I spent all school year pinning ideas for open house decor, themed props, and menu planning. It never occurred to me to take care of getting our sons memories in better order first!
I am going to work on a series of blogs to share what I am doing to prepare for the next 3 graduates instead of waiting until the week before graduation!
DISCLAIMER: I do not claim to be the first person to ever think of these ideas. I am sure that there are many on the internet who have similar ideas. Some may be more elaborate than my own. I don't have time to scrapbook or do anything extra creative. Maybe in future years but for now this mom is just trying to keep it simple, manageable...DOABLE!
I hope that you enjoy the simple solutions that I will share, and I'd love to hear some of your suggestions too! Let's help each other get organized and make these special occasions more enjoyable and less stressful! I think that this will also be a great way to have these memories ready to pass onto our children when they are settled and ready to collect these memories!
The first thing I want to do is get the kids school pictures out of photo albums (and by photo albums I mean the envelope that they delivered them in), and into individual binders. This is a great display item for your open house, and also makes it easier to pass down photos to each child when they get older!
I purchased an inexpensive 1/2 inch binder and some sheet protectors. I bought the Avery Secure Top (model 76000) because I like that the photos will not slide out of the top so easily.
I opened up Word on my laptop,created a blank document, and typed up the grade and years for each grade of school on the top of page, and printed these pages out. These pages will hold the school picture for each year. I did this because I only buy the basic school picture package with two 3.5 X 5 prints and some wallets. We don't display 8X10 photos so I stopped buying them years ago. These pages give me a marker to easily indicate what grade and years the school photos are from. If you have 8X10 prints for your album you may want to skip this step and find another way to mark the grade/date for your photos.
I also HIGHLY recommend that you write GENTLY on the back of the photo with the school grade, age, and/or year. Apparently I stopped doing this for a few years and we had to reference the year book...couldn't quite tell what order a few years went in for my oldest!
Once you have the pages placed in order inside of your sheet protectors start adding the photos that you already have...unless your little one hasn't started school yet! My youngest is in 3rd grade so I didn't have too much to catch up on for his. I added classroom photos and team/sport photos too. I figured it would be easier to have them all together.
Now you have a binder that is ready to go, with all of the years marked ahead, and each year you simply have to add the school photo and any sport/team photos to the binder as you receive them, or as you decide to stop displaying them in your home.
It took me less than 15 minutes to put this together and it will be ready for display when graduation day comes with no additional work needed. Unless you have a very active child and may need to add more sheet protectors for sport/team/band photos along the way as they grow up!