Friday, August 5, 2011

Helpful Hints for Homeschoolers: Artwork

This time of year always sucks me into Operation Organization.  Yes, that's what I call it.  I don't do it well, but I do make improvements each year.  The thing is that with each passing year, we collect more stuff.  Why?  Because there's curriculum to be saved to pass on to the next victim, I mean child.  There's cherished artwork, prize papers, and binders full of school work that couldn't dare be thrown out!

So, what do we do with all these, shall we say, goodies?  If you're like me, you will store them.  At least most of them.  And as time passes, you might weed some of it out.  You might gift some pieces of artwork to family on special occassions.  You might scan some into your computer to add to your digital collection.  Or, you might look at it and think why on earth did I hang on to this? and in the trash it goes.

Here's what I do with the artwork.  Which, I'll be totally honest, it's quite a bit!  I have a large box for each child that I store on top of a bookcase.  I try to label each drawing, painting, etc. with the child's name & date (if they didn't do so themselves).  Once it's labeled, I toss it into the box.  About once or twice a year, I go through each box and elimate what I'm mentally and emotionally able to.

My ultimate goal, however, is to put the best of the best into a large photo album.  I'm talking 11x14.  Hobby Lobby used to sell this size but I'm not sure if they still do.  A 12x12 or 8x10 album might work just fine, too.

Putting the artwork in an album like that, under protected sheets of clear film, will provide a tidy way to store the papers.  It may also boost a child's confidence and help them to feel good about the work they created.  And maybe, just maybe, it would someday turn into somewhat of a portfolio for the child.

And, of course, a great way to showcase your child's art is to display it.  Some paintings are framed and hung on walls.  Sadly though, many of the oh so lovely clay sculptures and paper miche projects eventually make their way into the trash.  Shhhhh, don't tell!!!  If it truly is worthy of keeping, I will store it, I promise! Usually, I will take a picture of the item, sometimes in the hands of the child, before throwing it out.  Somehow, that clears my conscience of any guilt of being a bad mom for throwing out things my children made!

So how do you store and/or showcase your children's artwork?

(I read a helpful hint about using real art supplies that I thought was worth sharing. It's found at Many Little Blessings. I hope you will take the time to read it, too.)


  1. Each of our kids decorated a wooden box from Joanns that they keep their art curriculum in as well as their supplies. They also keep their finished work in there. At the end of the year they go through their box and get rid of what isn't important to them... they are far more discerning than I am. Then each child has a folder in the file cabinet in my office that they use for long term storage. Periodically they weed through this and thin it out. We display different pieces around the house in frames and, of course, on the fridge.

  2. Loved this post...I do the exact same things. My first son seems to have the best binders with everything precious in sheet protectors until the younger victims...I mean children (laughing - that really got a giggle out of me) came along..go figure! I do one thing that I like to do if time permits..I let them decorate the box I saved of their special papers that I kept. I date it & save the box - I've even read where some put a photo of the child from that year on the box. I use flat white boxes if I can get them..but if not...the flat priority mail boxes can be covered with white paper & they make a good box for storing too (and free)! Thanks for your post..I enjoyed it.

    Another idea...if you can laminate and save special pieces...I saw a magazine once where the mom wrapped them around her child's room for a personalize wall border. It was precious and definitely special. Lots of fun ideas...keep posting!