Tuesday, August 11, 2009

facing the inevitable...

I hate to even say the "s" word, but it's approaching fast. So I did what had to be done, and took the kids shopping for school supplies tonight. First step was to have Alice and Emma condense the 4 different grade-level lists into one giant manageable list. With John at work, I was taking all 1o kids to Walmart with me. Things needed to be efficient and organized so we could get in and out as quickly and effortlessly as possible. We have 6 going to school this year...2 kindergardeners, a 1st, a 3rd, and 2 fourth graders.
After locating and sorting through last years' scissors and pencil boxes to see what was still useable, we finalized the list and headed off.
The kids did amazingly well, despite the busy aisles, and always long check-out lines. Little Lucy was in an umbrella stroller with Alice chauffering her around. Charlie, Frank and Rose were buckled in one of those 3-seater carts. (I actually sent Emma into the store ahead of us to locate a cart with all the buckles intact, cause lets face it...if they can get out of the cart, the battle is already lost!) This left the 6 oldest school-goers ready to grab supplies and toss them into the cart. It makes me smile (and feel a little guilty all at the same time) that our kids are so excited to be getting new things, that they don't even buck or whine when I explain they'll be getting the 25cent generic folders that they can decorate themselves in lieu of the Hannah Montana folder that costs quadruple that. They're just too dang excited about getting a fresh pink eraser, it doesn't really matter! I tell you, it's the little things. I did cave on some Swedish fish candy at the checkout (to be opened in the car, cause yes, I need that leverage right up until that moment when everyone's buckled in their seats!)
Anyways, sorting through the treasures when we got home was a whole 'nother ball game. Even the toddlers pulled out old backpacks from the toy box, and begged for a pencil to call their own. We had a couple to spare, so everyone left the table happy. Everyone packed their supplies into their recycled backpacks in anticipation of that big day, exactly 2 weeks away. Oh my.
I'm soooo not ready for homework, alarm clocks, soccer schedules, and remembering who needs to wear gym shoes on which day. My head spins just thinking about it.
Oh, but then I imagine quieter days with just my 4 youngest at home, and wonder what we'll think of to make our time special while the "big kids" are away. I think I should have put playdough on our home "school" supply list.

for giggles: our list
6 jumbo pink erasers
8 folders
4 boxes crayons
2 pair scissors (already had 4 at home)
4 small glue sticks
2 large glue sticks
6 bottles elmer's white glue
....I know, what on earth do they do with all that glue?!
4 packs watercolor paints
10 boxes of tissues
#2 pencils (for everyone!)
8 dry erase markers, fine tip
4 yellow highlighers
1 deck of cards (learning to gamble during recess?!)
3 packs colored pencils
1 red pencil
1 notebook
2-12 packs of post-it notes
2 clear plastic rulers (we already had others at home)
2 red pens
2 packs loose paper (15o pages, wide ruled)
2 binders
2 clip boards
2 ultra-fine black sharpies

10 kids running wild, 1 cart, 1 stroller, and 1 package swedish fish to reward them for good behavior. Whew. we did it!


only one said...


Anonymous said...

Feels good to get that big job off the list, doesn't it? My next big job will be making sure my kids all have "decent" clothes to to wear...some of the ratty t-shirts and shorts won't pass my inspection for school!

Beth said...

Oh, Jamie! I feel for you! I absolutely dread school shopping every year! It makes me nuts to navigate those isles just to find that some things are already GONE! Like pink erasers...only one pack left in the entire store! I will try to find another pack today...wish me luck! We also recycled backpacks and some other items just to keep the cost down. A word of advice for when your kids get a little older...stock up on the book covers when they are available! One of my girls ended up needing a couple extra ones last year after school started and we couldn't find them anywhere! We ended up paying big $$$ for them at Staples. Needless to say, we are definitely using them over again this year unless they have holes in them!

Also, don't you just love those huge carts? I always tell the kids I feel like I'm driving a semi...gotta take wide turns around the isles and they're very hard to navigate...especially if one of my kids decide to ride on the front!!!

We definitely need a drink and a sigh of relief after going school shopping!

