Your guide to parenting in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts

By Nancy King

Do you have a system for organizing all the treasures that come home with your child from school seemingly every day? SCHOOL YEARS: How to organize school photosI’m not talking about the three-dimensional art work (or the 6-foot wooden plank decorated with plaster T-rex bones my daughter was “lucky” enough to walk away with after her class studied dinosaurs). No, I’m talking about the drawings, poems, photos, and other keepsakes that accumulate faster than tuition bills and late notices from the library.

My “system” thus far has been to drop everything into a paper bag from Whole Foods, with “Nursery,” “Kindergarten,” “First Grade” scrawled on the side with a Sharpie. Then these overstuffed bags get sent to the attic where they will live, in gloom and darkness, until we move to another house.

You will understand my excitement, then, when I discovered School Years: A Family Keepsake of School Memories. It’s a handy, wire-ring album that organizes your child’s school treasures for you. Starting in kindergarten and running all the way through twelfth grade, the album has pocket folders for notes, homework, report cards, etc., plus a spot on each page for inserting a photograph of your budding student-scholar and spaces to fill in names of teachers, height and weight (of your kid, not the teachers), favorite subjects, honors & awards, and my personal favorite: “When I grow up, I want to be…” (So far, my daughter has filled in “dancer” and “artist,” which means I will need to be wealthy when I grow up so I can support her.)

The questions evolve with the passing years, so instead of recording age and weight on the first day of school, the focus is “Skills I’d like to learn” and “Colleges/universities to check out.” Not so fast, please, I’d like to keep college out of the picture for me and my little dancer-artist just a bit longer…

Part journal, part filing system, and completely smart, School Years is a godsend. Now if only they’d make one that’s six feet tall for organizing dinosaur bones.

The Details
School Years: A Family Keepsake of School Memories
$19.95 Creative Toy Shop
www.creativetoyshop.com

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