background img

Three reasons school supply shopping destroys lives

My lack of planning should be a top emergency for the nation’s school supply retailers. With six school-aged kids and their jam-packed lists, I dread this time of year more than any other. I’d rather do 100% of my holiday shopping at a convenience store on Christmas Eve than shop for school supplies. Therefore, I avoid it and don’t make eye contact with school supply departments until the last minute.

It doesn’t help that I must buy 38 glue sticks and nearly 500 pencils, 18 boxes of facial tissue, and enough markers to cover my toddler’s arms in his self-styled, homemade tattoos until he’s an octogenarian. I recently shopped and didn’t come close to completing the lists.

There are three reasons school supply shopping is an almost universally awful experience. If you are one of those parents who adores standing in a crowded aisle at a big-box retailer comparing the prices between one pack of 12 glue sticks and 6 packs of 2 glue sticks, this isn’t the post for you.

1. Teachers create lists of hard-to-find, baffling things

Is Your Volunteering Truly Benefiting Your Child?

When I was growing up, my mom was always involved in our elementary school. She was active in the PTA, served as president and worked as a teacher’s aide in my later years. I enjoyed having my mom be a part of my education and visible in the school.

This left such an impact on me that I am now involved in my daughters’ school.

Like my mom, I am active, but work to give my children space to be themselves and find their own place without their mother hovering. Unlike my mom, I work outside the home. Also unlike my mom, I do not participate in the PTA directly, but help out in other capacities.

I help in the classroom, fill Friday folders, act as room parent, organize the science fair and sit on the school improvement committee. I also ran a science club last fall.

After that list, I’m wondering if I am giving them space, or enough of my undivided attention.