Friday, June 22, 2012

A Fresh Start, Part 1: Studies

Summer officially started yesterday, and here in New Hampshire, we were greeted by a heat wave. Many people use summer as a time to catch up on everything they wanted to do, but couldn't, over the last winter. It provides a break; a way to escape from the monotony of our working or school life and try new things. To ensure the most fun. however, a fresh, clean atmosphere must be provided.

So it is with great pleasure that I announce that Young Yankee Lady will be publishing a series of 'A Fresh Start' posts. They will focus on organizing clutter that may have built up over the last several months, and creating a neat, carefree atmosphere for your summer plans. These will, hopefully, give you a boost to create a memorable and productive summer. I will be posting at least one part each week, so check back often to see what's new!

As spring approaches, I usually find myself working hard to finish my school studies, make last minute arrangements, and attend a wave of extra-curricular activities. Through the chaos, not everything gets put away, many piles of forms, notes, and such pile up, and my stacks of school books quickly topple and cover my floor. If this happens to you, too, please read on to find what you can do to tame the mess and create a fresh atmosphere for your summer plans.

Once school finishes, rather than rejoice in your freedom and run for the beach, please take the time to organize your papers and books. If things are put away correctly now, your back to school preparations will be considerably easier, giving you time for end of summer outings.

Textbooks/Lit Reading: Sort. Try and sell the ones you do not wish to keep. If you are home-schooled, check with your parents. They may wish to re-use them with a younger sibling. Put the ones you choose to save away with the rest of your past-school work. Stack Neatly.

Notes: Sort. You will most likely want some of them. Separate them by subject, and organize them in chronological order. It will be easier to find what you're looking for in the future. You can choose to either keep them with other work in that subject area, or keep all notes together in a single folder.

Handouts/Classwork: Sort. Some may be handy. Others, such as those explaining a homework assignment, probably won't be. Organize them by subject and/or date, and toss or recycle what you no longer want.

Essays, etc.: Keep. They probably require more work than most other assignments. Organize by subject, and keep neat. Note: If you keep a master copy on paper, there may not be  a need to keep one saved on your computer, unless you see yourself needing to print another copy.

Study Guides: It's up  to you. If you will be taking more classes in the same subject area, you may want to keep them to brush up on the information before school begins again. Otherwise, they may not be necessary. 

Tests: Keep for studying purposes, and also as a record of your grade.

Art: Keep what you like, toss what you don't. If you are taking a class, you may want to keep most of it so you can show your progress and create a full collection.

Schedules, letters, passes, and other paper: Keep what means something to you. If you want to be able to look back and see everything you read, keep your lit syllabus. If you want to remember those in your class, keep the student list. Try to condense it to save space, as, from a practical standpoint, these often aren't as 'important' as your actual school work. Toss or recycle what  you do not want.

 Basic Supplies: Pencils, pens, sticky notes, etc., can easily be stored in your desk for summer use. If you have more than you need, fill a pencil pouch with the extra and store with your past books. Simply take out again in August.

Making a portfolio: Many home-schooled students put together a portfolio of the past school year. Although the laws in each state differ, this is mainly to present to an evaluator, to show progress over the past year. Even if you are not home-schooled, however, a portfolio can be great idea. Simply buy a binder with large rings. Create dividers to separate subjects. Include samples of notes, classwork, study guides, and tests. Remember to include a section for art/music, and another on extracurricular activities. That is where you can put score sheets from competitions, lists of hobbies, and samples of some of your favorite activities, such as a recipe you created or a movie you filmed with friends. Just have fun with it! A portfolio provides a great book that is easy to store, and fun to look back on. 

I hope this has inspired you to organize your school items, so you can move on to other projects. Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment below. Was this article helpful? What are some easy storage ideas? Sorting tips? Any ideas to help make it less of a job at the end of the year? Young Yankee Lady can't wait to hear from you! Check back soon for Part 2.

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