SOMWaD: The Supply List

School supplies; the bane of many a parent's life.  Much has been written about the subject and here I am adding my own spin.

Officially school starts in our district in less than a month.  (Yes, that's prior to Labor Day, which I think is a first for us, but if I'm wrong please correct me.)  Summer vacation began just before the official start of summer this year and school supplies started to go on sale about a month later (mid-July.)  If you know me (and hopefully you've read more than just this blog post, so you know a little about me), you know that I am always looking for a bargain or a good deal.  (I'm not completely crazy when it comes to sales, but I do come close.)  I won't drive miles out of my way to get twenty cent composition books, but I will make repeated trips to Walgreens (one of which I drive by on my way to work and the other which I can walk to from home) to get 3 subject notebooks for a dollar one week and glue sticks the next.  I scan the circulars and try to figure out where and when to buy.

This year I knew it was going to be a bit more difficult.  Instead of one teacher with a list, as a middle school student my son has multiple teachers each with different lists.  Making things more difficult was a change in the school academic structure, and as I write this I am not sure that teacher assignments have been "officially" released.  (Thanks to a good friend I was alerted to a "leak" on the school site that gave me the name of my son's teachers and what time periods he had what class.  I know the school principal was annoyed, but I wanted to get a look at those supply lists as soon as I could.)   The clock is ticking; the sales are on and it was time to get cracking.

SOMWaD that I am, I went to each teacher's site and wrote down what each wanted. This does not include the 5th grade "cycle" class teachers who do not have lists.  These are classes that run a 6 week cycle throughout the school year.  Also not included are any supplies that might be needed for instrumental music or choir (which are considered "Period 0" as they are a "class" starts before the official school day.  I'm sure I will be writing a whole other post about the joys of getting a kid to school by 7:40 three days a week.).  All of this written down got really confusing so...I made a spreadsheet! Supplies ala Excel!  Column headers:  Teacher, Subject and Supplies.  This way I could tick things off as I purchased them.  And I could count how many of each item I would need.  (Every subject EXCEPT Math needs a 3 subject notebook.  Math needs a 3 ring binder; suggested is the 5-Star Flex 5-Subject College Ruled Refillable Notebook by Mead.  I have yet to track down this binder.  I *thought* I found it and *thought* it was extremely costly, only to realize at the last moment that it WASN"T the right thing. Now I have to track it down again...I think Staples had it, but to be honest, Staples is NOT the cheapest place to find things, no matter what their ads may tell you.)  With all the items, the spread sheet was 2 pages long!  

As of last week, I was pretty close to finishing my purchases.  But can we talk about "Book socks?"  I'd never heard of them until a few years ago when someone with an older child mentioned them.  I do remember her saying they could be pricey.  At $3 a pop (when I finally found them) for a piece of fabric that covers a text book; yes I'd say it's pricey.  What happened to the plain brown paper grocery bag cover?  (Not that anyone uses brown paper bags anyone.)  My main query is "Jumbo" the same as XL?  I sure hope so because I bought 3 "Jumbo" ones this afternoon.  (I was lucky to find them; they were hidden on the bottom shelf.)  I bought three in colors that matched the 3 subject notebooks and folders.  (Whatever subject needed multiple folders is going to be the "red" class because that's the color that the store had the most of.)  I would have bought more, but I'm still not completely sure that XL and Jumbo are the same and I didn't think my son would go for pink book socks. (Why they didn't have red, I don't know.  They had blue, green and black which will match the notebooks and folders, although not exactly, but there was no red, purple or yellow.  Ah, the hardships of life.)

So here I am, less than a month away from the first day of school with a dining room table loaded down with supplies.  (I'll admit I got carried away and even bought a few one subject notebooks.)  Everywhere I look there are notebooks, folders, composition books, pencils, colored pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners,  pens, red pens, highlighters, colored markers, white board markers...and don't forget the locker shelf, magnetic pencil holder for the locker and actual lock.  How we're going to squeeze this all into a backpack I don't know!  (Guess it's a good thing that I'm driving him on the first day, along with his trumpet for "Period 0" band.) It'll be the 5-Star Flex 5-Subject College Ruled Refillable Notebook by Mead that will put us over the top and I will have to explain to LL Bean that their very sturdy backpack exploded all over my living room and I will need a replacement.  That is, if I can ever find the actual 5-Star Flex 5-Subject College Ruled Refillable Notebook by Mead.

But never fear, I still have 3 weeks to go!


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