the keep papers, then at the end of the year go through and weed out as much as you can without hurting your child's feelings. This will help her later in life as well.
I took pictures of all her artwork and arranged in a photo album-or you could yse the pictures in a scrapbook using some of her art work
Why not spread some out, and have her sit near them and snap a picture. She can then send some to Grandma or take some to a nursing home.
My kids were not especially interested in saving their papers but I saved some of them. I saved the drawings mostly. Now that they are grown they love the idea that I saved the papers. They also loved the few baby clothes I saved from each. It says love. You can't save everything but try to save something. My mother saved nothing either. She threw our toys away when we were at school.
I have one of those wand scanners from HSN and it's great for scanning and keeping papers you just feel you might need a copy of someday. Perhaps you can just scan her papers and then put them on a dvd or cd for her and/or use them as a screen saver and she'll have them forever and if she ever wants them she can print them out!
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