Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Piles and Piles of Paper

My oldest is in kindergarten - he just started last week. I have recently decided that when you look up kindergarten in the dictionary, there should be a new definition - the land of piles and piles of paper. I never knew that kindergarteners bring home so much paper. And it's not worksheet he completed in school or projects that he made, that would really be okay - I actually have a folder all set up just waiting to house the school work for this year. What he's bringing home is notes and letters. And reminders and forms. ALOT of reminders and even more forms, which translates to the fact that these papers are for me. I think I get enough paper between the junk mail and the bills and the catalogs that come in the mail. But now my kindergartener is hand delivering to me more paper on a daily basis.

Before school started, a packet arrived in the mail. Inside, there were alot of papers, of course. Information, handbooks and forms to fill out. Forms to order lunch, order milk, join the PTA, volunteer for the lunch program, order a mini district calendar, order a mini student directory. Every order form needed a separate check to be sent in with it. Oh, and there was also a permission slip to sign that your child can be injected with something (I forgot what) in case of a nuclear attack. Yes, I am serious on that one, which truth be told, totally baffled me. Understand that I'm pretty smart (college degree, CPA certification and I own my own business), but I had to get my neighbor, a PTA mom, to come over and help me wade through the papers in this packet. At that point, school hadn't even started yet!

The first day of school, a letter came home from the teacher requesting each parent to fill out four questions about their child. Great, I thought, this was a great way to get some information about my son directly to the teacher without being a giant pain in her ass. You know, the information like he knows how to read and sometimes has to go to the bathroom alot. Normal kindergarten parent to teacher stuff. As I read the questions, I was reminded of the essays on my college applications. These were not just plain, tell me something about your child questions. These were serious essay questions which had me up doing my homework until about 1030pm. On the first night of school, nonetheless. (Note that the essays took me about an hour to complete).

The first week of school was short and I think the teacher was easing the parents the kids in to the new routine. Last night when I checked his folder, surprise! More papers. An order form for books from Scholastic. An order form for a Subway lunch fundraiser being organized for the 5th graders. Volunteer form to be class mom. Information on the first PTA meeting. Reminder to pay your dues for the PTA if you haven't already. I'm sure there was more, I just can't remember them all right now. Oh yes, the 3 page letter from the teacher letting us know that because she reminds the kids of their homework a bunch of times throughout the day, she will not be sending home instructions on what the homework is on a daily basis.

Forget the Year of the Rat, this is going to be the Year of Paper. And alot of it. I wish the school would go green and send everything over e-mail. Or make a rule that only 2 sheets of paper were allowed to be sent home each day. Otherwise you might find me buried under mounds of paper this year. Let's see what they hand out at the PTA meeting tomorrow night...


  1. OMG. I do feel your pain. Wait till BOTH your kids are in school. ;-)

  2. Isn't the amount of paperwork ridiculous! My oldest is now in first grade, and the amount of papers sent home has decreased, thank goodness. :)

  3. It's AMAZING how much paper comes home! My first son started kindergarten last week and I'm still trying to figure out how I can best organize everything. I thought I'd be one step ahead of the game if I brought some folders home from work and kept a TO DO folder and a TO READ folder along with the artwork I try to regularly circulate.

    So far my plan’s been partially successful-I’ve managed to keep the paper from piling up all over the house but now my kid is the only one who’s still paying cash at the lunch line because I missed the deadline for the pre-paid lunch card…I have to make the time to actually READ what’s in the To Read folder!


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