The School File It Folder

Before the new school year has even begun, my house is rapidly filling with 2014 paperwork! With a child starting Kindy for the first time we have a mountain of lists, notes and forms that all need coralling and controlling.  Lucky for this mumma I am now somewhat experienced in containing school paper clutter.  

When Master O first started school I needed a quick and easy solution to filing and contianing the paper that came home with him.  SO I created…..

School Folder 

Step 1. Gather Your Supplies

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I found these cute coloured “Marbig – Vivid” folders at Big W!

You will need

  •  A4 Ring Binder (one with an insertable cover and spine works best for decorating! )
  • Extra wide Tabbed Dividers
  • Plastic Pockets
  • Scrapbook Paper (Optional)
  • Labelmaker (Optional)

Step 2. Create a Cover

School File It Folder

School File It Folder

You will be looking at this folder a LOT, so why not make it pretty!  Little Mis A chose a cute sheet of Scrapbooking Paper from Spotlight.  12 x 12 Scrapbooking paper makes the perfect cover as it the perfect size!  

Cut about 3 cm’s off one side to create the front cover and use the offcut for the spine!  Add the date and your child’s name and your ready to go!

Step 3. Create Dividers

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The dividers are whats make this folder functional.  Extra Wide tabbed dividers work the best as you can still view the tabs when the folder is closed making access easy.  Although we have had a school folder before the same sections didnt really apply to Kindy.  Some ideas are

  • Calendars and Rosters
  • Class Notes
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Lists (Uniform/Books etc)
  • Newsletters
  • Fees
  • Receipts
  • Certificates/Awards
  • Photos
  • Reports
  • Artwork
  • Special Days (Excursions/Celebrations)

If you are creating a folder for school you might also want to add sections for;

  • Tuckshop
  • Excursions/Camps
  • Specialist Lessons 

Simply use a labelmaker (or your neatest handwriting!) to create labels for each divider tabs.

Step 4.  Fill!

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I use post it notes to help categorise the papers I already have. Then simply amke a divider for each category!

Time to say goodbye to the random paper piles! Firstly fill each category with plenty of plastic pockets, you dont want to be searching for more half way through the year.  Now categorise your papers and start adding!

Step 5. Extras.

I also add a large clear plastic envelope with velcro closure into the front.  I keep all of the kids name labels inside it!  I am also on the hunt for some specific “certificate” plastic pockets!

End Of The Year.

At the end of the year, I go through the folder and cull whatever we no longer need and add reports and any other end of year extras to create a School Memory Folder.  It is so nice to be able to grab a folder and look through everything your child has accomplished and experienced during the school year! I have even thought about creating a Project Life school album with all the folders contents! 

Be warned having a folder doesnt ensure you will always be on top of the paper pile!  You need a system! 

THE SYSTEM

First there is a system. 

  1. READ. Check for notes DAILY.  Check bags, lunchboxes, communication books and if you can the school website.
  2. WRITE. Write down ALL DATES immediately.  We write them on our family calendar and in my Erin Condren Life Planner.  Be sure to write in your diary a) when the note needs returning AND b) when the event is taking place.
  3. ACT. What do you need to with this information?
  • Does it need returning?  If it does, fill it out and put it back in their school bag immediately!
  • Do you need it for future reference?  File it away in your “SCHOOL FILE IT FOLDER”
  • Do you need to tell anybody else about the event?
  • Organise different pick up arrangements or a day off work?

 And now you are ORGANISED!

You have a storage place and a system to help you manage the school paper clutter! 

Preparing Your Child For School – What is Kindy?

This weekend Little Miss A attended Kindy orientation!  KINDY!  So some background

What is Kindergarten? 

1. In Australia we have a “NATIONAL Curriculum” yet we still don’t all use the same language when it comes to the names of school years.  Kindy in one state called be Preschool/Kinder/Preparatory in another.

2. In Queensland, Kindergarten is the first year of “non compulsory schooling”  In their Kindy year children must turn 4 before 30 June.  This is similar to Preschool in NSW.  Kindergarten has seen some massive reforms thanks to the Queensland Government and as a result Kindy’s (as they are usually known) are popping up everywhere!  When Master O started Kindy we had one fairly local Kindy (still not within our suburb) and now we have about 5! 

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Master O at his Kindy Orientation. He was all about outside play and the Obstacle Course!

