Back to school edition: Happy they are gone? Would you rather start early or late? How much on school supplies?

I always have very mixed emotions on the first day of school. I am sad that my special time with the kids is over and it is back to the grind. But I am also a little bit relieved to be able to pick up the house, buy groceries and get organized with only one child in tow instead of three. Plus, there is some comfort in getting back into a routine.

I do feel joyful because the start of school means that all of the moms (and dads) will be back from vacation and back on the blog.

So I have a cavalcade of back-to-school questions for you today. Starting with:

Are you excited or sad that your kids are back at school?

Would you describe yourself as:

Thrilled

Bummed because it’s too busy

Sad because summer was too short and you will miss them.

How do you feel about summer being over and school starting yet again?

Would your family rather start school early or late?

The year Rose started kindergarten our school switched to a later schedule with school starting at 8:50 a.m. At the time I was relieved because we are so terrible at going to bed early and getting up early. However, starting that late meant they didn’t get off the bus until around 4. I did get that time closer to 3:30 by walking to get them but it didn’t give the kids much time to relax, do an activity or play, do homework, eat dinner, and get ready for bed.

Our favorite fill-in host Keith has always been on the earlier schedule in her county. Her kids were at the bus stop before 7 but were home around 2ish. They seemed to have more time to play and do activities.

So which is better for your sanity, for after-school activities, for your family’s free time, and for you as parents to have alone time? (We never seem to be alone!!!)

How much did you spend on school supplies (including back packs or lunch boxes) this year?

Also where did you buy them – Target/Wal-Mart or office-supply type stores? I spent $200 this year on two kids – which included one backpack and one lunch box. I split mine between Target and an office supply store for the stuff I couldn’t find at Target. But that seems really high especially in this economy!

66 comments Add your comment

Nancy

August 9th, 2010
6:57 am

No kids here, just don’t get the early start. How do parents afford these school supplies?? What if the parents or parent is unemployed?

Simone

August 9th, 2010
7:14 am

Actually I’m sad. I’m from St Louis where school doesn’t start back up until mid-late August. I think the summer was too short!

Cathy

August 9th, 2010
7:22 am

I shopped at Big Lots this year, spent less than $20 because I had gotten lots at last years clearance sale at Target. I’ve collected a huge supply of items over the years by hitting the early deals and clearance racks. In my opinion, that’s the secret of not having to spend a great deal especially when you have so much you have to buy. I also try to buy new clothes for school through out the summer to avoid that huge rush to get it all right before to keep down the costs.

motherjanegoose

August 9th, 2010
7:37 am

TODAY IS MY FIRST NOT FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL SINCE 1992….no one will be going to school here…we are packing up my last one for college!

Hey…what about those who have stuck it out with you all summer( and for years) …thanks a lot T….:0

Having 2 children, I have often wondered about families who have 4-6. They get expensive as they get older! If you think school supplies are expensive, wait until they get their own cars and also car insurance. College books are over $100 EACH sometimes.

In metro Atlanta, kids just seem to expect more and when parents have several, I am not sure they are looking at the dollar signs for the teen years. Parents accommodate those kids too and several ( we know) have never had a job and are heading to college this week or next. Not any kid on our block…I am pleased to report!

FYI…I got this email yesterday:

Spa-Kidz
Spa-licious Package: Mani/Pedi, Hair Styling, Make-Up Session, and Facial for Kids $29

I can PROMISE you that the practical folks I worked with in Iowa this weekend would NOT ever consider a SPA treatment for their kids….WHAT???? Maybe some of you could march your kids over there after a stressful day at school.

Start times:

In a perfect world, kids could sleep in a bit and start school closer to 9:00. BUT so many kids go to daycare before school ( since both parents work) and they are active for hours before they actually get to school. They could be using this morning energy to learn IMHO rather than just watch a video or fuss at others. Chill on a video after school.

I hated it that my daughter had to catch the bus at 6:30. When she bought her car in February, she would then leave at 6;45.

Not sure many of the kids who have to get up at 6:00 are getting enough sleep. I see kids, all the time, who fall asleep at school …sad but true. Some teachers tell me the same kids continue to fall asleep all year.

Here is a neat website that parents might want to check out…I do not think most children are getting
10-11 hours per night…if they get up at 6;15. they would need to be ASLEEP at 8:15, which means getting in bed BY 8:00. I will raise my hand and say that I often do not get enough sleep but that is a choice I make for myself. We, as parents, make the choice for our children and they deal with the result.

catlady

August 9th, 2010
7:39 am

Theresa, I enjoy that you are sad about your kids going back. Believe me, you are in the minority. I am not sure why so many people have kids (except that it “just happens”) because they don’t seem to LIKE their kids and ENJOY their kids.

