Have you lost that field trip permission slip again? If your home is like ours, once it is discovered that very important paper is lost, everything and everyone stops. The next second chaos ensues as backpacks start flying across the room, furniture is up-ended, children dash around wildly looking for that yellow slip and mom frantically sorts through every pile of papers in the house.
Imagine, if you will, a place can be found for every important paper that crosses the threshold of your home. That is why my notebook section called, “Sign Me,” exists. As soon as book orders or permission slips enter our home, I have trained my children to hand them to me and I place them in the pocket divider immediately. Most of the time, when our kids first get home from school, life is just too hectic for me to read all the papers handed to me. After the kids have been tucked into bed for the evening and I have had a chance to catch my breath, I will carefully read all the notes and papers sent home.
After reading, I have some specific steps I take.
- I write important dates on the calendar (we’ll get to that soon).
- I write things to do on the master to-do list (we’ll get to this as well).
- I sign what needs to be signed – if I’m OK with the activity. If not, I write out a brief note as to why my child will not be participating.
- I place the things that need to go back to school in my children’s backpacks.
- I make a note to tell the kids in the morning where the permission slips, book orders, etc can be found.
- Things like book orders I place back into the pocket after noting on the calendar when they are due back at school. The next day, I will set aside time to go through the orders with my children.
This system seems to work well for our family. There are a few weak spots, however. My system is dependant on my children telling me about the notes and them physically handing them to me. At this point in our lives, I’m comfortable with that. In my mind I am helping them develop personal responsibility. And, I’ll admit, I go through their backpacks after they hit the hay just to be sure.