It is the first day of school – again

Today is the first day of school for Lexie and Jase. How quickly the summer has flown by! It feels as if it began just a few weeks ago. But I am ready for the kids to return to school, so I can resume my normal routine.

IMG_0404This morning there were the usual first-day excitement and nerves. Jase and Lexie were both dressed nicely. Lexie has a new backpack (Elsa of course) and lunch box (also Elsa). She was excited that the backpack came with matching gloves and insisted on wearing them this morning.

Today her backpack was empty except for a letter to her teacher. Each year, I send her teacher a letter to fill the teacher in on Lexie’s eczema and allergies. This year I added a paragraph about her ADD medication. Since we started her medication during the summer, this will be the first time she has attended school on the medication. We can definitely tell a difference of when she is on the medicine and when she is off. However, we don’t know how she will do in the classroom setting so I asked her teacher to let us know if she thought we needed to try a higher dose.

Lexie is starting the second grade this year. Her teacher is Ms. Luna. We met her last Thursday at Meet the Teacher night – an event to let the kids see their classroom, meet their teacher and classmates and drop off their school supplies.

As always, Lexie wanted me to walk her to her classroom, but they have parents drop their kids off in the lobby. I think they request this to lessen the chance of parents hovering about. The sooner the kids get into the routine the better.

Jase begins fourth grade this year, so he has the routine down pat. He knows where to go to meet up with his class. The first through fifth graders meet in the gym while the new kindergartners get to meet in the library where someone reads them a story until time to go to class.

Jase elected to re-use the backpack he had in second grade. It is a green camo-print backpack. Jase is very concerned about what the other kids will think so he didn’t want to take a character backpack. Last year’s backpack had Darth Vader/Star Wars on it.

Jase is very excited this year because one of his best friends is in class with him. They haven’t shared a class since kindergarten. Checking out the class list, he knows at least 3/4 of the class which I am sure helps him with his nerves.

So now I am at home, trying to get back into the swing of things without the kids around. All too soon it will be time to go pick them up and listen to them excitedly tell me about their day. I’m looking forward to that.

Shopping for back to school supplies

The end of summer countdown has begun. So while we try to cram in those last fun summer activities, we are also preparing for school. It begins in just two weeks.

CIMG3294The week after the fourth of July, stores begin stocking their shelves with glue, pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, scissors, backpacks and other school supplies.

About two to three weeks after the supplies are put out I picked up all the kids’ supplies. I like getting the items early while they are still easy to find. My only complaint is that whoever makes out the school district’s supply list obviously has not been to a store lately.

They ask for a package of 200 sheets of notebook paper. Packs in our stores only come with 175. Guess we are just going to be 25 sheets short – or rather 50 sheets short since we need two packs.

They list an 8 oz. bottle of glue. First off, the big bottles are only 7.6 oz., and it is never the one on sale. The 4 oz. one is on sale. So, we buy two of those and be done with it. And don’t even get me started on why they ask for a 16 box of crayons when the 24 box is much easier to find and cheaper. (Yep, buying a box of 24 instead of 16.)

Nowadays, buying school supplies isn’t like it was when I was a kid. Back then you got to pick out your folders and notebooks with characters on them. My kids’ list specifies pretty much plain binders and certain color folders. The only real personalization comes in buying spiral notebooks, supply boxes or your backpack and lunch box.

We don’t always get the kids a new lunch box but every year they have gotten a new backpack. This year we added in the lunch boxes because the others had been used for over three years and looking a little worn.

A backpack for Lexie was easy. She wanted a Frozen themed backpack. I bought hers on Zuliliy, and it came with a matching lunch box. Jase, on the other hand, is harder. He is entering the third grade and all of sudden self-conscious about what his backpack looks like. He doesn’t like most of the character ones anyway. His last year’s bag was camouflage, and we may stick with that this year if we don’t find the perfect new one.

As for school clothes, the kids have drawers full of clothes that still fit. But we will still buy – or should I say my mom will buy – them a few new outfits for school. A new outfit for the first day or something nice for picture day is always welcome.

CIMG3298I think the only item the kids’ really need before school is shoes. Lexie is hard on her shoes, and Jase’s feet have grown. Jase always wants Star Wars shoes, so we took a trip to Stride Rite last week. (The center pair in the photo is from Payless for Lexie.)

So with supplies bought in July and clothes and shoes bought last week, we are all set for school. Just 14 more  days until it starts.