Best of Both Worlds podcast: Get cozy and enjoy fall

I am not a pumpkin spice latte fan. However, there is much else to appreciate about fall, and in this episode of Best of Both Worlds, Sarah and I discuss how we’re enjoying this season. There will be colorful leaves (and family photos in front of colorful leaves). There will be Halloween costumes. And, just possibly, cute boots, up until things get icy and slushy here and the heavy-duty boots become necessary.

Q4 also turns out to be a great time to take stock of your professional goals, achieve something big, and set the stage for a productive new year. We offer some tips for making that happen.

Finally, in the Q&A portion, we address a listener whose new kindergartner is suddenly coming home with piles of completed assignments and artwork. What is the best way to handle the volume? Sarah and I have slightly different philosophies, though much of this stems from the different way children feel about their masterpieces. Do you kids fall into the Ok-to-toss-it or the Keep-it-all camp, or somewhere in between? Let us know! And please give the episode a listen. As always, we appreciate a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts.

7 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Get cozy and enjoy fall

  1. If my kids had their way, I know they’d keep a lot more of the paper detritus, but we simply can’t keep it all. It comes home in a steady stream (though it feels better this year, as the kids get older!?). That said, I feel like I have a good sense of what is really meaningful to them.

    A things I do that help:
    1) If it’s a stock picture they have coloured or a very generic piece of completed work, it goes right out in the garbage. These are often crumpled at the bottom of their bag and they don’t even bother getting it out to show me.
    2) If it’s unique and/or they have written something personal on the paper item, I put that on the fridge temporarily. I get a sense of how proud the kids are of a particular accomplishment/piece of art. Most of these items end up in the garbage once it’s been highlighted for a few days on the fridge.
    3) If it seems like something I should keep long-term I have a small (but bigger than letter-size) tote where I keep special items. I will add things in here temporarily if I’m uncertain about their sentimental value. At the end of each quarter, I’ll do a quick go-through of what’s in their totes and I’ll cull things that I know won’t be missed (i.e. their first draft of a major writing project, now that we have a laminated copy of the final doc).
    4) Take pictures. I will take pictures of tests/art-work and then can throw it away in good conscience. Some special items I’ll actually add as photos to our annual photobook, but I know of other people that take pictures of all their kids artwork and special school items and then have it all printed off in a single book that just highlights those sort of things. It is a very streamlined way to have a copy of all the favourite items!

  2. I feel like we just got the artwork/papers thing down and then COVID happened and for whatever reason neither kid brings much home anymore. I have a huge basket that kids toss their papers in daily (or weekly if they leave stuff in their backpacks), and about every 3 weeks we all sit down as a family and go through the work. This seemed to help them feel like we were really looking at, and “recognizing” everything they had done, and made it easier for them to recycle stuff after they had a chance to talk about it. Just before COVID, they had gotten good at recycling stuff they didn’t feel was important enough to discuss 🙂 I took photos of 3D projects before we let them go, and saved maybe 3-5 things a year for their school scrapbook binder. (We nominate more candidates than that and at the end of the year, I go through and pick the ones I really want to keep.) I actually really liked this practice of going through it together because it gave us a good sense of what they were doing academically in school esp if they were in a class that was light on homework.

  3. I am pretty ruthless with the paper from school. I save a handful of art projects per school year. I also have them choose 1-2 written pieces for the year. The rest goes in the recycling bin. I just can’t take the clutter!

    Luckily as Laura says, the amount of work that comes home after second/third grade drops dramatically.

  4. Hi, I had a question for one of your future mailbags. How do you supervise/help your children with their homework whilst at the same time also looking after another small child who still needs a lot of supervision?

    1. @Evi – good question – If I am going to help, I generally try to help when I don’t have the younger kid (nanny still there, husband has him, baby is asleep, etc.) Or I try to push back on helping – if the kid is really stumped that is one thing but “Mom, help me!” is sometimes about the kid not wanting to work at it.

  5. Our 3yo already started to bring quite a bit of things home from school and I am also quite ruthless with it! He doesn’t seem to care, though, and doesn’t really remember what he worked on. We will give especially cute things to my husband’s mom. She loves to hang them on her fridge. I remember Kelsey from Girl Next Door Podcast talking about making a shutterfly book of art projects so that could be a good way to memorialize artwork in a less cluttered way! It might just come down to the child’s preference, though, as our son is NOT into artwork and while he’s proud of what he does, he doesn’t seem to care much about what happens to it!

    I do like PSLs but only with 1-2 pumps of the pumpkin spice flavoring. A regular latte is way too sweet for me!

  6. I cringed a little bit hearing about all the kid art getting tossed into the recycling. Of course I support not saving every worksheet that comes into the house, but on behalf of the doting aunties, grandparents, and other childless adults in your life, we cherish those drawings almost as much as pictures of our beloved littles. We want to wallpaper our fridges and offices with those stick figure family portraits. Make someone’s day by shipping off an envelope of your rejects.

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