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10 Ways That I’m Failing Kindergarten

My oldest has been in Kindergarten for 20-some days, and I’m already failing.

Let me make this clear. HE is doing great.

I, however, am failing.

And I have to say that I’m a little surprised.

Failing kindergarten? Seriously?

10 Ways that I’m Failing Kindergarten

1. I can’t spell Kindergarten correctly the first (or second) time I try. Ever. Thank goodness for spell check. And why can’t it be kinderGARDEN? Huh? That just makes so much sense to me. Like little minds growing in a GARDEN. Get it? Garden?

2. Last Wednesday, my son got off the bus after school and said, “You forgot to feed me breakfast.” While I won’t take full responsibility (it’s not like he said he was hungry, and I refused to give him breakfast), we have never – ever missed breakfast before.


Not sure why that happened. But I’m going to go ahead and blame my husband.

3. There were these papers that came home… and apparently I was supposed to confirm our address and how to spell our names and send them back to school by the end of the week to have our names printed in the school directory.

They were sent home the first week of school.

I just found them last night. Which means I missed the deadline by about FOUR WEEKS.

And I was actually really organized that first week of school, so you can only imagine what’s going to happen come February.

4. Scholastic Books. Do you have those where you live? My son got off the bus bursting with excitement over these book catalogs from his teacher. He had already circled all of the books that he thought would be amazing.

And then he spent the rest of the evening highlighting those books. And we’re really working on the whole reading thing, so anything that gets him excited and encourages him to love reading is great by me. And these books are cheap. Like $1 cheap.

But – big shocker – I missed the deadline. Didn’t order a single one. Didn’t even realize I’d missed the deadline until I missed the 2nd deadline too. And when my son’s friends all get their books at school one day soon, I’m going to have a pretty disappointed kid.

But I’m just going to tell him that it was his dad’s fault. And when my son never learns to read, guess whose fault that will be too?

5. Buying lunch. I envisioned packing my son the ultimate in healthy lunches. There would be fruit and vegetables and lots of colors and sandwiches that looked like animals.

Every time he begged to buy his lunch, I said, “NO. I love making your lunches!”

And that lasted for all of one week.

He’s bought nearly every single day since then because… I don’t have to pack his lunch when he buys. And that makes me even happier than knowing that he’s eating a sandwich that is shaped like a dinosaur.

6. So… we missed Meet the Teacher Night. Yeah, it sounds bad, I know.

There’s a special night for the kids to take their parents to school. We would have been able to see where my son sits, what work he’s been doing, where he goes to the bathroom – the important stuff. And we could have talked to his teacher and learned about all of the things they’re learning and…. well, I don’t know what else we would have learned, because we weren’t there!

Instead we were on the way to my great-grancmother’s funeral – which was definitely important. But – still – we missed Meet the Teacher Night.

7. There’s this brown envelope… My son brought home a brown greeting card envelope in his backpack last week. His name, and his teacher’s name are written on it. But there was nothing inside.

My son doesn’t know what it’s for. And I’m feeling like I should know what it’s for, but I haven’t got a clue.

It’s probably something that has to do with Meet the Teacher Night – but I wouldn’t know because we weren’t there.

Regardless, I’m sure it’s something that my husband should have taken care of. At least that’s what I’m going to tell my son and his teacher if I ever solve the mystery.

8. I forgot about picture day. Well, I didn’t actually forget on the day of picture day. But I forgot about it up until that day.

Which means that my son desperately needed a haircut. And he didn’t own a single shirt without a giant logo or a dinosaur on it.

Oh – and I let him choose his own clothes every single day because I just don’t care, so I let him choose on picture day too. I’ll be sure to share the picture when we get it back. It’s going to be awesome, featuring my son with shaggy hair and a soccer jersey.

9. I forgot about the homework. Every Monday, my son brings home some homework that we have to work on each night during the week and then turn in on Fridays.

Guess who didn’t do his homework at all last week and also forgot to turn it in on Friday? That would be my son.

And guess which parent forgot that he even had homework and therefore didn’t bother to ask him to do his homework or remind him to put it in his bag for Friday?

I’m going to go ahead and blame my husband for that one… because why not!? Yes, I’m home with my son when he gets off the bus, and I’m the one that goes through his folder with him every day and then spends about four hours with him before my husband gets home from work.

But – seriously – what kind of dad doesn’t make their kid do their homework? Geesh.

10. I can’t even think of a 10th reason. But I guarantee you I’ll have reason #10 before the week is over, so stay tuned!

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  1. Maribeth Bastian says:

    Welcome to my world! It gets worse the older they get, by the way.

