Category Archives for "Graduation & End of School Year"

Oh my gosh... this is exactly how it feels! Are you drowning in your kids school papers?There's just so many of them! So many great tips here on how to determine what papers to keep and then how to set up a system to organize kids school papers for good! EVERY MOM needs to read this!

Drowning in Your Kids School Papers? What to Keep & How to Get Organized

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Your kids make the cutest stuff in school, right? All those art projects and school projects are adorable!

But I’m telling you, kids school papers also have a sinister dark side.

They start out innocently enough, simply collecting on the corner of your kitchen counter. They seem like no big deal—just little papers behaving themselves, staying nice and neat in a stack.

But then… it happens. 

Somehow those adorable little papers migrate from their happy pile home and begin a silent-yet-sinister crusade to transform open counter space into (un)organized chaos.

Oh my gosh... this is exactly how it feels! Are you drowning in your kids school papers?There's just so many of them! So many great tips here on how to determine what papers to keep and then how to set up a system to organize kids school papers for good! EVERY MOM needs to read this!

Soon there’s a pile on your coffee table. And your kitchen table. And of course, the floor of the minivan looks like a regular art gallery with all your kids’ artwork.

And then, those adorable works of art become that dreaded word that every mom hates: CLUTTER.

And when that clutter builds up, just watch how long it takes for mama to blow!

Suddenly, we just want those lovely little treasures to GO AWAY. (Kids, can you say, “mommy anger?”)

OH yes. It happens to the best of us.

And it’s OK to admit it: We love our kids school papers, but it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated by them when they pile up and turn into clutter!

What if we take a different approach to this madness?

What if there was a way to keep the blessing of our kids artwork from turning into a burden?

I’m SO excited… because that’s exactly what I want to show you how to do!

I want to share with you two key things:

  • First, 6 questions to ask yourself about which papers to keep and which to toss; and

Yes, you can have a powerful, easy system in place for handling school papers!

Imagine—no more crazy piles! And no more guilt about not keeping every single paper your kids create!

It’s a system that I use in my home, and it works!

Let’s get started!

(Click next to learn the system)

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Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!

How to Organize Your Kids School Papers (for Good!)

welcome

Do you have stacks of adorable kids artwork piling up everywhere?

You know, stacks of priceless treasures from your kids that you want to keep (but have no idea what to do with)?!

What if I told you that you could get rid of those stacks (and all the guilt that goes with them) forever?

What if I could show you a way to neatly and easy keep kids school papers organized now (without the crazy piles) and preserved for years to come (in one central place)?

Hundreds of moms love this method for organizing kids school papers… and I know you’re going to love it too!

(happy dance!)

Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! Hundreds of moms are loving this amazing method to organize school papers... and you'll be doing a happy dance once you start using this method too!

Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!

This simple system–known as the My Memory Box: Kids School Paper Organizing System–is easy to set up and basically runs itself once it’s in place.

Why is the My Memory Box system so effective?

  • One easily organized, central location for ALL your children’s artwork
  • One file folder for each child’s school year from Toddler to 12th grade
  • Record fun facts about your child at that age (favorite book, activities, friends–even their signature!) on the front of each year’s folderCLOSE-UP-OF-TAG
  • Easily store small memorabilia (awards, ribbons, memory books) all in one place with artwork and papers
  • Papers are organized as they come into your house (no more piles!)
  • No big pile of papers to sort at the end of the year!
  • No more losing awards, artwork or other special papers
  • Create a customized precious keepsake for your child’s entire school experience
  • Once it’s assembled, it’s done! No need to make a new binder or scrapbook each year! Easy peasy!

And the best part? I’ve done all the work for you!

Ok… well… most of the work. 🙂 All that’s left for you to do is to download the printable, print off the papers, and cut and assemble.

Ready to get started?

Here’s where you can purchase and download your My Memory Box files.

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Still not sure? No worries… let me tell you more about how it works (and how I–and hundreds of other moms like you–now have freedom from the paper stacks and the guilt)!

Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!
Oh my gosh... YES! Finally a great way to organize kids school papers once and for all-- from their toddler years through twelfth grade! What a great keepsake to pass on to your kids too! You'll be doing a happy dance after reading this!

My Story About My Paper Stack (I Know You Can Relate!)

Just so you know I’ve been there, I have to share my story.

For months a mounting pile of papers (which I’d dubbed “The Stack”) had not only taken over part of my schoolroom desk, but had spread across the floor.

The worst part about The Stack wasn’t the mess itself. Oh no.

The part I hated about him the most? The Stack mocked me. 

The Stack reminded me of all the cute adorable papers sitting there (papers from my kids that I placed there).

He reminded me that those papers were priceless and that I should be doing something with them (oooh… mom guilt!).


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And THEN, he laughed at me because he knew that I had no idea what to do with them all.

(Mom guilt and guilt from being unorganized! He was relentless!)

But one day, I took a long look at him and realized that, really, all I needed was one great plan to kick him out of our home for good.

And that plan became the method I’m sharing about here–the highly popular My Memory Box: Kids School Paper Organizing System!

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I want you to see for yourself the power of the “My Memory Box” plan that finally brought order to the school paper chaos!

Get a sneak peek of what “My Memory Box” looks like inside! Just click next!

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How to (Easily!) Transition Your Family to a Summer Routine

It’s almost the end of the school year and it’s so easy to be stressed.

Now, I don’t mean the type of stress from end of the year parties.

I mean the stress of moving our families from a full-time homeschool schedule to a summer schedule. (You know what I’m talking about, right?!)

You’d think it would be easy for us to make this transition! After all, can’t we just say “we’re done on this day” and put away the homeschool books and that’s it?

Maybe. Maybe not. But I’ve never found it to be that easy!

However, one word has set me free in this area:

Rhythms.

Transitioning out of the homeschool year into summer doesn't have to be stressful. Here's how to make it an flexible, natural flow! Don't miss these tips to get your family's summer off on the right foot!

I want to show you how homeschool rhythms can help you:

  • gently transition out of schoolwork
  • ease the stress as your family adjusts to a new summer schedule
  • makes it easier to transition back to school in the fall

I wrote about the revolutionary power of rhythms (and how I had to learn to throw my homeschool schedule out the window) in my book Plan to Be Flexible: Designing a Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family.

Plan to Be Flexible:Plan to Be Flexible:

 

For the past ten years, I’ve had to learn–the hard way–how a gentle rhythm in and out of a homeschool year really makes a world of difference in the transition between “school” and “non-school” times.

But how does it happen?

That’s what I want to share with you about.

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3 Truths to Help Your Family Easily Transition to Summer

1) Slowly stop doing “school.”

I love how our homeschooling can parallel the beautifully natural flow between seasons.

During these last few weeks of May, I find us still schooling, but we have slowly begun the process of letting our typical school rhythm go because it’s the end of the school year.

These days are an unpredictable blend of, one day, traditional school learning (as we finish up our goals and projects); and the next day, a modified learning time full of outside exploration.

Just like the warm days of summer eventually come, our school days eventually flow into less and less structured learning and more time for play.

This is rhythm! And this is awesome!

This isn’t the abrupt “we’re-done-learning-and-you-can-return-to-your-regularly-scheduled-life-now” type of school.

Instead, it’s acknowledging that, like the seasons, the learning style is changing and we’re embracing it.

If we homeschoolers really do want our kids to have an exploratory-type school mindset, (instead of a “sit down because it’s school time” type), then this gradual transition at the end of the school year only makes sense.

Do you love this gentle, beautiful approach to learning? Then you’ll love Plan to Be Flexible!

Plan to Be Flexible:Plan to Be Flexible:

 

Summer is a wonderful time to be encouraged and regain your stamina, and Plan to Be Flexible is full of real-life stories and wisdom that will help you discover how to best lead your family on this homeschool journey.

