Binders are a great way to organize and showcase what your children are learning and doing. The binder method that is used in The Well Trained Mind is something that I have always thought was a great idea…. but for me, it lacked the usefulness of a portfolio when looking back on the year.
Right now each of the kids have three binders (FYI; I LOVE binders!) filled with their work in different subjects. But by the time the year is over, I want to have it all condensed into one portfolio… this slide show is mostly Cyan’s portfolio for last year (1st grade) and shows how well you can see the years work when it is all in a personal binder: (My personal favorite is how well you can see her handwriting improve!)
To see a slideshow of examples, click on the picture.
There are other pictures in there too… Alex and Cyan do have their portfolios started for this year. Each one is a 2 inch three ring binder. Armed with a Costco pack of page protectors and a recycle bin I go through their work quite often (declutter modes come and go), taking out the gems and adding them to the portfolio. All major projects go in there if I can make it happen. If I can’t (like Alex’s clay map) then I take a picture or print out the blog post about it and add it in to the portfolio. I try to make as accurate a picture of their year as I can. The kids and I both love looking through them and show them to just about anyone who is willing.
Then, honestly, the rest of the stuff goes into the recycle bin. If there are 12 units in one subject, I try to take a bit of each of them (like their botany drawings from each lesson, shown in the last picture) so that shows what they learned or at least how much they did on a subject, but for the most part, if there is a repeat project, it goes. If they had to do the same math lesson a couple times, I don’t keep both of them (I don’t keep much of their math, it is awfully sequential and shows what they have learned quiet easily).
That is pretty much my system. Do you have a successful way to store your kids finished school work? Please leave a comment and let me know.
This post was part of our Clean Out the Office Challenge. Check out our other organizational challenges.
For more binder ideas…