June 27, 2012 9:21 AM
Children's archives - your suggestions
I so admire all the time and energy you give to your family and to all your other activities. How on earth do you do it? My big question to you is how do you handle the end of the school year for each of your children who are still in school or homeschool? Do you save all their school pictures, memorabilia, report cards, tests, etc. in a box or scrapbook? Or do you just pitch it all? The reason I am asking is that I always enjoyed putting scrapbooks together for my four children. I don't do elaborate scrapbooking anymore, but I do save all the important things from their school year and place it all neatly in plastic sheet protectors and then place them in a large 3-ring binder. I try to make at least 4 grades worth of work fit into these large binders. Then I purchase a new binder and sheet protectors for the next 4 grades. I now am in my early 50's, going thru menopause, and finding no interest or energy or time to be continuing this practice. Yet, at the same time, I want to capture and save some important school items from each grade for them to one day remember.
If you have any advice for me, please let me know how you handle all of your children's school items. Most moms I talk to tell me that all they save is their kid's annual school picture along with the report card. I have scaled down greatly as to the volume of work that I save. Years ago, when my girls were younger, and the two boys were babies I would elaborately decorate each scrapbook and even arrange things in them seasonally. I just feel now if I discontinue this practice, I will be somehow letting my boys down cause they know I've been doing this for the girls for so long.
May I post this for answers from my readers? That way you can pull from lots of ideas.
With 12 kids - and because I started writing, then blogging - at some point I stopped saving so much. Also seeing how grownup kids' attention turns from the past to the future when they marry freed me from the feeling that I had to save everything. Going through several moves helped me let go, too.
Now each of my kids has a large covered plastic box where I put their things. Periodically I go through and weed out stuff. They enjoy looking through their boxes from time to time.
I did keep baby books religiously, but it's sad but true that the younger kids, if they judged by the contents, would think I love them less. We have made a family joke out of it.
You sound like you have a good system - much better than mine. But the truth is that just like our houses that were clean and spotless before we had so many kids (and got older ourselves), our favored ways of doing things must bend to the fact that mothers who have more than two or three kids simply cannot carry them on in the reality of raising a big family.
The apple pictured above is a suggested craft from a great website: No Time for Flashcards - with loads of ideas for learning and play for babies, toddlers and kids. Check it out.