Parenting Tips: School Projects and Clutter

Items needed: photo album, color printer, photo paper, digital camera

In our household children and clutter go hand in hand. I do my best to keep ahead of the paperwork coming home but it can become overwhelming.

On the same thought, children put a lot of work (and sometimes glitter) into their school projects. In the house it can create a mess and a build up of projects. I want to create an environment that acknowledges their creativity but also doesn't overrun the rest of us with egg cartons and shoe box dioramas.

At the beginning of each school year I give my children an empty photo album just for school projects. We set a time limit that each project will be "on display" in our house. Our time limit is one week after the school presentation takes place. Of course if family is coming to visit then we will postpone so our children can demonstrate for the grandparents.

We make a big deal when it is time to take the photos. Take as many angles as necessary and let the child select a few that summarizes their special project.

My thought is that it helps the child focus on what is important to him/her while acknowledging a job well done. It also strengths the idea that pictures.

You do not have to limit the photo album to just projects but charts, artwork and that special A+ on a math test. I usually slip a few plastic 8 1/2x11 sheet protectors in the back of the album for other memories.

Have fun!

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