Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mourning The School Supply Shopping Trip

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I love buying school supplies. I always have, even when I was a child. I passed this sickness on to my children.

As a mom, I dread the first day of school because I hate sending my children back, but the school supply shopping trip is something I look forward to every year.

We love going to Target and picking up the school supply lists, then roaming through the aisles together, looking for folders, spirals, glue, crayons ("Can I please get the box of 64 with the sharpener this year, Mom?"), markers (Crayola markers only, please...not those crummy RoseArt ones), water colors (we've been using the same set for three years and two children, as there is not much painting in public school)...checking off things as we go. Then, I love coming home and putting names on everything, sorting supplies into stacks for each child, organizing and reorganizing. There is something so orderly about it all.

I knew I would miss it this year, what with me home schooling Thing 3 and Thing 4. And I knew the children would miss it, too. Sure, I have Thing 1 and Thing 2 who still need supplies, but school supply shopping is not the same with high school kids. There is no master list. Their lists trickle in daily for the first few days of school, and most of what they need (notebook paper, folders, pencils and red pens) I already have because I am addicted to shopping the clearance aisles a savvy, bargain-hunting shopper, and I have five years' worth of that stuff in my closet. It's a good thing, too, because I needed the money I saved to purchase the $175 calculator my son needed for one class. But I digress...

I know many home schooling families take their children out to shop for supplies, but my children don't really need anything in the way of supplies, so it seems kind of wasteful. Still, like me, they were kind of bummed that we we wouldn't be shopping this year.

Since we have many needy families in our town who can't afford to purchase school supplies, the children and I decided that we would go shopping for supplies and donate them to our community resource center that helps those needy families provide what they need for their children every school year. It was a great opportunity to involve the kids in helping others, and it satisfied our weird love of shopping for all things school-y.

We went to Target and checked out the lists.

Then, each child shopped for supplies for a student in their grade level.

45 minutes later we had this:

Ahhhh. There's just nothing like it.


  1. Great idea!

    Love the Thing 1,2,3,4. I think you need T-shirts, but I doubt that high school kids could be talked into wearing them.

  2. Scott has always called them "Thing 1", etc. He is the king of nicknames.



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