My kids go back to school the week of August 22, which seems early to me especially since their school does not have air-conditioning. That means we've got 33 days til we start up again, and time for me to start getting organized.
We've already been to the pediatrician, eye doctor and dentist, and they passed all those exams and forms have been submitted. Both kids needed backpacks and lunchboxes for camp so we're already set there.
1. School supplies
We got the school supply list ages ago, and although our school does offer the schoolpak program, I prefer to get the stuff myself. I checked their prices and it's ridiculous. My kindergartner needs 8 different things
1 Baby Wipes, Unscented, 80ct Tub (04-241)
1 Crayons, 8ct, Crayola©, Large (04-127)
8 Glue Stick, Small, Elmer's©, .21 oz (04-121)
1 Glue, Small, 4 oz, Wash, White (02-224)
1 Index Cards, 3x5, Unruled, White, 100ct (04-214)
12 Pencil, Primary, My First Ticonderoga© w/eraser(04
1 Tissues, 100ct (04-641)
Total price $23.76 + an extra $9 for shipping. Ridiculous.
As with most things it comes down to time or money, what do you want to spend? For me, I think I can get those 7 things for much less than $30. I got a couple of things the other day at Meijer that were on sale. I figure if I keep an eye on the Sunday circulars and buy stuff when it's on sale, I'll save quite a bit. My second grader has a longer list, and the markup is similar, so I'll do it myself thank you very much.
I realize they're providing a service and I love the idea, but would love it more if the shipping were included in the price. Last year I brought my daughter with me, but realized quickly that that was a mistake. I thought she would want to pick out her stuff, and she did but she wanted all the cool stuff that wasn't on her list, not just a boring blue folder but the one with the cool pictures on the cover, which was not on her list. This year I'll go solo. Also makes it easier if I want to comparison shop.
2. Start hoarding quarters and singles.
Our school has pizza day once a week as a PTO fundraiser. $1.75 per slice. My daughter is still young enough that one slice along with her usual fruit and treat is enough. On pizza day, the kids are expected to bring their money in (in exact change of course) and give it to the room Moms who then figure out who gets what at lunch time. As much as possible I try to give one single and three quarters. I felt guilty once when I had to give 7 quarters, until one my friends who is a room Mom told me that a parent in her room, always sent the kid with pizza money in pennies!!! Yes 175 pennies. Every week. And they weren't in rolls, in a little baggie. Nuts.
Then there are various things that come up throughout the year, field trips, other PTO in school fundraisers that they need $2 or $3 for, so I'm hoarding my small money.
3. Box Tops for Education
I love free money. Who doesn't? I started collecting box tops before I had kids. A woman in my office was collecting them for her son's school and had a dropbox for anyone in our office to contribute whatever we clipped. Once I had kids of my own, I kept clipping and even before my kids started school, I would drop them off at our local grade school, which my kids now attend. On the last day of school, the kids all get a ziploc bag for keeping the box tops in over the summer and then they hand them in at the beginning of school. Last year my daughter's class had the most in the school, so they got a pizza party as a thank you. She was so excited cause she had contributed a lot (I think it was over 50 box tops) so she felt like she was the one who put her class over the top. All in all over the course of the school year, her school of about 600 students collected enough box tops to earn $1500. Pretty cool.
4. Summer Homework packets
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my daughter's teacher gave the kids summer reading packets and book reports to fill out. She hasn't worked on it yet, beyond keeping track of which books she has finished, and I let it slide the first part of the summer as she was attending summer school - taking a sign language class and a science class. Now it's time to get back on track. She's usually pretty good about doing her homework without me bugging her, and naturally hates when I do nag her about stuff, but I figure in a couple of days I'll start reminding her about it.
5. Fall activities
Next week, our park district fall brochure comes out so it'll be time to pick out activities for the Fall. My 2nd grader takes piano lessons, and last year also took ice skating. She mentioned that she wants to try karate so I have to do some research on that, as the park district class requires the parents to participate as well, which doesn't really work with the other two kids. My kindergartner loves dance, and wants to try soccer. And the little man is doing well in camp, so I think I'll sign him up for the tots dropoff playgroup. He desperately wants to do a sports class, used to watch the classes going on in the gym in the same building as his sister's dance class.
Not too bad a list, but I know if I don't start now, it'll be a nightmare to get the school supplies as it gets real close to school starting.