2) Embrace a new type of learning.

During the school year, it’s easy for us to get set in a “this is learning” and “this isn’t” mindset.

And yet, there is so much for our kids to learn that falls outside of “typical” learning!

Now I know you’re saying “Don’t we teach them about real life throughout the year?”

Yes, we give them chores and responsibility, true; and lots of opportunities to learn about the character quality of commitment.

But think about the possibilities that summer affords! Think of the real, in-depth learning experiences that are far more difficult throughout the year, on all kinds of “non-traditional learning” subjects:

  • teaching kids to cook on their own in the kitchen
  • showing them how to organize summer trips or plan large summer events
  • having time for short term missions trips
  • getting a jump start on learning a musical instrument
  • sharing some “must read” books, individually and as a family
  • exploring the world and visiting family on vacation

These are some of the things my husband and I have in store for our kids this summer! And there are so many more ideas out there!

Talk to your kids about what they’d like to learn about!

Hosting an end of the year date is a great way to check in and see what interests them. You can read more about this in Plan to Be Flexible.

Plan to Be Flexible also shares how we can marry our kids’ individual interests with more traditional forms of learning.

By elaborating on the “rhythm-based homeschooling” concept, it gives parents a framework to gently guide kids on a fruitful learning journey.

Plan to Be Flexible:Plan to Be Flexible:

 

But, honestly, I saved the most important tip for last.

To make this transition to summer as easy as possible (and to honestly, truly enjoy our summer ahead!) we must, must do this final thing.

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3) Enjoy the margin and rest together.

Space: it isn’t just the final frontier (OK, bad Star Trek joke.)

Space (meaning “margin”) is the critical element found in the rhythm of a well-rested, replenished soul.

And summer provides extra opportunities for margin. Well…that is, if we let ourselves discover it.

Our natural bent is to keep going on that busy, full pace and to continue filling our days with more and more activities.

But this is key: We must let ourselves replenish instead of replacing.

Can I challenge you to make room–just like you’ll make room for all the summer fun–for margin?

Time just together (even if that time is spent not necessarily being “productive”) is valuable and so, so important.

Margin is an essential key to the soul rest our bodies crave during this long summer break.

It’s much easier to make room for margin when we can make it an part of of school year rhythm too. It suddenly becomes less scary, less hard to say a big fat NO to that one activity (even if it’s a good activity).

What if you could build flexibility and margin into your school rhythm?

That’s something you’ll read about in Plan to Be Flexible as I recount what happened during my first homeschool years (which were very structured and had zero margin) and how I learned how to develop that healthy learning rhythm my family needed.

Plan to Be Flexible:Plan to Be Flexible:

 

Enjoy this transition out of the school year and have a wonderful summer break!

 

Other Posts That Talk About the End of the School Year:

Hard Homeschool Year? 3 Things to Celebrate Right Now

3 Ways to Celebrate End of the School Year

How to Host an Awesome End of the School Year Date with Your Child

100 Fun & Easy Ways to Keep Kids Learning This Summer

 

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Transitioning out of the homeschool year into summer doesn't have to be stressful. Here's how to make it an flexible, natural flow! Don't miss these tips to get your family's summer off on the right foot!

Here's a simple and fun end of the school year year tradition that ANYONE can do! You'll love this list of tips on how to host an awesome mommy child date with your child--plus a list of cheat sheet questions so you know what to say! This post has everything you need!

How to Host an Awesome End of the School Year Date with Your Child

 

Summer is almost here, and it’s a wonderful time to think back about all the triumphs of the school year!

It’s so important that we celebrate these successes with our kids, and our favorite way to do that is with an end of the school year mommy child date!

And if we’re homeschooling, it’s also an excellent way to determine if the curriculum/topics really connected with your kids, and how to plan for back to school!

It’s something that your kids will look forward to every year (mine do!).

