Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm happy, I'm sad.....

I'm so conflicted.

Mary Emma's school has a really cool & convenient way of handling school supplies, party fees, etc. About a month before school starts, we go online and register the returning kids. We also are given a list of fees that we will need to pay throughout the year. These include PTA membership, a class t-shirt, and field trips. We also pay for Halloween, Christmas, and End-of-the-Year parties, as well as teacher gifts for teacher appreciation day, teacher's birthday, and end of the year gift (this money is put in our class account for the room mom to go shopping with). We can buy a yearbook, a school directory, and pay for the 5K fun run (I still haven't figured out what's "fun" about a 5K...whatever). We also pay a "supply fee" which buys all of our kids' school supplies. We take a check to the teacher on "meet the teacher" day and it's done. Finished. Kaput. They really don't ask for any more money throughout the year. This year it cost me a little over $200 for everything and I haven't stood in a line.

This is where I'm happy and sad. I don't have to fight lines at WalMart looking for folders with pockets and clips. I don't have to find wide ruled notebook paper instead of college ruled paper. It's nice to have it all done for me. When Mary Emma got to school this morning, her supplies were sitting on her desk waiting for her. This is her 3rd year of school and I've only bought a backpack and a lunchbox. This makes me happy.

The sad part is that I LOVE school supplies. I love love love them. I want to buy them for myself. Cool ball point pens really make me clappy. Don't even get me started about a collection of Sharpies. I could walk around an Office Depot all day long. Mary Emma loves them, too. For Christmas one year, one of her gifts was a ream of paper. She drew on every page in that ream. My dad is the same way. We all love hi-lighters, gem clips, and post-its. Oh, and White Out. I'm smiling thinking about it.

So now I've been the mom of a school-aged child for 3 years. I have never bought a school supply. It's kinda weird. Part of going back to school when I was a kid was getting that supply list and fighting the crowds before everything sold out. It's kind of a right of passage. I'm kinda sad about missing out.

Don't laugh if you see me in Office Depot later today buying a pack of #2 pencils. Just smile and silently understand.

How does your school handle supplies? Do you get to fight the line? I'm curious as to how yours works. Please divulge. I'll live vicariously through all of you who get to buy school supplies.


9 comments:

Melanie said...

I am the same way!! Keep me away from the school supply aisle in any store...I love them!!! I guess it comes back to the teacher thing. Come spend a day with me next year when I am unpacking all of those supplies. I know who to call now! Ha, ha!

Tracye said...

I like doing it, too! The years that I taught were especially fun. We bought everything yesterday. I've never heard of the system your school has. I think it's also a cool way to make sure each kid has similar stuff, so nobody got the "wrong" kind or color!

Also, on the vague post, I hope you're feeling better. I know times like that are really frustrating and hurtful. I'm sorry.

Meg said...

So. I too love school supplies but the way Ryland's school handles supplies makes me sick at my stomach. We do get the opportunity to fight the crowds at Walmart but when he gets to school, all supplies go into a big pot to be divided out by the teacher. So what happens when I buy my child Crayola 72 pack crayons and Joe Blow's mom buys Dollar Tree crayons and when the teacher passes everything out, my kid winds up with the cheapo crayons that do not color well. Oh, DON'T get me started! I have already cried about it because nothing excites me more than getting nokebooks decorated and ready and backpacks packed for the first day of school. And, now they have just taken all the fun out of it for me! Who makes up these rules anyway???
Meg

Anonymous said...

Please know you you can totally live vicariously through me! Our schools send a supply list to Wal Mart and you get to sort through the copies of copies to try to find your school and then once you find your school, you can search through the store to find your supplies. And you know they aren't all together in one happy little aisle. No, you gotta run across the store for the Clorox wipes and then to the middle for the tissue boxes. It was so much fun though! My 5 year old son loved having to make the choice between a clear and blue supply box or just a blue supply box. I can see where a mom of many would marvel at the idea of all this being done for her, but you are so right, school supply shopping is one of the wonders we remember from our own childhood that we continue with our own kids. PS. Don't worry, I think we all get a little giddy at the idea of fresh new stuff. I am the exact same way you are, only since I am a teacher...I DO buy myself new supplies too! It's great! Oh and you should see me with a new pack of colored pens!!! Just thinking about it is making me want to write!!

RR Mama said...

I love shopping in Office Depot and since I am the office manager at work I get this glorious job! School is another story. At the end of the school year they send home a list with next years supplies and the cost for the box kit. The kit has everything and includes name labels. Very nice, just peel and stick. No complaining my is going to fall off from writing my childs name 9,000 times. Then two weeks before school starts you go and pick up your kit. I was in supply heaven last night, Hubs picked up R8 box and I opened it and stared at it in awe. Then I got down to the business, putting his name labels on everything!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Each teacher in each grade has their own school supply list. So we get to shop for the school supplies and I'm like you - I love it! I love school supplies.

I'll be sure to wave when I see you in Office Depot this morning!

Laura R said...

Hey Robyn- Yes I read your blog on a regular basis (busted) but I couldn't resist from commenting on the school supplies! I feel the same way about supplies, nothing can draw me in like fresh loose leaf paper! It's good to know I'm not alone!
Emma's school does the same thing and I have found a compromise. I'm the school supply person at our school. I get the lists from the teachers and I order them. Then before school starts, I get a crew together and we distribute them to all the teachers. It's not quite the same, but it helps. Brand new crayons, sharpened pencils, new binders...oh my!
Laura

Beachy Mimi said...

The teacher part of me likes the fact that the kids all have the same stuff and the correct stuff from the beginning. However, as a mother and grandmother, shopping for school supplies, fighting crowds, and looking for that one elusive item are such a part of "back to school" process. Maybe you could buy some for practice at home!

livingtotellaboutit said...

Our school offers you the choice. You can take the list and shop for yourself, or buy it all prepackaged from a local business called The Bag Ladies. I had always done the lazy thing and written a check to the bag ladies, but last year my husband chastised me for it (he was sure I was paying double for every glue stick), and I felt guilty and did it myself. NEVER AGAIN. I stopped counting stores visited to find the appropriate stuff at SIX. Lesson learned.