  2. Kristi Arnsdorff says:

    I solved the lunch thing by making my kids make the lunches. They rotate through the week. My second grader lost his homework midweek. I was going to let him take the hit until the hubs reminded me I could go online and reprint it. He was doing 2 days’ worth on Friday morning before school.

  3. Emma is in pre-school at 4 years old and I too find I am having a hard time keeping up. I mean when we were kids pre-school and kindergarten was so not like this and we definitely didn’t get homework. So, I totally feel your pain and reading this was thankful it isn’t just me who forgets stuff for school for my kids.

  4. Oh my good night!! I had no idea it was THIS bad! I really need to move down there if my grandchildren are ever going to make it into college – and I totally would – except for the fact that your brother has already asked me to move in with them…….not that your Dad and I are ready to move anywhere anytime soon…..but seriously….call anytime.
    love you!

  5. JugglingMom4 says:

    I’m with you. Except for the homework part–kindergarten homework? I would balk at that! I have 3 in school and I’m totally failing all the time. You get used to it pretty quickly.

    Solidarity, Mama!

  6. Sweets eats lunch at school. So awesome.
    Homework- check. She’s in preschool so it’s a whole bunch of “drawing pictures and label what it is” and even if she DIDN’T do it, I could scribble something really fast and they would NEVER. KNOW.
    Picture Day- crap. I am PRETTY sure it said Oct. 30th, but now I’m nervous that perhaps it was SEPT. 30th, which would be today, and she went to school with a jagged bangs cut because I tried to “fix” what the hair dresser messed up.
    I think things even out…teachers stop paying attention somewhere around the week after Spring break, right?

  7. I have three kids, but only one of them is in school right now. We’re 3rd grade this year and I’m JUST now feeling like I’m getting the hang of the whole school marm gig. I felt like gigantic failure the entire year of Kindergarten. Our school does this whole popcorn thing on fridays where they bring in a giant, movie theater popper and the kids can buy a bag of pop corn for 50 cents. Only I didn’t see the announcement that was printed on her behavior sheet which got sent home EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and I never saw the announcement for it on the lunch menu either. So she kept talking about wanting popcorn for snack on fridays and I had no idea what the heck she was talking about until nearly CHRISTMAS. I felt like the most horrible mom in the world for weeks and kept apologizing to her until she got annoyed with me. My point is that I think we all forget. Not all of us can be “perfect Patty’s” and honestly- I think those are more the rare breeds than the norm. As long as you love that baby, and I KNOW you do- then you are doing a fantastic job!

  8. I have a second grader. We are doing pretty good turning in the homework, but last week I forgot to send in the fundraiser packet. Not that we actually sold anything yet! But when you receive the fundraiser packet it comes with this little coupon that says” I have sold 3 items.” You are supposed to fill out the coupon and send it to school that first week and your child gets a prize. Of course all the other kids had their prize and my son wanted one too. So who filled out the coupon for their child to get a prize and then never sent in the actual order packet? That would be me! Totally meant to order , but time got away from me! Not to mention the school even sent home a reminder that orders were due soon! Oh, and that official prize my son received broke the very first day he brought it home.

  9. Sounds like me. Except on top of all that, I have a son who likes to make up stories. Really good, accurate sounding stories. So, when I ask about something at or related to school – I can never tell if it’s real or not. Sometimes asking him “If I call your teacher will she tell me that, too?” works. But not always. This mom gig is HARD! (Your mom is funny. Too bad it’s usually at your expense. I’ve gotten to the point where I tell my mom that she can’t complain about how I’m raising my kids until she moves here and takes her turn living with them. :))

  10. Having spent 27 years working in the school system….Special Ed, actually, I know where you are coming from! But here, let me make you feel better for kindergarten……it gets worse!!! Do plan on a couple chapters for school stuff in that book you ARE going to write! Love ya, Dona

  11. Just found you last night and then spent an hour reading a ton of your posts! Super stoked to see that you are (or at least were) living in Cincinnati! I am a Cuncinnati local!

    Had to share a funny parent lie from my childhood! I was the first child in my family born with red hair, on both sides. I one time heard my parents joke with someone that had asked where my red hair came from. “The mailman!” So, naive little me, thought the mailman brought a package of red hair. In my mind like the stork brought babies, the mailman brings red hair. So, all growing up, every time I am asked about my red hair, I proudly proclaim that it was from “the mailman!” At the age of 20-something, I hear someone make the same joke about someone else and I laughed (getting the joke in context). And later, I play it over in my head a few times, slowly putting pieces together and finally realizing all these years I had been telling everyone that I was FATHERED by the MAILMAN!

  12. You’re just setting a standard. If you were totally on top of everything, the teacher would be impressed, and then perhaps ask you to be a room mom or help with extra stuff. This way, she is aware that you are busy and she shouldn’t ask you for anything extra. (If she even knows who you are.) This is actually a genius plan.

