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.