I am guessing that many of you, like me, have sent children back to school in recent weeks (or are getting ready to do so very soon). While I am always happy to have the routine of the school year back in place, the school year brings on another challenge - how to preserve and record those school memories. Enter today's blog post, complete with two different challenges that will (hopefully!) help all of us document more of those school memories.
Challenge #1: Scrap an Assignment
I must admit that I don't have a great system for preserving school-related papers. A few years back I set up file folders for each of my kids for each grade, with folders for schoolwork, report cards and awards, class newsletters and information, school photos, and art and writing they produce at home during that school year. Everything is shoved in folders and collecting dust.
Whatever your system is for keeping school papers, grab one and turn it into a layout. Yes, I know it's not a photo, but if you know me, I am a fan of photoless layouts, or layouts where a photo is an embellishment, rather than the focal point. You can either use the actual piece of work or can scan and print it at a reduced size. This is an even more fun challenge if you go back a few years (if your kids are old enough) and find something that catches your eye. Then walk down memory lane.
I did this recently, pulling a particularly funny piece of work my son completed in 2nd grade (he just started 5th grade this week). I scanned and printed the assignment to fit on my layout and embellished it with a small photo of my son taken the same month the assignment was completed:
Christa Paustenbaugh created a layout featuring an assignment her daughter completed, one that she and her husband found especially funny:
Hopefully, after you pull an older assignment and walk down memory lane, you will be newly inspired as the papers come through the door this year and will be ready to preserve some of the best, worst, and funniest work your kids bring home.
Challenge #2: No Photo and No Assignment? No Problem!
There are times when something great happens at school but there's nothing tangible to prove it. It might be a field trip your child went on. It might be an afterschool activity you never captured on film, or, as Jenny Larson shows us, it might be a gift your child has.
Jenny's son brought home a photo, but it was lost. It was important to Jenny to document this story anyway so she simply chose a photo of her son that matched the playful tenor of her story:
Here's a closer look at Jenny's journaling:
Choose something that happened at school - a class activity, a field trip, something funny a teacher said, etc. - and document it even if you don't have a photo or an assignment to put on the layout. Do as Jenny did and choose a photo that matches the mood of your journaling or go photoless and have fun with embellishments instead.
We hope that you will be inspired by one (or both!) of these challenges and will get more of those school memories down on paper.