What to keep and toss from your child's school stuff

Now that summer vacation is here, parents are faced with the challenge of sorting through the stack of papers, crafts, supplies and such that our little students come home with at the end of the year. Most of us push that task aside for a while, but at some point, we have to deal with all those papers before the kids go back to school in the fall.

And since we can’t possibly keep every craft they create and every perfect homework sheet they do, here’s a list of what to keep and what to chuck from that pile of school stuff.

To toss:

  • Homework sheets - Even if your kid got a 100 on it, throw away all the photocopied worksheets. There are just too many of these to hold onto.
  • Old school supplies, unless they’re in great shape - You’ll want to get new supplies for next year, so out with the old, unless they’re in pristine condition.
  • Non-special crafts - Yeah, we get it, they’re all special, but you can’t keep them all. So pick a few of your favorites and if you’re feeling guilty, take photos of all the projects before you toss them, so you have a digital copy.
  • Time-stamped school correspondence - You can get rid of all those forms about last year’s school calendar, field trips, and fundraisers.

To keep:

  • Some special crafts - Sure, you love them all, but just pick a few to hold onto forever.
  • Report cards and standardized test scores - One day your kid might want to see all of them.
  • A couple of writing samples - You and your child will enjoy looking at how their handwriting, spelling, and vocabulary have improved from grade to grade.
  • Notes to their future selves - If you have anything predicting their future jobs and lives, keep it for sure.
  • Forms about the upcoming school year - You’ll want to start off the year being as organized as possible, so put these where you can find them at the end of the summer.


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