Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Wasting time online

Lately we seem to be drowning in paperwork. Since three of our children are already in school and Kerrie is due to start in September we receive letters home on most weekdays, often in duplicate and sometimes by the handful.  Forms for school trips and outings, fund raising events, after school clubs, questionnaires, news, and adverts. I understand from the schools point of view that there is a lot going on and they have a vast amount of information to impart, believe me I am not complaining at this sudden burst of communication since I would be the first to complain if we as parents were not kept updated. In fact I very much like it.

 The primary school produces a fantastic newsletter, implemented by the new Headteacher which we can choose to have as either an email or a paper copy. It contains so much information about all sorts of things happening during the school day which we would, under the previous regime have known nothing about. Chloe went up to High School last September just as our new Head arrived so I have had several years of her attending Primary school to be able to compare this to.
 In the past I often felt that what happened during school hours was very much kept in the classroom and we shouldn't really be asking now I am pleased to see we are expected to want to know what our children have been doing with their days, isn't that as it should be?

 Elisha brought home a copy of the latest newsletter on Friday and Chloe picked it up to read. She looked sad and I asked her what was wrong. She replied that she wished she could go back to the Junior school because it looked fun. She was bemoaning the fact that she missed out on so many of the activities which Elisha gets to take part in. Her keen eyes had noticed that Elisha and James are being offered so many more opportunities than she was given during her time there.  I couldn't really offer another viewpoint as although she took part in quite a lot of activities having seen the other side of the coin I am rather inclined to agree with her.

 It is lovely to see so many pictures of the children taking part in such varied activities. Now, it is not just the proud parents of the 'Worker of the week' 'Star of the week' etc who hear their child's news, all the other parents get to hear about it too. It is of course lovely to see my own children being singled out for their achievements,  but it is also very nice to see the other children's own special moments too. I have known many of the  pupils since they were babies, I have watched them grow up and it is lovely to see them do well. The email can be forwarded to grandparents and relatives to show them and for me the on line format is easy to keep track of and it also means that I don't have yet another piece of paper to lose!

The downside of all this information being available  is that in a converse way it can be very hard to keep up with all that is going on.   I try and keep all the letters from school in the same place so I can make sure it all gets dealt with on time. Lately though my days are crammed with the ever changing needs of a small baby and a very active toddler that so much is just not getting done at home.
Bits of paper are thrust into my hands when they arrive home from school and I put them down to deal with later, the trouble is 'later' something else happens which I have to deal with and the pile of letters gets put to one side to deal with 'tomorrow' I then end up riffling through it in a mad hurry to deal with the most urgent things as the children are heading out of the door, not good. What is worse is that I now have three 'to be dealt with' piles of paper and they are stacked in three different  locations due to the need to keep them all out of Kerrie's reach. In other words they are spread around the house.

So today I decided that enough was enough. Deep down I am actually quite organised, no seriously I am! I'm a huge fan of lists and notebooks, I love my calendar, and on days out I am the one carrying the plasters, (what do you expect I was a Girl Guide you know!) so it is very frustrating for me to be juggling such a mess. I needed to do something about it and today came my opportunity.  Kerrie and Lucy very kindly both had a nap at the same time so I grabbed the laptop, calendar and the most recent stack of missives to try and play catch up, well I did say try!

In reality...........

Chloe attends the local high school which tends to post most of it's information and updates in on line newsletters. I had received a text from them (days ago......) informing me that a newsletter was available but I had chosen to ignore it until now bemoaning a lack of time.
 I switched on the laptop and was making a studious attempt to avoid Facebook which I love even though it is the greatest time waster ever.  I logged onto the high school website to check the newsletter which it has to be said contained hardly anything of any real use. It then advises me that for the latest info I should 'like' their Facebook page, in doing so I am of course re-directed to the very place I am trying to avoid - is there a conspiracy going on here?  Back to the job in hand then? Oh stuff it maybe I should just make a cup of tea and check my news feed while I procrastinate some more................

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