What to Keep & What to Let Go: Home School Edition

Our oldest daughter is now 10 so over the years we have created many projects, completed many workbooks, and written on many sheets of paper. Did I mention that we also have an 8 year old who has also contributed to the projects, work books and paper?

At the beginning of our learning together journey, I knew that I would not be able to keep everything that was created by them nor would I be able to store every single Light Unit that they would complete in the years to come.  I made a choice early on to figure out the things we would keep and those we would let go. 

Here are few things that make the keep pile:

  • Math and Language Arts for the current school year.  I keep these books until the next year of lessons begin.  As the year progresses, I slowly recycle them. The primary reason we hold on to these is for the girls to be able to use them as a resource during the current year.  There are moments when they forget that they can actually do a method so having previous completed work helps to remind them of their skills and also serve as a refresher. Since we use Christian Light, each year has ten workbooks.  I do not keep all ten of them, but the girls do have at least one workbook from each year they have completed. 
  • Art work is definitely a keeper.  The only artists' work hanging on our walls are our daughters.  It's amazing to see the way their creativity has changed over the years.  I love looking back at their work. 
  • Lapbooks and Notebooking activities are collectibles here.  Lapbooking and notebooking takes so much work that I couldn't bring myself to discarding these things.  I realized things that were similar to scrapbooking were always going to be kept because in this area the girls are like me.  They enjoy looking back at their former work to reminisce.
  • Journals stay.  The girls started journaling at around 3 years old.  We have kept all of their journals since then. Granted some of it is just scribbles, but it is so adorable.  I can't help but to smile when I think about their beginning writing activities.
  • Things that they just want to hold on to for the sake of it.  They each have an envelope and file folder for items that they just want to keep. 

A few of the girls pieces along with a picture from Hobby Lobby.

How do we store our keepsakes?

I have a not so big storage bin. We have used the same bin from the beginning and I am coming to the realization that I might just have to upgrade it.  The reason I chose a bin that wasn't very large was to keep us from keeping too much stuff.  The art work is not stored in this bin instead the art that is not hanging is kept in a reusable bag.  Most of the art work that is kept is not the random doodlings of the girls, but work that they put a little bit of time into creating. 

What about the other stuff we do through out the year?

Since random papers and worksheets can create clutter, there is a limit to the number of worksheets and such that are copied.  If it is something that must be copied, then there is exception made, but copies for the sake of busy work rarely happens around here.  Additional math work is usually done online or in a notebook.  The girls are okay with me discarding their notebooks that are used for only computations when they become full and they are in need of a new one. 

Science and history are kept in a binder which is added to year after year.  Since this binder is being used consistently, the work within it remains as a resource. They also have a binder for all things involving faith.  They keep prayers and Scriptures in this binder.  The things which are stored in a binder continues to grow with them over the years therefore there isn't a need to discard anything.

Do you keep everything from every year?  What is your storage method?  Please share in the comments! :)

Be blessed!

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