In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout says the school system spent reams of paper teaching her to do the alphabet. (Quote from memory. Google informs me I can buy many papers, perhaps a ream’s worth if printed, on the book, but won’t verify the quote.) After watching my own kids go through that stage, I concur. My son knows the alphabet thoroughly, but there’s an exponential increase in paper brought home each year.
Mom was good. She only kept three boxes, before I reached the age when I decided what to keep. At that point, I kept the notes from the subjects I liked, and tossed the rest. I threw out my grade 13 math notes last year. The engineering degree proves I mastered it.
In January, I sorted last year’s boxes by kid, and stuffed it all back into the boxes. Today, I sorted son’s pile by subject. Now he’s going through the “indoor recess” pile. I guess he’s patient and bored today, because he looks at each piece and remembers what it is and who he drew it with. I remind him occasionally that if his kids see 100 sheets, they’ll look at the top five and be bored, but if they see only five they’ll be interested. It’s not sinking in. But, he’s enjoying it, and at least some is making it to the garbage.
Question: How do you manage the reems of paper your kids (and yourself and other housemates) bring home? Do you distinguish between school, free time, creative, class notes, and tests?