Thursday, July 28, 2022
Well…we have to start talking about it…back to school. While I don’t have K-12 aged school children anymore, I hope to share some nuggets of wisdom from that stage of life. I also will talk about how I personally get ready for back to school.
Linking up here for Monthly Musings…
First of all, I want to give you permission to do you and your family the way that makes sense for you. Get rid of the “shoulds” that society throws at you. Ok?
And, please remember this:
First of all…a little background if you are new around here or if you just have low reading comprehension skills (just a little eduspeak joke! don’t get mad!)
I have twins who will be juniors in college this fall and I am entering my 29th year of teaching high school Spanish.
And, these are simply my opinions but I hope they help someone out there.
Please do not give teachers a first day of school present. It’s just not necessary. It also might make someone who doesn’t give a gift feel bad. I feel like this is a newish trend? Also, the teacher has so much going on, so many piles of things, so much to pass out, etc., that they may not have a place for it. Let’s just not do this.
Also, I am really turned off by the Amazon wish lists. Is this a sad state of education in our country that teachers are begging for supplies? Yes, it is. And, I’m afraid this will only perpetuate the problem. I just found out that each teacher in my district is getting a $250 Amazon gift card. How awesome is that? So, what is the solution for the teachers making Amazon wish lists? I don’t know. I know the intention of the influencers is only good, but do you see what I am saying?
Your attitude as a parent drives the attitude of your children. Learning should be and is fun! Schools do so much for your kids and society in general. People get in to education for the right reasons for the most part. Little pitchers have big ears; do not let your children hear you speak negatively about their teachers and their school.
Make school supply shopping a fun outing. If you aren’t into it, that’s ok. Ask a grandparent to start a tradition. Ask a childless aunt. If they are restricted at school with certain notebook colors, get a couple of fun things for homework. Create a homework station. What can you do to get your kids excited?
I am not a big fan of homework. Our kids spend 8 hours in school and if done right, they should be spending their after school time in nature and getting exercise. Homework starts so early these days and I feel like a lot of teachers think that more homework is better and proves their worth. My kids needed to play on the playground behind the school and have a snack before they could do any homework. Do what works for you. Maybe the next morning is better? Maybe after dinner is better? Again, get rid of the “shoulds”.
As soon as mine were old enough, they checked off the items on their own lists. We always had fun picking out supplies. I realize I was fortunate and had the money to not worry about these purchases.
Always go to any event the school has for you and your child. Those open houses, orientations, etc. are all so helpful in getting your child and you ready. It is even important at the high school level. Don’t you want to put a face with the name that you will hear about after school? I can’t believe the lack of attendance at the high school level.
I took myself back to school shopping this week. I just bought my favorite pens which were only slightly on sale. I love a pen that clicks. Homey don’t have time for lids, you know? I love the Sharpie S-Gel pen. I bought two notebooks for examples of my journal I do in my class and some looseleaf paper. My school has a supply closet and they are really good about stocking the things teachers need.
I order some stickers with my own money and I go to the Dollar Tree for some candy. I also like to buy band-aids that have funny things on them, lotion, and then my school provides Kleenex and hand sanitizer. When we have food days, the kids are asked to bring in one roll of paper towels, a pack of napkins, a trash bag, etc. so I have a good stock of stuff like that from last year. We aren’t allowed to give grades or points for buying things so this was just an “ask” and they are happy to do this.
My kids had uniforms from K-8 and we tried to buy hand me downs from the used uniform sale, from older twins (we had neighbors with twins about 3 years older!), and then from Target, Old Navy, or the uniform store in town. I loved uniforms! I heard a great tip – even if your school doesn’t have a uniform, you can make your own – polo shirts and shorts or whatever you like that fits the dress code. Love that!
Erica wants to share meals with me again so we will do the same thing we did last year. I plan to make 5 breakfasts on Sunday, too. I will do faux egg mcmuffins, breakfast burritos, breakfast casserole and sausage, or breakfast bowls. I will keep it really simple the first week and do the egg mcmuffins I think.
For lunches, I also will do a bit of prep on Sunday, but I plan to do more like Erica did and repeat whatever dinners Tom and I have for my lunch the next day.
And, for dinners, I plan to keep it really simple in August and rely on some freezer staples.
I always organized whatever current school supplies we had before shopping for new. By about 3rd grade, I thought, “How many pairs of tiny scissors will I buy?” that’s when I realized that many things can be recycled. Duh! I get that it’s nice to start the school year with new stuff and sometimes it’s ok.
Last year, I wrote a self-care syllabus for myself and I did pretty well with it!
I like to have a new dress to wear on the first day of school, but this year I hope I can be satisfied with a dress I already have. I have several to choose from this year.
I need a new teacher tote. Any suggestions? I have a couple of ideas.
It’s sad that I don’t have to do back to school for my kids anymore, but it’s also kind of a feeling of freedom after so many years of suppy shopping, paperwork to fill out (the worst!), etc.