I used to feel sad when school started back. As a working mother (a teacher) I never felt like I got enough time with them. Our summers were special to me.

I hate the early August startup! This year my system’s kids aren’t starting till Aug 18, which is better, but it is because they are cutting 12 days off the school year!

On supplies, I don’t know. I buy hundreds of dollars of stuff for my room each year, but, in the wake of losing so much money from furloughs the last 2 years, I have completely quit that.

Here is what I hate: When kids have supplies for the first couple of days, then they disappear,never to be seen the rest of the school year. Like mom and dad think the 25 pieces of paper and one pencil will last the year!

jen

August 9th, 2010
7:46 am

I am sad that my children go back to school today. Even one more week would be nice. August 16 seems more reasonable than Aug 16. They got out last year on May 25. Why not go back later and get out a little later?
Staples has had some great deals on school supplies this year and if you take the other office supply store/Target ads, they will match them. So take all the good deals for a couple of weeks and you can save a lot of money. Sometimes it requires rebates, but with Staples, you can file on-line. It is very easy.

DigALittleDeeper

August 9th, 2010
7:51 am

I’m thrilled!!! I’m happy to know that my fifteen year old daughter can’t spend all day texting, blogging and watching tv; while I’m at work. I’m glad the grocery bill will get back to normal, because she eats every thing in the house. We took a week vacation in June and another in July; but in between scheduled vacations she had absolutely nothing to do. Except AP Biology chapters that I had to force her to work on each week.

I spent $80 dollars on back to school supplies (excluding paper, pens and pencils); I took someones advice on the blog and made her search desk for past purchases of those items and there were approxiamtely hundreds of them.

My daughters school starts at 8am, but she has to leave at 6am to ride two school buses. This morning she was so excited that she got up at 4:30am and when I spoke with her at 7am; she was still just as excited to be surrounded by her friends.

I offerred to take her to school so that she only has to take 3 buses total everyday, but she insisted on taking all 4 each day. I think she’ll change her mind later in the school year.

motherjanegoose

August 9th, 2010
7:53 am

@catlady…my thoughts exactly. I enjoyed my kids and even though there were days I wanted to wring their necks, we loved our summers and breaks! Curious as to what what you think about early and late start times and if kids are actually getting enough sleep?

JJ

August 9th, 2010
7:54 am

No back to school for me this year. My daughter will take herself back to college next weekend. It’s been a great summer and I have loved having her home. We didn’t get to do too much together, but she was home for dinner just about every night. And all her friends were there on the weekends. I guess that’s what I will miss, all the kids in and out of my home. It’s going to be very quiet for awhile.

JoDee

August 9th, 2010
7:55 am

Last May when the students cleaned out their lockers, I stood in the hall with a big box to rescue any supplies that were still usable. I gathered about a thousand index cards, unopened boxes of markers, crayons, and pencils, notebooks that had only been written in once, like-new binders, book covers still in their originall packages, scissors, rulers…..enough to fill two large cardboard boxes. The students threw them away because they wanted all new stuff when they went back-to-school shopping. I shared all of the things I gathered with my fellow teachers so we won’t have to spend so much supplying our rooms this year.

SAD

August 9th, 2010
8:08 am

I am more than sad, I am mad that our children are being forced onto unairconditioned buses with the temperature reaching well into the triple digits. CHild welfare would put me in jail if I left my child in an unairconditioned car for ten minutes. So why are school districts allowed to torture our children. And please don’t come back with these are whiny kids and parents. Every health expert will tell you this is dangerous heat and it kills. 16 people across the south have died because of this heat. So Why??????

motherjanegoose

August 9th, 2010
8:11 am

@ JJ and Becky…I thought of you both on Saturday night in Iowa, when I had a Walnut Encrusted Pork Chop with apple, mango and bacon chutney. YUMMY! That thing was about as big as a steak…I could not finish it. Not sure how it rates with a southern fried pork chop…LOL.

JoDee

August 9th, 2010
8:14 am

Textbooks for my college freshman—-even buying used for two classes—-$420. ouch.
The school day begins at 8:55 at my middle school this year. I’ll be curious to see if the kids are any more alert. Usually my first period class is extremely quiet, and things don’t seem to liven up until about third period, when they finally wake up.

