Eliza’s first parent teacher conference was Monday, so I thought it would be a perfect time to share her school work. We made a scrapbook together to contain the many papers that were taking over our kitchen island.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

She made the cover page with me. I love that her handwriting at this age will be preserved, backwards “s”s and all. She picked out what would go on the page and where it would go and I glued everything down.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

Common advice from parents with school aged kids: You can’t keep everything. You have to throw some of it out. But I can’t bring myself to do it. Here’s where I’m keeping all of that awesome stuff Eliza brings home from school for now.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

I’m using a big 5 Star 3-Ring Binder and cheap Up & Up brand 8.5 x 11 page protectors (both bought during back to school sale time). I’m planning on making a fabric cover or something for it eventually, but for now plain, black, simple, and cheap is just fine.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

It’s the first quarter and I’ve already gone through over 50 page protectors. I might have to take out some things, honestly. The goal is to have one of these binders for each kid each year they are in school. If everything doesn’t make its way in here, that’s okay. I just want a sample, a peak. So they can see how they’ve grown, how much they’ve learned, and how far they’ve come.

Each Friday Eliza brings home a folder with her school work, fliers, and newsletters for the week. I love seeing her work, learning about upcoming events, and knowing what they are working on in her classes. After I ask her about the drawings and make notes on the back (because no one will be able to tell what these are pictures of in 12 years), these papers go into her school work scrapbook.

Here are some of my favorite pages from the book:

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

These are from Eliza’s first week of school. To the left: Eliza is depicting herself baking cupcakes. I love that she drew the “smells” and her “voice singing” (the orange squiggles). To the right: Eliza was supposed to draw a self-portrait. She drew herself as a vampire. My kid is awesome.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

To the left:, the weekly letter (with the Poem of the Week) from Eliza’s English teacher. To the right: a weekly letter from Eliza’s main teacher letting us know what they are working on in class.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

To the left: the weekly “Petite Ecole” newsletter (Eliza’s school is split up into two buildings with the lower and the upper grades separated). To the right: the title page for “Le Calendrier de Mimi la souris” (they work on the calendar, date, and days of the week every week).

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

A book Eliza made. She drew pictures of her family and worked on learning French family vocabulary.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

This made me realize how far back Eliza’s memory goes. It is depicting Easter two years ago, when the Easter Bunny left a trail of Nerds candy from her room to her Easter basket. I had no idea she remembers stuff like that.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

To the left: Pumpkin shopping at the City Market. To the right: Eliza draws a page from the book The Very Busy Spider. I’m very impressed that she knew how to imitate Eric Carle’s style.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

To the left: Mimi’s Days of the Week. To the right: Eliza was having trouble drawing “3″s, so she did extra practice pages.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

This one is epic. Vampire flower, zombies, ghosts (or “ghost-es”, as Eliza says), a grave, and screaming people. Do I let her watch too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

To the left: Eliza’s portrait of her best friend. To the right: Mimi la souris calendar page.

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

Cutting out and pasting placement words where they go. (Example: “sur” = “on”.)

Eliza's Kindergarten Book

To the left: Counting and numbers. To the right: Weekly newsletter from Eliza’s Music/Gym teacher.

What we’re doing with the stuff that doesn’t fit:

Most of the things that are too big for the scrapbook are currently displayed around the house. A lot of it is hanging with clothes pins on a crochet garland over the windows in our stairwell.

Art Garland

There won’t be room do display everything forever though. Some things we’ll take pictures of to put in the scrapbook. Some things we’ll gift to grandparents. Holiday things we’ll store in clean, empty pizza boxes in the designated holiday box in the basement so we can use them when the season is right.

Numbers Mobile

What do you do with your child’s school work? Did your parents keep yours?