Preserving “K-12” School Work Memorabilia: Part Three

by | Scrapbook Storage and Organization, Scrapbooking Ideas | 4 comments

In the first post about the memory keeping of my son’s school work, I discussed the organizing process of the project. In the second post I showed the album I created with the items I chose to save. In this final installment in the series, I’m sharing materials that would work for creating a school work album (which weren’t available when I created my son’s album). I’m also going to share some pages I recently created with digital templates. Finally, I’ll reflect on the overall process.

When I put together my son’s album, in late 2008 and early 2009, although I knew Photoshop and had done some digital scrapbooking, I had little to no experience using templates. If circumstances had been different, I might have created layouts using Cathy Zielske’s School Album Layered Template Set (available in 8 ½ x 11 and 12 x 12 format) to capture key events during his school years. The template set also has an add-on for middle and high school years.

Playing “what if?” I tasked myself to try Cathy’s templates with photos from my son’s 2nd grade year. Photos from his elementary years are non-digital, which means using them in a digital layout requires scanning. I looked through our family photo albums and was able to find only a few that related to school. Perhaps if I’d been shooting digitally, or had been scrapbooking at the time (I didn’t start until my oldest son was in 9th grade), I would have found more every day, school-related photos.

Supplies: School Album Layered Template Set by Cathy Zielske,
Digital papers by Katie Pertiet, Rockwell font

Cathy Zielske has several posts showing how she’s used her templates to document her children’s school years: A School Album Solution, 2010-style and Updating school albums for another year.

Project Life hit the market after I put my son’s album together. The Project Life system would have been another route I could have taken to store my son’s school memorabilia had I been keeping an album from the beginning of his school years.

Using the same photos as above, I created a page with the digital Project Life – Template Design A and the Turquoise Edition Journaling Cards by Becky Higgins.

Supplies: Project Life Template, Turquoise Edition Journaling Card,
Digital paper by Katie Pertiet, Rockwell font

If I were to go back and create photo pages for each grade, with either Cathy Zielske’s templates or the Project Life templates, I would still store the school papers in 8 ½ x 11 page protectors behind the photo pages.

I had a monumental task of creating my son’s K-12 school album because I waited until he was in college to do so. This is not an approach than I recommend!

The Final Word

My recommendations on preserving your child’s school work memorabilia:

  • Go through the work on a regular basis knowing your decision style. I could have made this a routine at the end of the school year. For others, going through the work every week or every month might work better.
  • When putting together an album, focus on your goals and let go of perfectionism. Know who you’re making the album for – yourself, your child, the two of you?
  • Let go of the guilt of throwing away (or paper recycling) your child’s school work. You and your child will have the memories of their school years with or without the papers.
  • Date the work! Date the work! Date the work!

Did you find this post helpful?

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  1. Kimberly Mears

    I just bought Cathy’s templates. My oldest son is in first grade. My youngest is going to start preschool next year. I sat down with them last night. I was able to do almost all the pages for my oldest son’s first three years of school . I am missing some pictures from his preschool year (I had a digital folder for two months that year go missing…that was before I had back up…I am waiting on my mother in law to find her copies of the pictures to loan me). I am doing it in 12×12. I am going to do 1 8.5×11 page protector for each grade with his most special work. I will also do one of the Becky Higgins 12×12 envelope pages for awards and class pictures. For school work, I will save only what fits in a single file folder for each year (all dated except for his preschool work). I am fortunate to be starting now, but thanks to Stacy Julian’s School of Life concept combined with Cathy and Becky’s products I am finding a system that works!

    • Jean Manis

      That’s fantastic Kimberly! It’s great that you’ve got a system in place this early.

  2. Veronica Padilla

    Hi there! What kind of scanner did you use? I’m looking for the one that Becky Higgins uses but don’t know which one it is?
    A scanner that takes in each item one at a time, not a flatbed scanner.


    • Jennifer Wilson

      I know that Jean uses a flatbed scanner. The one you’re thinking of may be the Fujitsu ScanSnap or the NeatDesk. They aren’t great for photos, but work well for flat memorabilia and of course, household papers.



  1. Preserving “K-12” School Work Memorabilia: Part Two - Simple Scrapper - [...] In the final installment of this series, I’ll share some of the materials now on the market that would…

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