I am Like the Elf Character of School Supplies
In June, I started to notice Back To School school displays. And, like Will Ferrell’s Elf character who gets so excited about Santa, Christmas cookies and such, I am that level excited about school supplies … until I get the sanctioned school lists and process how much money this will cost me for the Brody Bunch four. While I recognize that college supplies are much higher, I am merely commenting on school supplies for grades 5, 6, 7 & 8. Yup, I see the same teachers and classwork four consecutive years.
Rebelling Against the Approved School Lists
With all due respect to our understaffed custodial staff, I can’t manage the requests for paper towels, wipes, etc. I am a rebel, if each parent was compliant, where would the school possibly store 4 rolls of paper towels times however many kids are in the overcrowded school? So, in essence, I am doing the custodial staff a favor by not sending in what would amount to pallets of tissues and paper towels. Though I am empathetic that there is a need.
Move the Line Item: No Paper Towels, Yes Extra Pencils
In lieu of cleaning products (and a huge thank you to those who supply such necessary needs) I prefer giving teachers extra pencils and paper and other basic supplies that are a stretch for some families to donate let alone replenish. It’s ridiculous that teachers dig into their own pockets to pay for supplies. Chip in if you can!
Chaotic Shopping, We NEED Pencils, We WANT Pencils
Because I love clearance priced school supplies so much, I have enough items in our inventory from last year to allocate to the Brody Bunch for this academic year, but that’s not how this works. I still like the process of gathering the supplies. Without scientifically compiling four grade lists, we need at least 22 notebooks and 18 pocket folders alone according to my calculations. Last night I spent $64 on four 3 inch binders. And, in the days to come, I will join hoards of other frustrated parents and tired children in the big box stores as we all try to adhere to the back to school lists. Then after we conquer the lists, inevitably, an amended list comes home from the specialty teachers and we get to do this all again!
Paper Work, Use Your Free Address Labels!
During the first week of school, and it happens during back to school nights, we have to sign the same form over and over for each kid with new school year papers. My best trick and recommendation is to use address labels: I am not writing the Brody Bunch’s common information four times. But at least I have lots of new writing utensils to get the job done if I should run out of address labels. One very important form to fill out as soon as possible is your current PTA form with dues. Your kid and the teachers benefit from PTA dues.
Beyond the Classroom, Extracurricular Activities, Schedule That Too
In addition to school supplies comes extracurricular activities and all the gear and equipment needed for those commitments. The Fall sports season is torturous to the matriarch of the Brody Bunch. We allowed our four kids to play baseball, soccer and participate in theater. Our breakdown for the Fall ONLY includes: 2 travel baseball teams, 1 travel soccer team, 1 club level soccer team, 2 theater students and a vocal student and possibly two school soccer teams. Plus Hebrew school and regular school. And, one parent coaching while both parents work full time. Calendars and grids are updated constantly to manage the day to day shuttling necessary to keep everyone accountable, happy and active. And, we have two rolling coolers which transport cold water, iced coffee, crudités and an assortment of hummus and dips.
Wishing for a Liquor License
So, here’s to wishing that Target, Walmart, Staples and Amazon had all of the items we are requested to have, and since they don’t carry everything in a one stop shop, let every screaming parent in the aisles know that you would support such establishments having a liquor license during these trying times.
Dry Run, We Are in Training For the School Year Routine
I started getting up at the normal school year time. We will only be 2.5 hours late on the first day of school, and without our paper towels, if we don’t have to eat breakfast, pack lunches, wear matching clothes and drive to school in rush hour. Further, we need new lunchboxes. 180 days of school times 4 kids equals 720 lunches. Go Team Brody!