Alecia

August 9th, 2010
8:17 am

I spent $30 and it included a new backpack and lunchbox. With pencils costing $1 for a pack of 25,notebooks for .15, and glue for a penny, I bought a little extra for the classroom and stocked up for my office. Also, the teacher’s list was a little more modest this year, which helped a lot. It’s sad to think that some kids will show up without supplies this year not by choice. If supplies are available for less than 25 cents a piece,why not buy a little extra.

SO SAD

August 9th, 2010
8:19 am

@ SAD—hasn’t this topic been beaten to death yet?

Several years ago my family and I went on vacation in Central America, and they all whined the whole time about not having air conditioning anywhere we went. Millions of people in hot climates all over the world live and work and play and even go to school( on buses, if they’re lucky!) and live to tell.

Holly

August 9th, 2010
8:21 am

I really don’t like that school starts so early here in Atlanta, but my son is ready so I guess he’ll be ok. On another note…I just brought my daughter to Savannah to begin her first year in college. She is fine and having a ball, but how do I stop crying and worrying??? I’m not sure I’m gonna make it to christmas!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

www.honeyfern.org

August 9th, 2010
8:24 am

We are homeschooling this year (and starting a new educational consulting non-profit), so I am thrilled to not be going back to school at all (myself included; I was a teacher for 11 years). I have friends who drive buses in Cobb, and they say the bus is like an oven, too.

JJ

August 9th, 2010
8:28 am

OK, we had to WALK to school in snow, blizzards, rain, heat, etc. We did not have a school bus, because we were less than 2 miles from the school. My mom had to be at work at 6:30, and my dad travelled a lot, so we HAD to walk back and forth to school. There were tons of us out walking, or riding our bikes to and from school, by ourselves, no parents, and we did just fine.

JoDee – chegg.com. Rent the books for your college student. It is SOOOOOOOO much cheaper!!!

Holly, now it’s YOUR time. You have spent the last 18+ years raising a child. Now it’s time to take care of you!!!!! Join a gym, take classes, go out with your friends, do projects around the house. Christmas will be here before you know it. It’s time for her to start a new chapter in her life, and your’s as well. Savannah is a beautiful city, now you have an excuse to go there!!!!

Holly

August 9th, 2010
8:32 am

Thank you so very much JJ. I had a wonderful time this weekend in Savannah and I will be visiting often (not to pester my daughter though!! LOL) I know I need to get out more, but I’ve been a mom for so long that I’m not sure how to do that just yet, but I will heed your advice!..Thanks again.

TechMom

August 9th, 2010
8:36 am

Hate the early start for the school year (our county started on August 2nd). The boy spent 2 weeks on a mission trip, a week at Scout Camp, a week at the lake with a friend and a week at football camp. That left 3 weeks that were filled with football conditioning and summer reading. Hardly time to get bored so that he would be excited for school to start.

I always stock up on school supplies when they are either super cheap (.$15 notebooks, $.25 notebook paper, etc.) and shop the clearance items (in about 2 weeks, everything will be marked way down). You tend to learn what kids need so I just buy it as I see it go on sale and keep it until he needs it. The only things that never seem to go on sale are notebook dividers. With 6 of his 7 classes requiring a 3-ring binder with dividers, that was my biggest investment this year. He’s been using the same backpack for 3 years. I bought him a nice one on clearance last year for like $8 but he says he still likes the one he has so the new one awaits. So I probably spent $30 on supplies for him- $22 of which were dividers! I also bought some extra stuff that he no longer uses to donate (like cryaons & glue sticks). Also, I usually wait until the clearance sale to buy stuff that teachers like to have (tissues & hand sanitizer) and send those in a couple of months once they’ve depleted their initial supply.

deidre_NC

August 9th, 2010
8:52 am

i always hated for school to start back because my kids and i had so much fun when they were out of school. now they are all grown…1 is in college…so i dont have to do all that back to school stuff…i always thought that school interfered with my family life :)

truths

August 9th, 2010
8:53 am

Maybe now that the thugs in Atlanta are in school, crime will fall. Amazing how crime decreases when school starts in Atl and surrounding areas

motherjanegoose

August 9th, 2010
9:10 am

@ JJ… we just ordered a calculus book from Chegg and wanted to share this coupon:

http://www.couponcraze.com/coupons/chegg/
saved me $4 plus and anything helps now….:)

LongtimeEducator

August 9th, 2010
9:10 am

I usually did as others have mentioned and would stock up when Target and others had their clearance sale. My kids are now grown and thanks to Cobb Co “RIF”, I am no longer teaching (just fully retired). It was really strange not to buy back to school supplies this year! Everybody have a good year and get your kids in bed by 8:00 if possible. Getting enough sleep sure makes a difference in their ability to learn.

