The day my oldest son came home from his first day of school in the first grade, I excitedly asked him, “Do you have any homework?” I had images of him sitting down to the kitchen table with cookies and milk as he worked on his reading, writing and math.
“No, I don’t have any homework, but you do,” he replied. What? Why would I have homework? I have graduated from college, I don’t need to do homework anymore. Yet sure enough, my son pulled out a folder full of papers and handed it to me. I had a stack of forms to fill out. I set it aside to work on after my kids went to bed.
That night I settled down to the kitchen table to do my “homework”. No cookies or milk for me, I was going to have this done in 10 minutes or less. Little did I know what I was in for.
My first clue should have been the first paper. It was a piece of paper telling me how to fill out all of my forms. What it should have said was, “Run don’t walk away! Home schooling will take less time than this!”
I made a list of all the papers in this folder. I kid you not, this is actually what was in the folder that night.
· Volunteer Talent Survey to help teachers and the PTA, I couldn’t find “getting kids dressed and fed in the morning” as a talent so I left it blank
· Help Wanted for Health and Safety After School
· Rules of the Classroom, which I had to sign to show that I had read
· Application for Reduced or Free Lunches, with only three spots to list members of the household not attending that school, I would have needed six
· Breakfast Menu for September
· Lunch Menu for September
· Fee Waiver Application, I never could find out what the fees were for
· Subscription for a magazine, which I must sign whether I wanted to subscribe or not
· Brochure about Hogle Zoo
· Application for the After School Program, 10 bucks a month, keeping them until 6:00 P.M., tempting but no
· Parent Teach Conference sign up for appointments, my son has been to school for one day and already we need to have a parent teacher conference?
· Membership Information for PTA
· Application for Student Insurance
· Registration Card
· Explaination of child’s homework procedure, so my son will eventually have homework?
· Parenting class “Project Reality” application form, I thought that was a great name for a parenting class
· Help Wanted notice for food services
· Bus Schedule, my son didn’t even ride the bus
· Reminder for Parent/Teacher Conferences, I had just signed up for the appointment, did they think I had already forgotten?
· Letter explaining the dress code. My child couldn’t wear items that I’ve never even heard of. Hats w/o monikers, (what are monikers?) webbed belts, (what are webbed belts?) the letter even felt that it had to tell me that when pants do not fit at the waist and “sag” learning is interrupted due to under clothing exposure, pants falling off is very embarrassing to the student involved. Well any girl who was depanced in the 5th grade can tell you that.
· Bell Schedule for School. M-Th 12:18 and Fri. 11:13. Since when do bells ring at 12:18? What happened to the good ol’ 3:00 that we used to look forward to? We never said, “Oh, I can’t wait until 2:52!”
· Form to be a McGruff parent, I’m already a gruff parent, and getting more so as I fill out these forms
· Fluoride Mouthrinse program application
· Form to set SEP goals for my child both Academic and Social, right now my goals include bed and a paper shredder
· School Safety Policy
· Calendar for Sept 2000
· 2000/2001 Trimester Calendar I was just trying to get through these forms, at that moment I didn’t care which days in April he didn’t have school.
· Regulations Governing Pupils Riding School Buses
· List of who could pick up my child in the event of a major earthquake, plane crash or chemical spill, back then I found it so funny they would list plane crash, I don’t anymore.
Finally at 10:07 P.M. I was finished. I went to bed feeling it was going to be a long year.