Yes, friends…my favorite time of year is upon us. Aisle after aisle of boxes filled with perfectly sharpened Crayola Crayons. The box of 64, please! I’ll take two!
Folders and spirals in every imaginable design and hue. Markers, pencils, and paper. Cute little erasers, and the Post-it notes, OH the Post-it notes! I LOVE school supplies!
I’m not going to lie. When I round the corner at my local Target, and see the giant pencil hanging in the aisle indicating that school supplies have arrived, I get giddy with anticipation. Who doesn’t love a brand-new Sharpie…or 12?
I do realize, however, that not everyone shares my love and enthusiasm for school supply shopping. For some people, it is stressful, and frustrating, and something to be all-together avoided. I know parents who argue over who has to take the kids school supply shopping. I know parents who take turns: mom takes odd years, dad takes evens. I get it. I do. School supply shopping can be stressful.
So, in an effort to save you all a little sanity, I’ve devised a list of 4 things I think will assist you in a stress-free, possibly enjoyable school supply shopping experience. Ready?
1. Go now. OK, maybe not right this instant, but soon. Today, tomorrow, this week. It’s the middle of July. No on else is thinking about school supplies yet! Not only will you get the pick of all the best folders, and locker mirrors, and spirals, you will also be alone in the aisles. And if you can manage to avoid going on Saturday or Sunday, even better!
2. Shop Local. MOST stores will have their local school districts’ supply lists. Many stores will even order their supplies according to what those lists request. I understand the frustration of not being able to get everything on your list in one stop. But, trust me. If you stick with a store close to your school, it could be beneficial.
This next one is going to come as a surprise to you but,
3. Avoid Tax Free Weekend for School Supplies. If you need to buy a computer, or you’re planning to spend some serious cash on school clothes, go for it. Brave the crowds. But, in my experience, the frustration and hassle associated with the crowds on tax-free weekend are not worth the $8 you’ll save in taxes by getting school supplies that weekend. Just don’t do it.
4. Stick to the list. This might be the most important piece of advice I give you. Are you listening? On behalf of teachers everywhere…grades Kindergarten through high school…please…PLEASE…we BEG you….Stick to the list! We put a lot of careful thought and consideration into creating these lists every Spring. We evaluate what we feel students need to have, and we only put those items on the list which we feel are essential. But, we do feel the items on the list are essential.
When we ask you to provide earbuds, or a thumb drive, or a box of 4 dry-erase markers of the LOW ODOR variety, it’s because that’s honestly what we want every child to have. And if you’ve ever been in classroom with 25 kids using NON low odor dry-erase markers, you understand why that distinction is so important! Also, it’s not just about us, as teachers. It’s about your child. It’s about providing what is needed to have a successful start to a brand-new school year.
July is quickly rolling to a close, and August is on its way. While school supply shopping is a (mostly) inevitable task, it doesn’t have to be stressful or frustrating.
Best of luck to you all..and here’s to a FABULOUS school year!