Mrs. Cleaver

August 9th, 2010
9:12 am

If you are happy your kids are back in school, you shouldn’t have had them in the first place. And why do they need more than a tablet and pencil anyway?

JJ

August 9th, 2010
9:13 am

MJG – Very good!!!! Chegg will plant one tree for each rental.

Cheryl

August 9th, 2010
9:14 am

$30 on school supplies for a 1st grader in Gwinnett. Lots of sale items…25 cents for crayons and glue. That doesn’t include a new backpack though. She wanted a new one since she has used the other one for 3 years already. My emotions are mixed like yours, but I still have 3 at home until preschool starts after Labor Day.

PhotoMomof4

August 9th, 2010
9:21 am

School supplies were a snap. For 3 kids, I spent $50 at the most. Backpacks were $3 a piece on clearance last spring. Everything else was on clearance too.

I hate that the summer vacation is only 2 months. Trying to schedule vacations with 2 families for the kids, camps, and everything else, there wasn’t really a break for them. They were excited to get back on the bus this morning so that helped me.

Fulton County Parent

August 9th, 2010
9:26 am

I am so glad that we do not start school until August 23rd. It is so ridiculious for these kids to start school in late July/ Early August. The calendar for Fulton has changed, but we got rid of those uselesws half days. We still will get out at the same time as all the other major counties. The teachers still have their planning days. No loss here. Way to go Fulton County!
-The only problem was that most of the camps did not know that Fulton was starting klater and ended their camps last week. I’m sure they will be more prepared next year.

TechMom

August 9th, 2010
9:26 am

And regarding the school start times, I had this conversation with a friend of mine who just moved out west. Her elementary-aged son starts at 7:30 and middle-school daughter at 9:15. She said she doesn’t like that arrangement but I went to middle school in Florida with similar start times when I was younger so I pointed out some positives to her that the later middle school start time is actually better:
1) The same buses and bus drivers can be used for elementary and middle schoolers. This saves the district (i.e. taxpayers, you & me) money.
2) This allows middle schoolers to get home much closer to the time a parent will be there. Elementary students are expected to go to after-school care if they don’t have a parent at home at 2:30 or 3 when they get off the bus. Middle schoolers however are “too old” for after school care and can often spend 2-3 hours without supervision at home if they don’t have a SAHP. When I was in middle school, we got out at 4:10 and often didn’t get home until after 5. Mom or Dad was usually home by 5:30 leaving very little unsupervised time.
3) It’s hard to get middle schoolers in bed by 8 or 8:30 for a 6am wake-up call. Allowing them to sleep until 7 or 7:30 gives them a chance to get closer to the 9-10 hours of sleep they really need.

Mom would wake my brother and I up before she left in the morning and then it was up to us to get ready and get to the bus stop (I only missed to bus once and learned real quick not to dawdle). The added benefit was that I was taught some independence- I had to get up and get ready, fix my lunch, grab my book bag and everything and be out the door by a certain time.

Cammi317

August 9th, 2010
9:28 am

My daughter started private school today. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have spent in the last couple of weeks on supplies, registration fee, activity fees, tuition, school accident insurance, uniforms and books.

Leslie

August 9th, 2010
9:43 am

I am a Mom of 4 and it breaks my heart when my kids go back to school. I so enjoy my time with them and it has flown by. My oldest started high school this year. I keep hearing that children in Ga start school back so early due to standardized testing. How ridiculous….Wasn’t standardized testing supposed to be a measuring tool for how well the schools were doing teaching the kids? Now the school systems spend almost the entire year studying for this test. When I went to school as a child, we started after Labor Day and ended the first week of June. Funny, we had less school time but we were just as educated! I hate getting back into the schedule of school. Its difficult to get children to bed when there is so much daylight. By the time we get home in the afternoon there is little time for my children to play and unwind and just be kids. There is home work, eating dinner, showers, getting ready for the next day and then bedtime.

As far as school supplies go, I spent over 60 dollars on book bags alone. I’m sure by the time my oldest brings a list of things he needs for the high school home, I will have spent well over 200 dollars.

Well, Cammi317...

August 9th, 2010
9:50 am

…if you can’t tell us then why did you bring it up, or did you just want to flaunt the notion that your kid is in private school?

Becky

August 9th, 2010
9:50 am

Only spent about $25.00 for bth kids for school supplies..The girl bought her own backpack at a yard sale about 2 weeks ago for $5.00, still has a $25.00 store tag on it..The boy is using one that we bought last year (end) at Kroger for $5.00..Their supply list this year wasn’t all that much, compared to last year..

