Do your little ones come home with papers and papers and papers every school day? Ours do here! Sometimes I feel like there is a trail of paper streaming in behind them from the bus stop & nothing we do can stop them from coming in the house. Honestly, it is unfathomable how many pages I see come through this house every week! In fact, it’s a little sickening considering they both have thirty students in their class, which makes for sixty more long paper trails out there–but that is a bone to pick another day!
So, what do you do with all of your classroom & homework excess papers? Other than pull your hair and scream, of course?
Most of the time we just recycle ours. But even that seems wasteful to me at times. Especially since we are always looking for notebook paper to practice our spelling words and math facts on each night, which further adds to our collection! So, in an attempt to halt the paper pile-up and get as much out of these papers as I can, I have been trying a few things before tossing them in the recycling bin for good! They may all end up in the same place, but I like to think that prolonging their lives helps in some way & decreases the amount we might otherwise use.
USE #1: A Practice Page Notebook
This one is pretty simple. I just take all of the one-sided sheets that come home, rip them in half, then staple them together. These are the papers we use to practice math facts & spelling words. Since we typically recycle our practice papers anyway, using an old sheet is just as easy. This puts out a lot of fires because each of the kids have their own scrap notebook that is
always most of the time in their homework pocket (this hangs in the hall and is where they keep all their homework stuff throughout the week). This is also great for me because this in turn solves a lot of arguments about “not being able to find any paper”. Plus, by using the scrap notebook they don’t have to use their cool notebooks up on test preparation. There are much cooler was to fill a Justin Bieber notebook than with spelling words, right?
USE#2: Craft Projects
In this home, me and my two-year old friends love cutting and glitter and drawing. But these are all craft activities that we are just learning to do, so sometimes we only like our projects while we are doing them & we don’t care want to keep them for later. And since this is the case more often than not, I find myself handing them old sheets of homework to practice with. The twins absolutely do not care what they are cutting or putting glitter on– they just want to do it! One thing I have learned is that as adults, we tend to actually care more than kids do about these types of things. My adopted philosophy is if they don’t care, why should I? In which case, sheets of recycled papers are the best because 1. it’s going to be recycled anyway; and 2. it’s free.
And with Valentines Day right around the corner, we decided to get rid of lots of paper by making a heart link chain.
So what do you do with your trail of papers? Any other suggestions out there?