Here's everything you need to plan an AWESOME end of the school year date with your kids! Look back and celebrate! It's a huge hit with my kids every year and a wonderful end of the school year tradition. There's even a CHEAT SHEET with CONVERSATION STARTERS for your date!

I want to give you all the tools you need to plan an end of the school year date with your kids, too!

I’m going to share:

  • why these end of the year dates are so important
  • how to pick a location for your special mommy child date
  • fun ways to invite them to the event
  • how to set the tone for a wonderful time of connection

Plus, I also want to give you a FREE list of conversation starters for your date!

Free mommy child end of the year date night conversation starters

Get a list of what to talk about so that you can discover not only what worked this year, but ideas on how to make improvements for next year.

GET THE FREE LIST OF END OF THE YEAR DATE QUESTIONS

First, I want to share with you the two key elements to a successful mother-child date (don’t miss this)…

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Are you tired from a long school year? Worn out from pushing and guiding and trudging through homeschooling's ongoing battles? I'm right there with you. In fact, every year at this time I find myself in this place. Today, I want to walk along side you in your weariness and give that little boost to carry you through. I want to tell you a story that will remind you that, yes, you can do this. It all starts with a mountain...

Hold On, Homeschool Mama! An Allegory to Inspire You

welcome

Are you tired from a long school year? Worn out from pushing and guiding and trudging through homeschooling’s ongoing battles?

I’m right there with you. In fact, every year at this time I find myself in this place.

Today, I want to walk along side you in your weariness and give that little boost to carry you through.

Are you tired from a long school year? Worn out from pushing and guiding and trudging through homeschooling's ongoing battles? I'm right there with you. In fact, every year at this time I find myself in this place. Today, I want to walk along side you in your weariness and give that little boost to carry you through. I want to tell you a story that will remind you that, yes, you can do this. It all starts with a mountain...

I want to tell you a story that will remind you that, yes, you can do this.

It all starts with a mountain…

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Been a long, TOUGH homeschool year? Sometimes we wonder WHY we have to go through those and what we could have possibly learned! You'll love this encouragement, advice from a homeschool mom who's been there. Be encouraged and inspired by your hard homeschool year!

Hard Homeschool Year? 3 Things To Celebrate Right Now

Has it been a long, hard homeschool year for your family (filled with many unexpected ups and downs)?

Oh, I’ve had my share of those. Definitely.

While every homeschool year has its challenges, there are some school years that are just ridiculously hard!

However, here’s the good news: Even after the crazy year you’ve had, there are so many wonderful things to celebrate!

Yes, I promise it’s true!

Been a long, TOUGH homeschool year? Sometimes we wonder WHY we have to go through those and what we could have possibly learned! You'll love this encouragement, advice from a homeschool mom who's been there. Be encouraged and inspired by your hard homeschool year!

Many, many great things happened, often because of the challenges! And although it was a hard year, I want to help you reframe all the chaos and discover the beautiful hidden treasures found in those challenges.

Here are 3 amazing ways that you can celebrate at the end of school, even after the hardest homeschool year!

1) Celebrate all the growth (in you and in your kids).

Even if it’s been an especially hard year, I promise you that there was growth. There was progress made, and your children’s lives changed.

What book learning did happen? Write down a list if it helps. Maybe you didn’t study everything you wanted to (or you didn’t cover a topic as in depth as you would have liked) and that’s clouding your overall assessment of the year. Don’t let that happen!

It’s so easy for us to give a “pass” or “fail” stamp for each subject. We begin to play Monday morning quarterback and say, “If we’d only… “ or “I should of…” or (insert your form of self-torture here).

Instead, acknowledge that the hard stuff happened (because it did). Recognize that our homeschool exists within the challenges of real family life (sickness, money issues, marital strife, housing issues, etc) and that sometimes we have to adjust.

In Plan to Be Flexible: Designing a Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family, I wrote about the hard lessons I had to learn about setting learning goals (and then letting them go).