I bought some things at Toys R Us..They had a sale, buy one get two free…Like others, I buy stuff just about evey time that I find it on sale..In my family there are so many kids that if one doesn’t use it, another one will..Teh same with clothes, I usually buy at the end of the season and so far that has worked for me..

As for being sad that they went back to school early, I’m sad every weekend when I have to take them home..I understand JJ’s point, but it still is sad..

@MJG..Never had a pork chop like that, but boy does it sound yummy..Glad that you like it..I’m all for trying new foods (within reason)..

Off topic, but wanted to share..Took the kids to the Tellus Science Museum Sat. night..They LOVED it..It was a special Night at the Museum..I went in expecting to stay maybe 1 1/2 and we left 4 hours later..We hadn’t even left the parking lot and the kids were wanting to plan our next trip..So if anyone gets a chance to go, you will have fun..

And, yes, Cammi317...

August 9th, 2010
9:51 am

…I know my comment was haughty…

Cammi317

August 9th, 2010
10:02 am

Nope, still recovering from the shell shock of it all!

catlady

August 9th, 2010
10:08 am

MJG–My school starts at 7:55, as do all the other levels in the county. We get out at 3:05. All age levels share the same bus (not ideal) These are reasonable times to me. Teachers’ days have been 7:45-3:35 + meetings, but I expect this will change and we will have longer hours because we are cutting 10 student days off (save the money, but teachers won’t get it) plus some teacher days.

Many of our 3-5 graders do not get enough sleep. They are up till 9 or 10 or whenever they fall asleep. Then some get on the bus at 6:30, off at 4:30. A long, brutal day. Many of the little ones sleep on the way home, and some are asleep when the buses arrive in the morning!

I have asked for help for kids who sleep much of the day. The response is, “We can’t tell parents how to raise their child.” Same thing when I have kids coming in reeking of dope smoke. I cannot fathom how it is legal to ignore child neglect. I know we rarely see anything done when we DO report to our social worker. Whether anything ever gets to DFACS, I don’t know. But I report verbally and in writing each time I have a concern. If someone ignores it, it won’t be me!

I’d like to go back to starting school the week before Labor Day. Then, there is that 3 day weekend when the CO can scramble around and try to figure out what to do with too large/too small classes. I guess that won’t be a problem this year–most all of them will be too large!

I don’t think we should have weeks and weeks of school after CRCTs. The kids are fried and see no point in “learning” anything. I try to save my most engaging lessons for that time, on subjects of my choosing but targeting the skills we need to have solidified. Then, they are learning without being so aware–it’s “for fun.”

TechMom

August 9th, 2010
10:10 am

@Cammi – you won’t recover from the shock of it ever. The boy is in 10th grade and it doesn’t matter that I’ve been writing that monthly check for 12 years now- I am still in shock every time I write it. I know it’s my choice and I think the money is much better spent than on whatever else I’d be spending it on (furniture, new car, etc.) but it’s still a hard pill to swallow when you put the numbers on paper.

JJ

August 9th, 2010
10:13 am

When I was growing up and going to school, all schools started and ended at the same time. Each school had a certain number of buses. The high schools had their own buses, the middle school had their own buses, and the elementary had theirs.

But then again, it was a small town, and we only had two high schools, four middle schools, and about 6 elementary schools.

JATL

August 9th, 2010
10:18 am

WOW -morning full of drama! Lots of tears from both boys -one’s first all day pre k at an elementary school and the other’s first all day preschool at a new place. Hoping for smiles this afternoon!

I would LOVE it if my son’s pre k started later. It’s not too bad now -they have to be there by 8, but for our work schedules, my uneasiness about aftercare, etc. I had much rather they start later and get out later. Plus, none of us are really morning people!

School supplies: We got out lucky for pre k compared to what a lot of my friends are dealing with. We got a new backpack, lunch box and blanket that cost about $45 total. At open house, the teacher said they could use some glue, kleenex and hand sanitizer, but they weren’t requiring anyone to bring it. She said they would let parents know as the year progressed when they were running low on something that wasn’t in the budget. I sent several boxes of kleenex, and I plan to send some glue and hand sanitizer later this week. We also had to get uniform clothes, so that cost us about $120 total. SO, all total -we spent about $165 including clothes for one child. We’ll have to get more uniform stuff when the weather starts getting chilly, but I didn’t think it was too bad.