3.  Enrolment.  Gaining a position in a Kindy is competitive.  The new local Kindy’s are struggling with waiting lists as everyone clammers for the limited positions.  Most Kindergartens will only offer between 40 and 50 places a year.  Get in EARLY!!!  Unlike the “State/Public” schooling system no Kindy HAS to offer you a place.  It is first in best dressed.   Your child must turn 4 before the 30 June during their Kindy year.  Please tell me who changed this instead of using the calendar year and I will hunt them down!  I have two children who would have been the oldest in their class who are now close to being the youngest! The following year (after Kindergarten) children start Prep which is the first year of compulsory schooling.

4. Kindergarden is generally attended on a part time basis.  You do not HAVE to send your child to Kindergarden but it is great preparation for school.  As a heads up I have not had a child in my Prep class for the past 6 years that has NOT gone to Kindergarden. 

All registered Kindy Programs in Qld have this tick of approval.

All registered Kindy Programs in Qld have this tick of approval.

5. Kindergartens are run by either The Creche and Kindergarten Association (C & K) (Probably the most common and the type Master O attended) Within some daycare centres and most recently by Private or Catholic Schools (The type Little Miss A will attend.) All Kindergardens in QLD are run by 4 year university qualified teachers (Thanks QLD government!) and although they have the same curriculum guidelines each “institution” will vary in their structure and expectations.  Some will require uniforms, booklists, backpacks and include specialist lessons such as a language or music.  Others will be completely play based and require nothing more than a hat and some lunch.  Of course this means that fees will vary too!  But all Kindergarten Fees in Queensland are partially covered by the Government!  

Little Miss at Kindy Orientation.  All about the books and inside play! So different!

Little Miss at Kindy Orientation. All about the books and inside play! So different!

So Little Miss A is now enrolled, has a confirmed place and this weekend attended her Kindy Orientation!  She has met her teachers, wandered her classroom and started to become familiar with the routines and peers.  It is all happening!

Later this week, Preparing Your Child For School – How to choose a Kindy/School!

and then..my favourite part!  

The Practicalities

Uniforms, booklists, name labels, lunch boxes, notes and HAIR ACCESSORIES! 

Stay tuned! 

For more info about Kindy in QLD you can check out The Queensland Governments KINDY PAGE.

Things I know ~ About Finishing Kindy.

First Day at Kindy 2011

I know that I cried on my sons last day of Kindy and I am afraid that was two days ago and I am still sad.  I know that this means that I chose the right Kindy all those months ago.  I know he loved it not because of the resources, equipment or location but because of the people.  They were patient, gentle, nurturing, fair and fun.  When you walked in those doors you felt welcomed, supported and appreciated.  I know that as a parent that was what was really important.

First Day at Kindy 2011

I know that my son was accepted for every little bit of person he is.  They never forced him to do anything or to become anything he didnt want to be.  He was given the opportunity to explore activities and friendships with such a wide range of people and things that he too has become accepting of all people regardless of their interests or abilities.

I wonder if they will have polka dot aprons at School?

I know that the end of Kindy is the end of so many things.  No more plain clothes to pick out in the morning.  No more sitting and trying to get him to do some craft with me.  No more being able to let Little Miss A wander around and grab every baby doll out of the place and gather them at my feet.  No more tap, tap as little hands hammer little nails sitting at little tables and little chairs.  No more veggie gardens and mud pits. No more midday sleeps with sheet sets and stretcher beds. No more flexible schedules picking your child up at any time between 2 and 2.30.  No more weekdays home with his Mummy.

Even Tricksy the Elf got to go to Kindy!

I know that this means the start of a new adventure, School.  I know that this has me anxious, nervous and no where near as excited as I thought I would be.  I know that so many new things all at once has ME loosing sleep, forget about how he feels.  I know that such a wonderful kindy expereince has left me with such high expectations to match when it comes to school.  

The Last Day…Green Crafty Hands saying good bye!

I know that he will survive and thrive at school.  I know that he is soooo ready for something new and challenging.  I know that he will be tired maybe even exhausted by the new full time schedule but that his little mind and body will cope and more than ever he NEEDS this.  I know that the tears have only just begun.  I will be one of those mothers crying in the car n the first day next year.  But I know there will also be many more smiles, stories, and moments of pride and joy.  

I know I better start stockpiling the tissues.

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