Organizing School Work With Portfolios

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Katie at Organizing Moms.  

Showcase and organize your child's school work using portfolios!!

Have you been holding on to your child’s school work for years? Are you unsure about what to do with it? When our children started school, I vowed to only keep the “truly special” school projects that they sent home. Little did I know that I would consider almost everything they sent home to be “truly special.” After the first year of preschool, I had a huge stack of papers, and I had no idea what to do with them!

After considering many options, I decided to make a school work portfolio for each child to showcase their work. I used to be a middle school teacher, and our students made portfolios to demonstrate their learning over time. I thought that making a portfolio would be a good way to boost my sons’ confidence, as they could see how far they had come in just a year.


To make portfolios for our sons, I kept things very simple. I wanted to make something that was easy to maintain, and easy for me and my kids to access.

Supplies Needed for a School Work Portfolio

Here’s what I used to make the portfolio:

  • A binder for each child
  • Sheet protectors
  • Divider tabs
  • A binder cover for each portfolio

How to Put a School Work Portfolio Together

1. Gather supplies and all of the progress reports, papers, drawings and pictures you’d like to include in the portfolio. Declutter any of the items that don’t belong in the school work portfolio.

2. Put the papers you want to keep in sheet protectors, and insert them in the binder. If you can work on a grade at a time, that makes it easier to try to put papers in chronological order.

3. Add dividers to the binder for different grade levels.

4. If you have oversized projects you’d like to include in the binder, take a picture of them! You can get prints made of the projects, and include them in the portfolio.

5. Put a cover on each binder. I made a simple binder cover on PicMonkey. Click here to download a free copy of the binder cover.


Benefits of Organizing School Work With Portfolios

It’s compact and easy to store.

Kids can look at their own portfolios. The sheet protectors make the portfolio more child-proof. Our boys really liked looking through all of the work they did in school.

Older kids can put their own portfolios together. They may enjoy looking back on their old projects. This would be a nice project to work on with your child.

They’re easy to maintain. If you have new school work you’d like to add to the binder, you can just add it in as you progress through the school year.

Portfolios show growth over time. It’s nice for kids to be able to see how they’ve grown and improved.

So far we’ve been enjoying the new portfolios. Now, the challenge will be to actually keep up with adding papers to them as the school year progresses!

How do you organize your child’s school work?


Katie is a loving wife and stay-at-home mom to busy twin boys. She is passionate about making life at home more manageable through simple organizing solutions. Her love for organizing has spilled over into her popular blog,, where she shares realistic organizing solutions for busy moms. In addition to her love for all things organized, she also enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Katie, Kid Stuff, Printables, School Stuff


5 Responses to Organizing School Work With Portfolios

  1. 1
    Seana Turner says

    Very cute idea! Figuring out a way to cut down the amount while still preserving meaningful memories is a challenge for many. Using the binder provides a boundary on how much to keep.

  2. 2
    Lisa says

    I’ve actually done this exact same thing. I’ve been doing it for years. I have four kids and mostly what I keep in their binders are progress reports, report cards and award certificates that they earn each quarter. They would earn numerous ones from Pre-K through 8th grade, so I had to come up with a better system than a file folder. Once they hit high school the paperwork is pretty scarce and reports cards are online (I should still be printing those off though). If there is something personal like a drawing or something they worked really hard for like a paper or poems, those I keep too. Everything else gets trashed. So much paper! :o)

  3. 3
    Katie says

    I can’t resist keeping anything with with a handprint or a thumbprint! Thanks for your comments Seana and Lisa!

  4. 4
    CynthiaJo says

    I do this very same thing! And it’s wonderful! I have a sister who used to scrapbook. But she either didn’t have time or lost interest in it, but she’s saved everything so she can do all 4 of her kids work “someday”. LOL I’d rather have it done and over with so I just do exactly as your article says. SO EASY! And instant gratification! My boys actually enjoy looking through their binders. I also include silly drawings or stories they wrote through out the year, even if it isn’t techinically school work. Adds a nice bit of personality to them. And any “interesting” notes from their teachers or principals. Because they will one day have to explain themselves to their own children. 😉 LOL

  5. 5
    Rebecca says

    I put the current year items in a scrapbook box (always can find on sale at Michaels or with coupon) and then over the summer my son and I go through the box and keep a few special items which we move to another scrapbook box for multiple years.


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