JATL

August 9th, 2010
10:26 am

As far as MY feelings -well, I’m sad, especially about the little guy. I’m excited for my pre k boy because he does so much better when he’s going to some type of school situation. However, I’m seriously thinking of seeing if I can cut my hours here so I can go pick them both up and avoid aftercare. I decided I would give aftercare at the pre k a try for a week or two, but I’m not entirely convinced that they’re keeping the 4 year olds as separate from the big kids as they need to, and I don’t like EITHER of my kids at this age being at school or preschool for that long of a day. My youngest will be 2 in October, and I know plenty of people do it, but 8:30-5:30 or 6:00 is a REALLY long time. Given his schedule and the way he is, I’m anticipating him passing out in the car on the way home -FOR THE NIGHT! He goes to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 every night -exhausted -and if that’s going to be the case, I will have to cut my hours here or add more to my “from home” job I do at nights, because I’m not going to basically spend no time at all with him during the week!

I completely get what you’re saying, catlady! I feel like they have most of their lives to be in school all day long and then into extra curricular stuff, etc. At this small age, I would really like to get them at 2 and 2:30! And I also really wish our schools didn’t start back until after Labor Day!

KGIRL

August 9th, 2010
10:33 am

I am always sad when school starts. I always enjoy being with the kids on a daily basis. I am extra sad because my oldest is a senior in high school this year. I am proud but knows he will be going away to college next summer.
As far as the early starts, I want to be able to have my cake and eat it too! We started August 5th in my county. While I would love to be like Fulton County and start late August I thoroughly enjoy the breaks that are afforded during the school year. While summer time is great we also share some great times as family during the mid year breaks. We get out Dec. 17 for Christmas and have the entire week for Thanksgiving. We also have a Feb. break as well as Spring Break. Some may or may not agree with so many breaks but I guarantee they are needed. My county was on that late schedule a few years back and it was awful. Everybody was overtired and performance was threatened. We felt like we were packed in with no breathers or catch up time. We have taken some great vacations during these off break times.
As far as supplies are concerned, they are minimal. I too save and buy extra during clearance times.

CHELLE

August 9th, 2010
10:48 am

SCHOOL SHOULD START MUCH LATER…LIKE THE END OF AUGUST OR AFTER LABOR DAY. ALL THESE BUSES NEED AIR..SCHOOL BANDS & FOOTBALL PLAYERS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PRACTICE IN THIS HEAT…I DON’T HAVE KIDS BUT I WISH THEM ALL THE BEST..THE LITTLE ONES ARE THE ‘CUTEST’ MAYBE NEXT YEAR THE SCHOOL BOARD WILL GET IT RIGHT…START SCHOOL LATER THAN THE 1ST OF AUGUST!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE :-)

motherjanegoose

August 9th, 2010
10:50 am

@ JATL….I was thinking of you and wondering how your morning went. Hope you can work your schedule around your kiddos. They do grow up fast…on W, I will come home to no children.
I think our dog is already sick of me telling her that she is my only baby left….LOL. My husband asked me last night if I was upset…not really, it just hits me that my kids are both going to be gone.
They are wonderful young adults and I enjoy their company, when I do see them.

I travel so much, that I am used to being away from my daughter but, even so, it will be weird not having someone to chat with after school. WONDERFUL that I will be able to sleep in until 7:30!

b

August 9th, 2010
10:56 am

I am not sad but not happy either. Our son needs the structure of going to school but with work being overwhelming this summer, it just seemed too short for me, but definitely not for him. He wants to get back into the social scene (but not the academic-of course).

School supplies were not bad, but then our school (private) does not expect us to bring in enough stuff for the entire year for the entire class either. I always have a stock of supplies so I only needed notecards, pens and some pencils. Our biggest expense was shoes, as we had to buy a certain kind this year.

@Cammie317: suggestion for the uniforms-we have used uniforms sales throughout the year and I get his there. Also, I buy the textbooks used on-line just like my college student does. Amazing what good condition the majority of them are in.

LWA

August 9th, 2010
11:18 am

Theresa I think the answer to question #1 MAY depend on if you are a stay at home mom on not. I AM NOT BASHING EITHER SIDE.

I love my kids and would love to spend more time with them, however, I work outside of the home and therefore, I am glad the kids are back in school. During the summer they lay around the house and have lots of down time. The work I give them is completed quickly leaving lots of time to to do nothing. “An idol mind is the devil’s workship.”

The school year brings more structure to my household regarding schedules. It works for us all.

catlady stated earlier “I am not sure why so many people have kids (except that it “just happens”) because they don’t seem to LIKE their kids and ENJOY their kids.”

