Wednesday, June 10, 2009

School Artwork...to keep or NOT to keep?

So, it's the end of the school year and your kids are bringing home papers and projects by the TRUCKLOAD! The spelling tests aren't difficult to toss but those sweet handprint reindeer or the crayon rubbings of fall leaves do the "do I keep it/do I throw it" dance...from the hope chest to the trash and back 100x as you try and decide which to keep and which to toss.

As an art teacher, one of the BIG lessons I learned was taught by a very smart professor when I was doing my undergraduate work. She said, "NEVER let a child see you throw away their artwork!" ANY artwork is a one-of-a-kind, a sort of miracle, something that can never be duplicated, it's a snapshot of sorts into a moment of their childhood that they will never relive and you will never see again. So...no pressure, right? You will just have to build a new wing on your home to house their creations K-12, right? No. I have a simple answer that I will be documenting for the next few posts.

Your FIRST assignment:

Make a stack/fill a box/locate any and all artwork you have saved over the years and go through it to pick your favorites or let your children choose their most memorable or favorite pieces.

If you are having a hard time choosing and if you are like me and you have saved almost EVERYTHING they have painted/drawn/collaged in their school career so far...you can think of a THEME....colors, seasons, objects. Maybe you have 15 pieces that have mostly red as the main color or maybe you have equal numbers of seasonal artwork...Choose a theme if you need to to help you organize your thoughts.

Once you have those pieces chosen, put them in a pile in a safe place. Go to your local super center and purchase an under-the-bed sweater box . Label (with name/grade/teacher) the remaining artwork and place in the sweater box for safe keeping. Repeat for each child.

STAY TUNED....

We will do Step 2 in the next post.

Leave your ideas/questions/comments below and I will be happy to advise!

9 comments:

Debbie said...

THANK YOU. I have been wracking my brain. My daugther was only in 2 mornings a week "Mommy's Day Out" and we have a bag FULL of goodies that I can't bear to part with. I have been at a loss what to do with it all - and you just saved MY sanity!

noexcuses said...

Not to jump the gun here...you might already plan to include this. I had a scrapbooker tell me to photocopy and shrink down artwork and then put it in a scrapbook with the child's comments. They still see their artwork and can comment on it while it is fresh in their little noggins.

Personally, I purchased a few of those expanding artist portfolios from a craft store. Most of the artwork fits inside just fine.

Your suggestion for the sweater box would be great for anything, but especially for 3-D artwork or sculpture type projects.

Julie said...

I usually keep just a few projects (now that they're older, my big kids don't bring too much artwork home anymore anyway).

Another idea (similar to the copying/putting in the scrapbook idea) is to scan the artwork and save it to a disc. You could even go so far as to type a description on each "page" so people would know what they were looking at - it would be great for a graduation slide-show as well.

MaBunny said...

Oh yeah, I know the feeling. Sometimes nicole will say she didn't like something she did and chunk it herself, but I have kept anything that she made for ME, not just in art class. Some stuff I have pressed in pages of my journal. Others I have in my organizer that I carry with me always. I love all of it.

Debbie Yost said...

I got caught the other day when my daughter saw something in the recycling. She thought her sister had done it. That's when you throw the "How'd that get there" look out and say it was a mistake. I've gotten pretty good at it.

I used to save everything when my oldest was little, but I've learned to weed through and save the special pieces and toss the others. I just try not to get caught!

Kiki Nakita said...

My mom used to put it on the fridge and photograph it. Once photographed, she'd either frame, digitally store on a CD, or put in a school "art" box.

Shellie said...

I agree with noexcuses up there. This is especially handy when some of their artwork appears on body parts or walls :(. It's still important to save some of your all time favorites though because nothing can replace a real piece of art, a picture isn't the same thing.

My Semblance of Sanity said...

I love all your ideas! These are great!

Post them on YOUR blog - share your creativity with the moms who read YOU!

:)

Farmer*swife said...

I'm with Debbie Y. "How did that get in there? I didn't mean to throw that away?!"

I'm wondering where this is going; I already read part II. :-)