School Strategies – A Binder that is Easy to Keep Organized

writing

writing

I always thought that I would eventually transform into that perfect teen you see on the after-school specials: binder with kitten picture on cover, neatly organized and hugged to my chest, assignments completed, fresh pencils in hand.

Nope.

I had one of those 80s pseudo-denim covered binders (do they still sell those?) complete with ballpoint-pen doodles and a beautifully penned Led Zeppelin logo, pages hanging out the side. But I was eager for the change.

However, there was an issue in the way. The hole punch delay.

For instance, I could not keep up with worksheets. I would receive one and tuck it away, planning to hole punch it later. But he sheets would often fold or slip out.

So, I developed a strategy: line up the paper in the open rings of the binder, then quickly snap the rings closed, puncturing the sheet with the binder rings. Solved! For the moment. The sheet would hang on for a day or two, but the ragged holes would eventually tear, leaving a half-hanging-out sheet to contend with.

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These days worksheets are being handed out just as they were when I was a student. And I love seeing the worksheets that our daughter brings home. I am in the worksheet business, after all.

They cover so many wonderful subjects: Simple Machines. Fact Families. Parts of Speech. All of them should be held onto for reference and review. This is, after all, precious information that should not be lost!

But, again, we have a little issue: the hole punch delay.

Our student is young, so she is still in the learning stages of organizing. She is eager to keep things in order, but sometimes struggles with getting the worksheet punched and in the correct place by the time the class has moved on to the next subject.

So I have decided to own the problem as it is. There just may not be enough classroom time for each student to file up and hole punch the paper, then bring it to the binder. So, last week I bought this (this is not a product endorsement blog, but if I find something I love, I will definitely show it to you):

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Pocket tab dividers

Then, I inserted one of these tab dividers into each subject section of the binder, right behind the subject divider for clarity.

The slash pocket design works really well, because it is easy for little fingers to insert a page. It is not frustrating like a top loading page protector.

The dividers are also semi-transparent, so the worksheet can be easily located if needed during the week.

Now, our student can slip the worksheet in to the proper subject as soon as she receives it, then once a week we take the binder home to three-hole punch the sheets and file them in.

Note: you may want to check with your child’s teacher to see if he/she approves of this method first

Photo credit, top: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: LC-USZ62-47718; middle: LC-USW3-053568-D