I don’t think that if you are happy your kids are going back to school is an indication that you do or do not like them. The two are not mutually exclusive. If we us that logic then no one would have kids at all b/c you don’t know if you are going to like them or not. This is something you can’t predict.

DB

August 9th, 2010
11:21 am

Well, my back-to-school is a bit bizarre this year — two kids off to different schools, different states, and a husband who just accepted a fantastic year-long assignment — but the down-side is that it is out-of-state. (It’s fine — we’re both thrilled that he has this great opportunity, but just bummed it’s not within easy driving distance, and I won’t be able to join him.) Over the next two weeks, my entire family is flying off in different directions, and I’ll be staying in Atlanta, feeling like I’m playing out the kite lines on three dancing kites! After a glorious summer of enjoying my family, in two weeks, it will just be me and the dog. It’s gonna be weird, but I’ve got plans . . . !

@Cammi317 — been there, done that, so you do have *my* sympathy, anyway! At our private school, in addition to the tuition, we also paid for our own books each year. In high school, that was usually between $700-$1,000 for two children, less if you were able to use previous editions of textbooks and had friends you could swap with whose kids had taken similar classes. And uniforms — only three places you can get the uniforms from, and don’t think they didn’t know what the other was charging! With judicious use of “previously owned” clothing (especially blazers), it’s possible to keep the cost down a bit, but you’d still be paying a minimum of $200-$300 per child for new shirts, skirt, pants, shoes, etc. The school was very good about not nickle-and-diming us for fees here and there, the tuition included lunch and subsidized most sports and activities, photos, yearbooks, etc., etc. Supplies were fairly minimal, other than teachers who were anal about a certain color of notebook and dividers for their class, but they were in the minority.

The good news is, when they went off to college, I felt like I had won the lottery! They are on full academic scholarships, so that was taken care of. They received grants that took care of a lot of the dorm expenses. And we were used to paying for books, so that wasn’t a shock. Yeah, there were initial expenses, such as bedding, a small fridge, etc. to make the dorm room homey — but nothing compared to that tuition payment. Throw in food, and I am still coming out way ahead.

I’m not complaining about the costs — that was our family’s choice and I will always be grateful my kids had the opportunity to have the educational experience that they did. But after figuring it into our budget for 15 years and bracing ourselves for college expenses, it was a nice bonus to catch a break!

KJ

August 9th, 2010
11:23 am

Our PTA sells a prepackaged set of school supplies that are then waiting on each child’s desk at OPEN HOUSE. They buy in bulk and the prices for parents range between $39 and $60.

TechMom

August 9th, 2010
11:37 am

@DB – I’ve been thinking that when the boy goes off to college, I’ll be ‘ahead’ of the game as well. Assuming he gets/keeps scholarships anyway. I’m at least banking on it to a certain extent b/c by then I will definitely need a new vehicle!

Becky

August 9th, 2010
11:40 am

My nephews stepchildren go to a school that requires a uniform and I have bought (girls) several pairs of pants, skirts and basic white shirts at the thrift store..This is the second year they have been in this school and so far they haven’t had any issues with these clothes that I have bought them..Some still have store tags on them when I bought them..

TechMom

August 9th, 2010
11:52 am

@DB one more thing, you were lucky you had a choice of 3 places to get uniforms. Son’s school switched to a company based in Florida last year and we’re only “allowed” to buy from them. I’ve been getting around this for the most part through hand-me-downs and the uniform ‘resale’ that the school has at the end of the year. I ended up having to buy him a new pair of chapel slacks this summer though and when he tried them on they were the wrong size (they did an onsite sale at his school the week he was away at summer camp). To send them back and exchange would have cost me nearly half the cost of the pants in shipping alone. I ended up going back to our ‘old’ local place last week and picked up a new pair. Hopefully they don’t start looking for logos or at the brand!

And I’ve learned the reason why schools have an exclusive uniform supplier – the school gets a kickback from the uniform company much like school photographers.

CDD

August 9th, 2010
11:54 am

Homeschooling here so we’re starting later. I want all of to have a good break before we get back into the swing of it. :) I think we’re all beginning to get excited about it starting back though.

DB

August 9th, 2010
12:00 pm

@TechMom: As I told my kids, “You have a great scholarship. Don’t screw it up, or we’ll have to sell the car we gave you to pay for your expenses!” The cars were used, but the threat is palpable . . . :-)

DB

August 9th, 2010
12:09 pm

@TechMom: Of a certainty, there is definitely renumeration going on in the uniform business! What a racket! We had an off-site school store that had somewhat nicer quality clothes that did seem to last a little longer than the other uniform store outlets, but you paid accordingly. *sigh* Blazers were the biggie for us — but thankfully there were lots of blazers in the uniform resale stores that made the cost reasonable. Having only one supplier out of Florida is just tacky, IMHO . . . is the owner a relative of the principal, or what?! :-) Good grief, khaki pants are khaki pants, a polo shirt is just a polo shirt.