Shelli said...

I had a spreadsheet going just to put who needed what and to cross off what we could recycle for next year. I have 4 kids and I know my list was still more than yours. Maybe Bremen teachers need to take a lesson from Minster teachers. For instance I needed 15 low odor dry erase markers. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I know the teachers can be picky, but I can tell you (as a teacher) that those 15 dry erase markers divided by your 4 kids will be used up by the end of October. I think I bought 50 dry erase markers for my own classroom and they were all used by the end of the year so now I have to get more for this year for the kids who never bring replacements to school.

My advice: stock up on things like pencils, erasers, dry erase markers, and maybe an extra folder or 2 so that as the year progresses and your child runs out/loses their things, they can be replaced without having to go shopping!

Stacy said...

I took my kids school shopping today at Walmart as well. I only have 3 children (of which only 2 are in school)and I had to pick up items for my 1st grade religion class and I couldn't believe how much of a madhouse it was in those aisles. I thought maybe by going during the week in the morning it wouldn't be too busy, but I guess all the other mom's had the same idea! By the time we were done I was sooooo ready to get out of that store!! How did you do it with 10?????

Anonymous said...

Two tips.... from mom of 5.... hope they help...

1. I stock up all year long when there are clearance sales on book covers, folders, erasers, glue, you name it. It makes this time of the year much easier, and then I have what we need when they run out during the year.

2. I use a major calender created by MORETIMEMOMS.COM There is plenty of room for writing everyones activities, making it easy to see at a glance what is going on.... In my house, if it isn't on "the calender" it isn't going to happen. I order them for several friends and my babysitter all with bigger families. It is shipped from Canada... I have seen them once in an Outlet mall bookstore, otherwise I have always just ordered online. Has 18 months too which is convenient.

Enjoy the last few days of freedom!

jamie said...

thanks for the tips mom of 5. I also have a central calendar in the kitchen...it's actually a really large desktop calendar (that would cover the whole desk surface) that I hang on the wall with lots of room to keep track of everyone's coming/going. Like you said, if it's not on the calendar, it won't happen!

I noticed several of you mentioned purchasing book covers. We still cover books with recycled brown paper grocery bags. Not sure if it's uncool or not, but the kids have yet to complain...and it's "free."

I try to stock up on other things like glue, crayons, etc year round too, but seems to get used up at home when the kids find my stash. It just seems easier for me to buy as necessary, and not "stock up"

Beth said...

The book covers are actually on our school list for my girls' classes...I wish they'd go back to using the paper ones. Much cheaper! I have a feeling the teachers just like the convenience of the cloth book covers...takes a lot less time!

I use a plain desktop calendar, too...I glued big magnets on the back of mine and have it hanging on the side of my fridge. Works great and lots of space to write everything!

Jenny said...

I don't know about other schools,but when I require books to be covered, I would prefer parents use the paper bags. 1st of all, the kids can decorate them however they want and 2nd of all, putting on those fabric book covers almost always breaks the binding on the books and ends up ruining them. Keep using the bags!!!

Shelli said...

My oldest needed a book cover and we couldn't find an extra large fabric one. So she wouldn't get a detention for not having it covered, I showed her how to use a brown paper grocery bag. She still didn't quite catch on but it did jog a lot of memories. I still remember when we would get a paper one with lots of ads on it. We would turn them inside out for the white side so you could doodle on it. Interesting about the fabric book covers ruining the books. Wonder why so many teachers put them on the list then? I do understand the need for teachers to request a lot. They certainly don't get paid enough for all the supplies they have to buy. I just doubt certain things when my child, at the end of the year, says how much she didn't use something. Very interesting discussion.

Anonymous said...

Do not bash STAPLES until you have looked over their flyers and online disc coupons..I got two..YES 2 of my kids school supplies for a TOTAL of $1.38.... yeah you read that right... so don't always think wal-mart is the place to go ...

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone here was bashing Staples at all!!!! No matter where you go and how many you have to shop for it WILL add up! It's great that you saved lots of money for your family--not everyone has time to surf the net for coupons. We just want to get it done!