Back to School by Margaret Hart

Are you like many moms who have been waiting anxiously for the letter to arrive stating who your child’s teacher will be? Or perhaps you found out at the end of the school year, and have just been waiting for the supply list. Whatever notice you’ve been waiting for, hopefully you’ve received it by now.

There’s nothing worse than being a week out from the start of school and still not knowing a teacher or having to rush around at the last minute for supplies. If you’ve been out shopping this summer, you know that school supplies started hitting store shelves in July, and by now, inventory is running low and the good stuff is picked over. Fortunately, I found out who my son’s teacher would be at the end of the year. And along with his final report card came a list of typically requested supplies by grade. I purchased everything on the list a couple weeks ago, and also managed to get most of my son’s new school clothes purchased at just one store—and without a lot of drama! He got what he wanted: “cool” shirts and pants. I got what I wanted: he tried everything on. No returns equal a happy mommy!

I wonder what started this mad rush for early back to school shopping? It’s bad enough that some stores started stocking shelves for Halloween and Christmas back in June! A few weeks ago, I took my son shopping for new sneakers, and after three stores didn’t have his size in stock, I finally ordered what he wanted online. I was told by a clerk at each store that the sizes were sold out due to back to school shoppers! 

Sometimes I feel as if being prepared for school is one more thing to add to the list of competition among moms to see who can get it done first. Just when I think I’ve been really conscientious by getting something done early, I’ll talk to a friend who says she went to the outlets a month ago and was done: backpacks, check; lunchboxes, check; school clothes, check; new shoes, check.  And this weekend, when I was at another friend’s home for dinner, she proudly showed off her snack drawer:  all snacks were neatly arranged in bins according to type, and ready for school lunches! (She had also purchased all the kids’ supplies about a month ago!)  I was impressed, and ran home to organize my snacks!

I’m beginning to think that I ought to reserve the entire month of July to get ready for back to school. No more beach vacations or family get-togethers. I should just spend the month strolling the school supply aisles to get the first and best selections, then get everything organized and ready by August 1st.  

Better yet,  maybe I should just buy two of everything now, and put one set away for next year. That’s what another friend of mine did with school clothes. This week, she just reached into a bin, and pulled out a stack of clothing will all the tags still on; sizes that were too big last September, but will fit just nicely now.

Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned by shopping ahead or stocking up. And then again, maybe not. I think I’ll just do what I always do, and wait for the letter.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Back to School by Margaret Hart”

  2. Ok…I admit it…I am probably the worst of the worst OCD planner! When my son was entering Kindergarten, and we received our supply sheet, I would go to Staples weekly in July and take my teacher friend with me (she gets a much more lenient limit on school supplies) who had a toddler and infant at the time, and we bought enough school supplies to last both of us through all of elementary school!! The only 2 items I have to purchase this year are 2 section and 3 section notebooks. I have enough folders, pencils, glue sticks, standard glue, pencil cases, composition notebooks, binders, highlighters, crayons, pencils, sharpeners, post-it notes and paper to last me well through this year and most likely through next. I must say, there is something to be said about getting 10 folders for $1, composition notebooks for 25 cents, and pencil cases for a penny, when you have the opportunity. The school wanted to charge $60 to get all of the supplies for each fourth grade child. With my stash, the total could not be even near $10!

    Come to my house to shop for school supplies, Margaret! I’ll give you the best deal you could possibly find! ;)

    By Cara Meyers on Aug 23, 2012

  3. Next year, shopping at your house!

    By Margaret Hart on Oct 29, 2012