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It’s August …that means we are in full back-to-school mode. It’s both an exciting and frustrating time. I look forward to this season each year because it feels like a new beginning. There is just so much to plan for and anticipate.
As a mother, I also know the importance of getting organized for the upcoming school year. I can’t tell you how many times I have procrastinated about preparing. I would put it off until I was knee deep in school forms, field trips, doctor appointments, and PTA meetings.
That won’t be you this year …right!
Because I’ve got you covered. We homemakers have got to stick together.
Now, I know that some of the kiddos go back to school sooner than others, depending on where you live. If your child has already gone back to school, don’t worry, you still have time to get organized.
I’ve written this post to go along with the theme for all the posts this month. Organization and preparing for back-to-school. Yay! Here’s what we’ve covered so far. Establishing our back to school routine, getting prepared with meal planning, and homeschooling on a budget.
This week it’s all about getting your children’s school binders all set-up and ready to go.
I’ve been doing school binders for quite a while with my kiddos. I find it a beautiful and practical way to keep all of the memorabilia from their school year, as well as important records.
I use to keep one for each school year but quickly found that having more than one binder took up a LOT of space and seemed to be one huge eye-sore. I switched to keeping one binder per child with sections for each grade during the elementary years.
This seems to work out better because it forces me to make decisions about what will be kept and what will be discarded.
This same method can also be used for middle school and high school. I’m just covering the elementary binder in detail for the purpose of our conversation.
TIP: I don’t recommend combining both middle school and high school into the same binder, you will definitely need two separate binders because you will more than likely have sections for each individual class as well.
Let’s get started!
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Use a 2-3 in. Binder (I love the DuraHinge Slant Ring Binders to help keep your paper from shuffling all over the place)
- Hole Punch, I use this one
- Use dividers with pockets to separate the sections of your binder (pocket dividers). Also some simple dividers without pockets.
- Use a labeler to print out the tab categories (helps to keep things looking nice and neat)
- I also like to use the Post-It tabs that are removable and easy to stick on where ever I need them.
- Card Stock
- Page protectors are also a good idea for forms and calendars
- Laminator and laminating sheets
What Goes In Your Back-To-School Planner
- Student Handbook
- Yearly Calendar
- Pre-K-12 tabs (tabs labeled for each grade level your child will be completing)
- Student/School Information Sheet
- Copy of Immunization Records
- Copy of Physical/Health Information
- Absence/Vacation Days Record
- Permission/Consent forms
- Progress and Report cards
- Special Activities/Sports Information
- Awards and Accolades
- Special artwork and photos
- Lunch Menu (If your child eats school lunch)
- School Newsletter (optional)
This list is not exhaustive. You may find that you need additional categories or that you don’t need every one that I’ve mentioned above. Use the categories that work for you.
Putting It All Together
Now that you have everything you need, let’s get started putting it all together.
Step #1 Inserts and Cover Page
Start by creating a beautiful Insert for the outside of your binder. It can be a drawing that your child created or a printable. I like to put my child’s name and the words “School Records” on it, to keep things simple.
If you like mine, you can snag a copy of it here.
Next, a cover page is nice to keep things looking professional. Remember, this binder is something that will also accompany you to Parent-Teacher conferences. Can you say A+ for organization?
Step #2 Pre-K-5th Grade Tabs
Let’s talk a little about the Pre-K-5th Grade tabs. I personally like this method of organizing my binder by grade level simply because I can keep the things that my child has done each year altogether.
For example, I enjoy my children’s art and like to see their progression from past years. I can easily take a look at each year “artwork” section to reference.
Start by using your pocket-dividers. These will come in handy for keeping your schools’ student handbook in and perhaps other important info that you don’t want to hole-punch. Label the tab on each pocket-divider by grade level.
Once you’ve added your grade levels to each tab go ahead and put those into your binder. Now you’re ready to add the sections behind each tab.
Step #3 Create Sections for Each Grade Level
On your simple dividers without the pockets, go ahead and add a Post-it tab if it doesn’t have a pre-made tab. If you are using a homemade divider or printing off one of mine, you will need to add a tab.
Next, use your labeler to print out the names of each category that you’ll have for your student. You can choose from the list above which categories you may need for each section.
In my son’s binder I’ve added the following categories:
- Medical Info
- Consent Info
- Progress Reports
Pop those into your binder behind the grade level pocket-divider and wha-la …you’re the proud owner of a beautiful new, organized school record binder!
Note: If you’re grabbing my designs you’ll need to be sure to print them onto card stock, trim the edges, hole punch and perhaps laminate them for your binder.
One last tip before I let you go, you know all of those super cute back to school photos that we take every year? Well, this school record binder is the perfect place to house them.
I hope that you are enjoying this little series, I know I am! Please let me know what you think about the school record binders in the comment section. As always, I’m so grateful that you’ve stopped by if you’ve found this helpful please share on your favorite social media.
Blessings, and Happy Homemaking!