Missing out

The paper-less society has been talked about for years. Computers were supposed to replace the need for paper as a communication storage device, but it has taken much longer than I thought it would. And I find I'm not all that fond of a totally paper-free existence.

I'm talking specifically about report cards. I miss them. Our district went electronic this last trimester for middle school and high school and I almost forgot about them. Had it not been for an email alerting us that Hayley's grades were now posted on the website (the site is secure and individually password-protected, so NO, you can't go check out how well my children did in school this past year). I miss the excited dash for the mailbox on the day the report cards (although they haven't been "cards" in a while, they've been report "regular sheets of paper" since my children have been in school) were supposed to arrive. I miss the huddling 'round the kitchen table while we discuss with the children what they got. I miss sticking the papers in my organizer and mulling over what to do with them and then letting them sit there and gather dust, food particles (why, yes, the organizer is in the kitchen), bits of dessicated insects, and water spots for several years until I clean out the organizer in a once-every-three-years fit of frenzied cleaning. I miss having concrete evidence that my child went to school.

Now it's all imaginary, as all things on the computer are. They are only pixels now. Bytes, bits, pulses, changes in state of matter at the subatomic level, or fairy dust on the screen for all I know.

How do you yell at a child with no paper proof to wave around in angry hands? How do you high five a child for an A that can be erased with the click of the back button? I can't stick my computer screen to the fridge with a magnet.

And printing it out seems like I've forged it. Plus it wastes paper.


Jen said…
I'm on the fence, too, about going completely paperless. I think I would like to have paper mementos from my children's school days (not all the paper that comes home though) especially report cards. So far our district still sends home paper cards. I've pretty much ditched everything else paper though including having all my pictures printed and even debating about how to do Mimi's 1st year scrapbook (digital or paper).

Other things that I've heard of schools ditching that I'm totally against are spelling tests (because we have spell check, ya know) and the math basics such as how to work with fractions and equations (graphing calculators and computers can do all that for you now). However, there is no shortage of teaching our children how to be green though (a recent study shows children ages 6-11 have major fears of our world not existing when they are adults...nice) and deep studying about other cultures and religions (but our own history/cultre gets glossed over and forget about ever discussing Christianity in public schools). I could on and on, but I know that your post did not intend to bring out my feelings about public schools these days.
froggybaby said…
I love holding a book. I read better when it is on paper. I tend to be more ADD with computer instructions. I hate having to go back and forth on the puter. I end up printing things off to follow directions. We still get real report cards. I guess if we go paperless, I'll print them up to put in their boxes!!