The schedules are starting to arrive, the high school sports teams are in full practice mode and it’s getting darker earlier. There’s no stopping it—school is coming.
Late August is a time of mixed emotions. Part of me is looking forward to what the new school year will bring, but most of me is dreading the return to homework, tests and running around for afterschool activities.
There’s so much pressure, both on our students and us, and we all get along much better in the summer when I don’t have to constantly be nudging them to do their homework, study for a test or, worse yet, get ahead on some work that’s due the following week. (Yes, in an ideal world they would be self-motivated and I would not have to ask, but as of this writing, it’s not an ideal world over here. Maybe this will be our year!)
The two main back to school activities in our house, after buying new cleats, tend to be finishing up the summer reading (okay, starting the summer reading) and school supply shopping. There actually have been years, like the summer Josh sped through Mockingjay, that the reading was finished well in advance of September, but there have also been a few years where one of the boys climbed aboard the bus that first day, still reading his last book.
School supply shopping is simpler as they get older. As my kids are now in middle school and high school, we tend to wait to see what each teacher requires before we head out to join the supply-seeking craziness. I remember plenty of years of being elbowed out of the way as someone grabbed for a Lizzie McGuire folder and the trips to five different stores in search of multicolored marble notebooks and other very specific teacher requests.
Most years brought the purchase of a new backpack and fresh markers and crayons. I have a large boot-sized shoebox full of all the crayons that have come back after a school year’s worth of use. They’re still usable, but not in good enough shape to bring back in for the next year.
When I see that box full of perfectly good school supplies, I feel guilty that I buy new items every year and grateful that I am able to afford it. I realize that there are many people in our community that aren’t that lucky and have to think twice before buying the new 96 pack of Crayolas.
Thankfully, there are members of our community who have taken the initiative to ensure that all children have what they need for school.
The United Way has an ongoing school supply collection.
“We encourage donation of schools supplies throughout the school year,” reports April Forman, United Way’s Marketing and Special Events Coordinator. “Children need notebooks, pens, pencils and more ALL year long - not just in September, so please keep them coming!”
People to People is also collecting supplies until September 1st for their “Back to School with Dignity” program. They are in greatest need of markers, 3 subject and 5 subject notebooks, 2 pocket folders and 1” binders. And they can always use calculators, but they need to be new.
Although we are turning toward the details needed to get ready for school, I hope everyone is enjoying the last few bits of summer. Patch Moms Council member Sheila gave some great advice. She said, “Wake (the kids) up earlier every morning. Savor the end of summer & squeeze more good stuff in!”
Enjoy those last few days—September 4th will be here before we know it.
For more info on how to donate:
People to People’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HelpPtoP
United Way’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayofRC