Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Paper Project: The Year I Tallied How Many Papers My 3 Kids Brought Home From School
Throughout this process, I've been asked why I seem to be "complaining" about being able to examine my children’s school work, everything from holiday poems and math problems, to science papers about bats, to sketch art and essays. I love watching my children evolve as learners, to see how their penmanship improves, how details on their drawings sharpen, how complicated the math problems become and how tender their observations about their family in writing projects. I do not want any of that to stop. I want to see their evolution with my own eyes. Additionally, I want their teachers and school staff to communicate with the parents and let us know what’s going on.
However . . .
I don’t think some of the folks at school realize how much paper is actually sent home, especially during the waning weeks of school when there are so many things that parents – particularly with more than one child -- have to remember (school concerts, events, poetry readings, field trips, etc.) that it’s frightfully easy for parents to miss that flier tucked in between dozens of other papers about a last-minute change to the band’s performing and practice schedule.
Forty-two fliers/announcements/letters were sent home by teachers, school staff, parent organizations and civic/town groups during this time frame (the second and third weeks of June, plus June 21 and half of June 22). My third grader brought home 226 math papers while his fifth grade brother brought home 143 math/science papers. My fifth grade daughter had 51 pages related to language/reading. The total for these 11.5 days of school was an astonishing 1,505 pieces of paper (including the aforementioned notebook pages).
When you add that sum to the overall tally from the rest of the school year, the grand total of the number of pieces of paper sent home for three kids in grades 3, 5 and 5 was . . . *drum roll* . . . : 3,870.
(I went back to see if there were any other big notebooks or brochures brought home during the year that significantly added to the total and found: Three 23-page Recreation Department brochures, two 14-page brochures from the state of Massachusetts about the flu, three spiral-bound student/parent handbooks and two parent organization sponsored gift wrapping/gift fundraising packets which totaled 26 pages each.)
Also of interest: Nearly 500 papers (495 to be exact) during the year were from school faculty (principals, teachers, school nurses, etc.), parent organizations and public/civic organizations.
(For the week-by-week breakdown of the paper tallies, go here.)
Now that your child [children’s] school year is over, how many pieces of paper would you estimate came into your house during the school year? Ever feel overwhelmed by the volume?