TechMom

August 9th, 2010
12:15 pm

@DB I’ve wondered the same thing. We got a new school president last year and he made the decision to switch us to the company he has used for his previous school. Sounds fishy to me.

And I’ve already started telling my son that he has to get & keep HOPE/scholarships through college because we’ve already spent his ’savings’ on his current tuition. We’ll certainly help him how we can with living expenses but if he has the means to earn his way through, then he should and if he loses HOPE for example, that he will have to figure out how to pay for college (i.e. job or loans). I feel like we’re giving him the tools now to be able to succeed in school and at that point it will be up to him.

Lori

August 9th, 2010
12:37 pm

I’m neither happy nor sad about my son going back to school. As a working mother, there is no benefit to me as far as time, since I don’t get summers off. He is either at school or day care! In fact, I have less time now than I did over the summer, because now we have homework, soccer, and piano lessons! I think I spent around $100 on supplies including the backpack, lunch box, and water bottle. Back to school just isn’t a huge deal in our house. It’s just like any other day. We get up, get ready for work and drive him to school!

Cammi317

August 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

@b, ordering used books on Amazon sounds like a great idea!

@Techmom I have same situation with the uniforms. The school has contracted with one company and that is the only place we are allowed to purchase uniforms. The uniforms are almost $50 each. I ordered 2 for now and will get her a couple more in a month or two.

DB

August 9th, 2010
1:29 pm

@Cammi317: I usually ended up ordering ALL the kid’s books in high school on-line, through eBay, Amazon, Textbooks.com., etc., etc. Once I had the ISBN number, I was off to the races – one year I saved almost $400! Unfortunately, my daughter’s major in college doesn’t really lend itself to Clegg (phooey). And, happily, my son’s book order this semester was only $140.00 — 14 books, all paperback, all used!! eBay is also good for an extra set of “stay at home” textbooks (especially heavy ones like science and math) — one of my friends always got extra copies to keep at home so that their kids didn’t have to lug a 30 lb. bookback back and forth each day, and to avoid the “I forgot my book” homework excuse. Then she’d sell ‘em the next year to a friend in the class behind her.

It’s the little things . . .:-)

JJ

August 9th, 2010
1:31 pm

DB you had to BUY high school books? Is that for private school? I’ve never bought any books for my daughter until she hit college..

DB

August 9th, 2010
1:43 pm

@JJ: Yes, it was private. Let’s just say it was good preparation for college — for both parents and kids! :-D

Jan

August 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

@ Cammi

Over $150K in tuition alone for 14 years of private schooling for 2 kids. And not done yet. Paying tuition is like swimming in cold water… You just get used to it after a while. But the payoff for your kid is worth it.

catlady

August 9th, 2010
7:32 pm

JJ: in the old days, students had to buy their books in public school (kept the riffraff out, I guess). I still have a few. You had to go to special state-certified stores. My first grade primer was $1.25, I think. I am speaking of my experiences in FL and AL.

irisheyes

August 9th, 2010
9:33 pm

Didn’t get to see mine off since they get on the bus about the time that I’m welcoming my group into the classroom. I didn’t spend a huge amount on supplies. It’s all about scouring the ads and buying stuff on sale. (Of course, I’m practically supplying my entire class too, but that’s a whole other point. I had kids show up with EMPTY backpacks. I realize times are hard, but we pared our list down to practically just notebooks and pencils. Yet, some parents couldn’t even be bothered to spend a couple of quarters for notebooks.) My oldest’s backpack will end up costing me nothing when I get my rebate from Staples. Crayons, pencils, glue, and notebooks for a quarter each. I even bought some stuff at Publix when it was on sale. I’ll go anywhere for cheap school supplies.

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DB

August 10th, 2010
8:58 am

@Jan: I’m mentally adding up 13 years each of private school for two kids, and I think $150K is on the light side by the time you finish — heck, high school alone was $60K each, not including extras . . . it was a struggle, especially some years, On the flip side, considering the costs where my son ended up at college with scholarships and grants, he made it back in three semesters what we spent for four years in high school. It doesn’t even out, by any means, but we decided that the intangible costs were worth it to our family in the long run — education is more than a numbers game.

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