When did going to school mean
so much reading for Mom and Dad? I swear, every day my son's Kindergarten
folder is filled with more announcements, book campaigns, class sign-ups and
notices than I ever thought possible. Is it someone's job to stand at the copier, full time, getting this many sheets printed up (in a variety of
colors mind you) for the 750 families at our school? I mean, the paper tsunami didn't even start with a trickle. From the very beginning, it was a deluge.
It all started the first week. Actually, no wait, let's
back up: It started the Friday before the first week of school at Parent
Orientation. (Yes, parents need to be orientated, too). I was handed a folder
with my son's name on it. Inside, were forms I was required to fill out for the teacher—a sheet to get to know my son, another about what languages he spoke at home, the
next asked me about allergies. His teacher wasn't finished yet though.
There were several sheets explaining homework, the class blog where the teacher
updates what they are doing, ways to contact the teacher and how to get text
alerts when she has announcements for parents.
Excessive? Possibly. But most of
this information I do actually need throughout the year—or at least I assume I
As the school year rolled over into October, there was some relief. But only some.
The next week my son started school. That first week of
school saw more papers coming home in a different folder— a folder I would
quickly become friends with since there was something for me to look at every day. I expected the immense volume of papers in the folder to taper to once or twice a week, eventually. (Six
weeks into school and I'm still waiting.)
After-school sport signs ups appeared in the first two weeks of school. Then came the language class sign-up
forms. There was Lego club, science club and running club. Just when I thought
it was over, the PTA announcements and weekly newsletter showed up.
One day the school might have a Cliff Notes version of Kindergarten for parents that tells us everything we need to know for the year.
first week of school the one-page homework assignment for the week started
appearing, along with worksheets and drawings he had completed in class. I also saw Reading club fliers that urged parents to buy more books, so the classroom could get earn books for their library (way to lay on the guilt people!).
As the school year rolled over into October, there was some relief. But only some. Fieldtrip forms showed up, and the homework kept
coming, but the excessive onslaught of papers subsided.
It's true, the
Halloween parade announcement, another school newsletter and a volunteer form appeared in the folder yesterday, but at least I'm mentally prepared to spend
at least one night a week reading through all of the papers that come home.
Before that I was scrambling to keep up every night, which was just insane.
One day the school might have a Cliff Notes version of
Kindergarten for parents that tells us everything we need to know for the year.
Maybe a comprehensive website as well. Until then, I guess my recycling bin will
stay full with the number of papers coming home.