One of the most amazing parts of being a parent is reliving your childhood through your children.
I can clearly remember sitting in my first-grade class, my teacher taking my hand and guiding me from one dot to the next in a connect the dots picture. I was rushing through the process and not fully connecting my dots, some things never change.
Taylor, is in first grade and she is definitely not learning how to connect the dots! She is bringing home math homework that I have no idea how to do, and linking verbs, really? What in the world is a linking verb?!
There are wonderful moments while sifting through the papers that your kiddos brings home. There are also OMG moments when you realize there’s a lot of paper!
Do you find yourself taking a quick glance at the papers, setting them aside and then realizing your kitchen counter has becoming a dumping ground of papers!
Are you missing important dates and turning homework in late?
I have worked with numerous families whose #1 daily struggle is staying on top of the endless amounts of paperwork being sent home.
Which is why I’ve developed a Super Simple System to tackle the papers and avoid the pile up.
Let’s dive in…
COMMIT TO TAKING 15 MINUTES EVERY WEEK TO DO THIS!
I like to tackle the, Thursday Folder, as it’s called at our school, before dinner so that if there is anything we need to discuss as a family we can do it while we are all sitting down together. This is also an awesome way to get that good ol’ “what did you do today” conversation flowing beyond “I forget”.
DO NOT MULTITASK WHILE YOU ARE SORTING YOUR PILES!
While us Mom’s think we are the queen of multi-tasking, we’re not! It takes more than 25 minutes, on average, to resume a task after being interrupted. So, if you are interrupted 3 times while sorting the papers, it will take you 1 hr. and 15 min. to complete a task that should only take 10-15 min.
TOUCH IT ONCE AND BE DONE!
Stand near your recycle bin as you sort. This is where the majority of these papers will end up. As you sort make sure you touch each paper once, do not do the paper shuffle. If there are papers you do not need, immediately toss them into the recycle bin.
SORT THE PAPERS INTO 5 DESIGNATED PILES and ACT!
I have identified 5 categories that these papers typically fall under. Your piles may be different. Do what works best for you.
Momma Act On
Kiddo Act On
Art Work/Completed School Work
Here’s a Break Down…
Momma Act On:
These are the papers that require some type of action from Mom/Dad or have dates that you need to remember. The kiddos do not need to be involved in the decision making process.
Flyers with Important Dates
Field Trips You Would Like to Chaperone
Permission Slips to Sign
Once all papers have been sorted into their designated piles, I tackle this pile first. I immediately record any important dates in our calendar and sign any papers that require my John Hancock.
2. Kiddo Act On:
These are any papers that require the kiddo to make a decision.
Joining a Cooking Class or other Extracurricular Activities
Participate in the Science Fair
Jump Rope for Heart
Scholastic Books Orders
These are typically the papers that I like to bring to the dinner table. Chat with your child, make a decision and then recycle the paper.
3. Resource Folder:
This is any information that you may need to keep top of mind or refer back too. You will find that some items from the Kiddo or Momma pile will spill over into this folder.
Spelling Words to be Practiced During the Week
Events that Last an Extended Period of Time
School Fund Raiser Details
Phone Numbers and Emails of Teachers and Parents
Upcoming Extra Curricular Activities or Events (future sign up)