Avoid School Registration-Induced Writer’s Cramp

Filling out school registration forms for five or six kids is monotonous, gives me writer’s cramp, and is incredibly time consuming. I streamline the process with pre-printed shipping labels.

If you don’t remember (or if your child’s school operates differently), I’m talking about each child bringing home 4 to 7 different forms for me to fill out and sign on the first day of school.  This consists of forms kept in the school office, forms for the teacher’s room, federal forms for various funding issues, and my personal favorite: the form that stays in my child’s Communication Folder for a week until it falls out, gets lost, then replaced by the teacher- with a note saying it was due the week before.

The Work Involved:

 

Formatting and printing the labels was semi-time consuming the very first time, but now all I have to do is update once a year and re-print.  I bought 3 1/3″ x 4″ shipping labels (Office Depot’s 612-281, Avery’s 8164, or 3M’s 3200-U) and follow the instructions in Microsoft Word.

I typed the requested information the registration forms all had in common onto the shipping labels.   [Pro-Tip: Type and Format the first child’s information the way you want it in the first block, then Copy & Paste into the other blocks.  Make sure to change the relevant information in the copied blocks as needed.]

SAMPLE LABEL:

Name: First & Last (Gender) ID: #####
BD: Birthdate          Allergies: N/A, etc.
School District- School Name- GRADE #
Address: Complete Address
Home Phone #: ###-###-####
Mom: My name (cell) ###-###-####
Dad: Name, cell, email
Emergency Contacts:
Trusted Person (Relationship) ###-####/ ###-###-####
Address
Back Up Person (Relationship) ###-###-####
Address
Last Resort (Relationship) ###-###-####
Address
Doctor: Family Doctor ###-###-####
Dentist: Kid Dentist ###-###-####

Worth the Time Saved:

 

Armed with my informative labels, I stick one on each registration form.  The next step is to answer the one or two questions not covered by the label, then sign the form.  In the beginning of this school year, a usually 2.5 hour job was reduced to 15-20 minutes.  I’ve checked with my school’s receptionist to confirm that this method was acceptable.  The general consensus was, as long as the form has all of the information needed, pre-printed labels are not a problem.

Labels can be used for the more complex permission slips the older kids bring home throughout the year, as well.

Other Ways to Save Time on School Registration Forms:

 

  • Simple address labels you may already have around the house will at least save you from having to write your address over and over.
  • We have our high school-aged kids fill out their own forms (whatever they may be) throughout the year; then we proofread and sign.  This gives the teens practice in filling out forms legibly in ink, as well as a chance to re-commit this very important information to memory.                      SIDE NOTE: We have a whole new respect for White Out these days. It’s mind boggling the number of times they spell their parent’s name incorrectly, or forget how to spell their own middle name… smh.

Start on School Registration Labels Now!

 

Yes, I know the last day of school was this week, but…

Sometimes, as busy parents, we try to “Power Through” the tedious tasks such as filling out forms.  Just as we need to remember to enlist the help of older children for basic tasks around the home, we should enlist the help of our technology.  It’s there so you don’t have to do it all yourself, all of the time.

My advice is to start working on this during the summer, when you have the time.  Put Shipping Labels on your To Buy List, and go from there.  The closer to the beginning of the school year it gets – the crazier it gets, so it will be a relief to know that the labels are already taken care of.

If you have more than two kids putting you through school registration next school year, your hands will thank you for avoiding Writer’s Cramp!

school registration
Free from paperwork? Not exactly, but Labels make it faster!

 

 

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