Tot Talk Tuesday: Managing Kindergarten Chaos

Does your little Kindergartner come home at the end of the day with a backpack jam-packed with papers, projects, reminders…and remnants of uneaten lunch/snack?  Yep, mine too.  As an effort to acknowledge and organize of this uh…stuff…I devised a couple of little ideas to contain the clutter. 

Table-Talk-and-Toss:  As you are going through your child’s backpack, sort the “business” papers (teacher notes, order forms, school bulletins) from the “art.”  Set the art/worksheets on the table at your child’s place.  At dinner time, you all can go over the art work and other special papers as a family.  The key is, you have to let your child do the talking and explaining.  Ask open-ended questions and let her fill in the blanks.  As a parent you can act confused or provide the wrong answers and let her correct you.  When you are done talking about the school work you can toss (recycle) it!  Unless of course it’s particularly special.  In that case….

Kindergarten Binder:  Get yourself a 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors.  Save things you and your child are particularly proud of.  For example, Kate’s class works with the Jolly Phonics program.  Each week or so, she brings home a new letter/sound along with worksheets that correspond to the them.  Bingo…we ‘re making a “book” with them. 

Things like counting and simple graphing worksheets go into the binder, too.  It’s a fun way to look back at the progress our little ones are making…it will be especially neat as the school year winds down and we can look back at where they were and where they’ve come (make sure you mark the worksheets lightly with a date).  You can make one of these binder for each grade level, too!  Get creative and have your child make the cover art or decorate with scrapbook supplies, photos, or other keepsakes.

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