  13. I have a bit of good news for you. You can go online to scholastic’s website and order books. It will ask you to select your school and teacher. The books will still be shipped to school. Hope that helps!

  14. Wendy Pence says:

    OMG … been there, done that! Nothing makes you feel like a lower form of life than forgetting stuff that’s school-related and knowing their teacher thinks you’re the biggest dumbass who ever lived! But, I prefer to think of these foibles as all the comedic fodder I will ever need at dinner parties and other social situations. That works out pretty well for me. :0)

  15. I agree with the first commenter. Wait until they are all in school, and then you’ll really never remember anything. I have never felt like such a slacker as I have this year with three in school. I can’t keep anything straight!

  16. Just wait when you get to fail middle school! I failed Kindergarten too. I practically needed a sponsor to walk me through all the stuff I was to do each day!

  17. This is my first year with kids in two different schools and I’m going nuts and it’s only September. I also forgot about picture day BUT I made it to the Johnny Appleseed parade, so it all evens out, right?

  18. My son loves the scholastic books too, but I also fail at returning anything to school on time, especially if it requires money to be sent with it. I did find out that you can go to Scholastic online https://clubs2.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/LogonForm and just choose his school and teacher and order the stuff online. I am assuming it works the same for kindergarten, but his PreK teacher last year told me that it doesn’t matter when you buy the stuff it will get shiped to the classroom. So although he may not get his books at the same time as anyone else, he will get books when noone else is getting books.

  19. I almost died when I read this! I love the brutally hilarious honesty here. I have four kids and the last one we just sent off to KinderGARDEN, I forgot SO many things with all the other kids that I swore I was going to a “good mommy” and do right by him. After reading this I realized I forgot to check his backpack ALL weekend long. Thank you for this post!

  20. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I’m failing preschool.

  21. Oh, yeah. I hear you. By the way, kindergarten is a German word that means, literally (if I’m remembering my high school German right) Children Garden. So you were pretty close. Anyway, my problem is remembering Show and Tell. They do this on Mondays. Why? It’s like asking the parents to forget about it. I can’t remember how many times my daughter went off to school in kindergarten without her show and tell, and then she looked bad, when it was really my fault. You can’t expect a kindergartner to remember Sunday night that she needs a show and tell. So far, my son has been in school since August and I think we’ve remembered most weeks, but now that I think about it, I can only remember a few things we’ve sent. So I may have blown it with him, too. And our school has us send along a healthy snack for the kids. Occasionally I forgot with my daughter, and her teacher would say patronizingly, “for MY kids, I just put five in their book bag on Sunday” and I’d think, if I forget doing a daily thing, how in the world do you think I’m going to remember a once a week thing (especially given my tendency to forget Show and Tell!!) I’m finally getting a bit better, but now I have one in kindergarten and one in 2nd, so the paper flow is even larger. I’m hoping we all survive and I don’t forget anything too important.

  22. Since I’m not a mom yet, I often think that this must be very hard but so wonderful task! I love to think about the simple yet complex life of being a mom – savor each moment for the joy of motherhood! Think positive always! 🙂

  23. I am a teacher and I still fail. As the kids grow, they will take over and that helps a lot!!!

  24. I had/have the same problem. My son always needed a haircut or a hair combing for picture day. Pick his own clothes? Heck, he slept in his clothes. We didn’t have to worry about a fight in the morning. I was a single mom and had plenty to stress/worry about. But when I look at my daughter’s school pictures (she was the 1st and I wasn’t single for the first 3 years of school), her hair didn’t look so great either. Just ‘fess up at that first teacher’s conference and know you are not alone. P.S. my kids are 32 and 23 now–I wish I’d done a better job of being a mom, but I can’t change what has happened.

  25. Christine says:

    I’m failing kindergarten (for the 2nd time, we moved and the cutoff date is different so my little guy has to repeat kindy, so annoying) because they are having a carnival on Friday and we will be in NY for a family wedding. He has been looking forward to this since school started. I cried all day but there is nothing I can do. He asked me today if they can change the wedding until next Friday. 🙁 Hang in there, hopefully it gets better for all of us.

  26. I have one in 5th grade, 3rd grade, and pre-k. yeah, I continue to fail year after year. Glad to know I am not the only one! I think we should all have a club.

  27. My oldest started pre-school and I had to re-print the enrollment form, twice, because I didn’t follow directions. Then I forgot to bring it the first day and had to fill out the emergency form on-site. I am a teacher, which makes it worse. I work part-time at two schools and the first school hiked a mountain this morning. I had to hike back, very fast, to get to the second school by noon. I get to the second school and it’s picture day! I did not look good. The photographer asked it I liked the picture and, actually it wasn’t bad. I told her it was ok and she said “really?”