Plan to Be Flexible: Designing A Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your FamilyPlan to Be Flexible: Designing A Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family

These lessons were the “gift” I received from all the tear-filled hours, days and weeks of my first homeschool years as I taught my oldest child (who has ADHD and Autism).

He’s thirteen now, and those early homeschool years (which I share in Plan to Be Flexible) taught me that learning has to be on his pace, and that an entire year can’t be mapped out in stone in September (especially because of his ever-changing, sometimes-intense learning challenges).

If you need encouragement and hope that good things can come from all the overwhelming hard days, you need to read Plan to Be Flexible!

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2) Celebrate the Joy of Flexibility

As humans, we want a roadmap. We want God to hand us a written plan of what will happen from the first day of school to the last.

Honestly, I think that’s why homeschool planners (and the all-too powerful “homeschool schedule”) are incredibly attractive to homeschoolers, especially in those first few years.

While I do think that we need plans and goals for a homeschool year (and even goals for an individual day), the concept of a fluid learning “rhythm” (instead of a rigid schedule) is a much more powerful (and sane) approach (learn more about this in Plan to Be Flexible).

What if we viewed all those great plans as just what got us to the starting gate (instead of being the ultimate goal)?

What if we allowed the real learning adventure to unfold a little at a time, making room for real life, such as kids who may take longer to learn a subject, or unexpected rabbit trail learning detours?

If we can do these things, it’s much easier to drop that pass/fail concept of a “successful” homeschool year with a “perfect” finish line, and instead we can step back and recognize the real victories.

In Plan to Be Flexible, I share the story of one homeschool season where we had to drop our homeschool studies for a few weeks so that we could help my mom recover from an unexpected surgery.

By keeping my eyes on “rhythm” instead of schedules, I was able to embrace this time as an unexpected learning opportunity for my kids–namely one in serving others (and in the importance of flexibility itself!).

You can read more about that (and other important lessons in homeschooling flexibility that God taught me) in the book.

This 5-star-Amazon-rated book will encourage you (and give you practical, step-by-step tips) on how to develop a rhythm-based learning style for your family too!

Plan to Be Flexible:Plan to Be Flexible:

I really believe that having a flexible, “rhythm” based mindset is one of the keys to discovering the hidden joys of a hard homeschool year.

If you do too, then this book is a great fit for you!

3) Celebrate all that you didn’t plan to learn (but did)

Sometimes that huge unexpected trial is the exact lesson your kids (and you) need to learn about.

I see that happen every single year that I homeschool! Truly!

And one of the beauties of learning life lessons as a homeschooler is that homeschooling allows us the opportunity to experience those lessons together–through family relationship.

God is continually reminding me that the goal of my homeschooling is deep, close relationship with my kids (and with Him). I can’t allow any curriculum or learning plans to trump this!

In fact, homeschooling isn’t a race for the input/output of facts in our kids, but instead a journey toward a slow, steady building of knowledge rooted in relationship.

Plan to Be Flexible is full of rich stories about how we can refocus our homeschool efforts toward relationship instead of rote learning.

If this is the kind of homeschooling you aspire to, you’ll want to add Plan to Be Flexible to your summer reading list!

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When we can keep that close communication with our kids, every life moment becomes a learning opportunity.

When we have this focus, it becomes so much easier to discover the beautiful treasures hidden among the rubble of a hard homeschool year!

Yes, You Did Have a Successful Homeschool Year!

So my final encouragement to you is to spend this summer learning about flexibility and relationship. Let go of the “should haves” and look for what your family learned from all those difficult moments.

This is a healthy way to live the learning life, and to celebrate any school year!

P.S. It is possible to look back on any school year and see it as joy-filled.

It starts with implementing some new mindsets discussed here. Plan to Be Flexible is be a wonderful tool to introduce you to these ideas, and to encourage you toward this wonderful learning life you’ve always wanted for your family!

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Have a wonderful summer and be encouraged that next year will also be filled with wonderfully unexpected learning adventures!

Rediscover the (sometimes hidden) treasures of a hard homeschool year!

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