  28. Karen Mendheim says:

    I taught elementary school for more than thirty-six years, and I’ve watched kindergarten go from a fun socialization experience with the rudimentary math and reading to a virtual college prep year.

    I only taught kindergarten in a specialized remedial reading program for half an hour with each group of fifteen or fewer students per group. But when I taught first grade I knew that most homework assignments were skill & drill or little projects which were mostly completed by the type A moms. Try for at least three completed homework days in a week when possible and study for the spelling test because spelling lessons are arranged according to sounds/phonics also help with reading as well as writing.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff—unless it embarrasses your child—and fundraisers are terrific for getting money for the school, but don’t ride the guilt trip if you don’t sell anything and don’t return the forms. PTA’s would appreciate, but rarely get, a high percentage of participation, and are grateful for whatever money they can raise . Also, Tiffany, an earlier commenter, pointed out you can go to Scholastic online, see the catalog if that has disappeared, and order books for your child. You can also phone 800-SCHOLASTIC to try to expedite the order and delivery. Think of how special Miles will feel when he alone receives a book order! 😉 Be aware that the class/teacher gets points which can be used for purchases by the teacher, so ordering through the teacher would be appreciated.
    When you realize you’ve overlooked a deadline, send it in when you discover it with a little note saying you’re a charter member of the Better Late Than Never Club and hope s/he will understand.

    Oh, by the way, as a teacher whose kid attended the schools where I taught, I was dismally bad at turning all that stuff in by deadline. Try humor to dispel your guilt and hope the teacher is not a finicky anal retentive personality. If s/he is, that’s her/his problem, not yours.

  29. this post really cracked me up. and I also felt like crying. I’m not sure why. but thanks for sharing it!

  30. I hate that they throw so much crap into the kids folders, sales stuff, mixed in w the stuff that really needs to be looked at. I’m sure I have tossed out a few homework assignments. After working a ten hour day the last thing I want to do is read about the fine details of the teachers plan to teach. I don’t go around telling ppl about how I intend to do my job. I just do it. Wish the teacher would do the same…

  31. I will give you your 10th… my kidner (because I can’t spell it either) was dropped off at the wrong bus stop AND the next week the sub never put her on the bus and sent her to an after school program that she was not enrolled in. You can imagine my heart attack expecting my 5.5 year old and she was not where she was suppose to be and had to go track her down… Apparently, it is MY responsibility to morph immediate responsibility into my kid’s brain since the school throws up their hands and points all the balm back to the kid and me. Lastly, I did not read the magazine drive packet when I got it that day and missed my 5.5 year old not getting invisible ink and penguins because she did not have the appropriate form filled out to harass all my out-of-state friends and family to by their bloody magazines… You can only imagine the look I got from a pretty upset kinder… I am hanging by a thread here and THANK YOU for posting this… I now know I am not alone AND I can blame the hubs! 🙂

  32. I used to always think it was kindergarden until like a year ago… And I’m a grammar and spelling freak.

  33. i have 3 school age kids so it wold stand to reason that I am pretty good at this stuff…yeah NO! Got up early and spent 45 min. curling 10 yr olds hair–she has tons of hair & yet I failed to send in the envelopes to actually order the pictures.

  34. This is hilarious. 🙂 I was this kid in school. I always forgot my homework (even though I did actually do it), and I always forgot about picture day and meet the teacher night. What’s more is I couldn’t blame my mom because I would forget to give her the papers. 🙂 And she was a teacher too, so her hands were a little full with handling all of her high school kids and then me and my two little sisters too.
    Your stories are hilarious, and I find them hilarious. I am currently pregnant with my first and trying to learn all I can. I can barely keep the house clean when its just two of us. ( I blame my husband. He has too much stuff.) I can’t even imagine adding a kid to the mix. 🙂

  35. – Hi Mary! I’m soo glad you came for a visit to my blog this morning, bseuace now I get to be in awe of your gorgeous work! You are an artist to the full extent of the word.. and I’m inspired! I have been so afraid to play with my photo’s.. thinking that i’ll go way to far outside the box. Your work is so lovely and soothing to look at. I hope you do find a challenge group to participate with from Bloom. They will all be thrilled to see your work as I have!Ciao.. and have a great day!

  36. We have 5 children and we are THAT family that home schools. I am pretty sure I have failed all grades K-7 where we are now. haha! I love you sense of humor. Nice to see a REAL mom talk about our imperfections!

  37. Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

  38. I don’t think the title of your article matches the content lol. Just kidding, mainly because I had some doubts after reading the article.

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