With the school year fast approaching, I’m suddenly slightly stressed about what little time is left of summer and how unprepared I am for the start of another academic year. Recalling my mental list of what they each need before school begins makes my heart beat fast with anxiety, which is amplified each time I log into Facebook and read status updates about how prepared everyone else already is. I remind myself, even though they still need new clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch kits, and haircuts, one thing they do have is their school supplies. I ordered them through the school at the end of the school year last year and have done this each year since my oldest was entering kindergarten. Although I have no idea if it is a money saver or big-time ripoff, it gives me a little peace of mind each summer when August rolls around and I have absolutely nothing else for them yet.
The deal with buying the pre-packaged school supplies, though, is that they are usually distributed at our school the same day/time as Meet the Teacher. Their thinking is good–one trip for parents to pick up the supplies and then drop them in the classroom the same day so the kids don’t have to lug them to school on the first day–but considering each item must be labeled with the child’s name, this convenient distribution tactic becomes a stress-ridden race to legibly label the supplies and squeeze in some face time with the new teacher. After 2 years of this, I had the great idea of bringing my own Sharpie with me last year so at least I wouldn’t have to wait for a turn amidst the other moms in the frantic-supply labeling chaos. This helped, but not much.
With all 3 of mine in school this year, I knew I needed to find an easier and more efficient way to tackle this task. I came up with an idea that I hope will all but eliminate the labeling madness I have grown accustomed to. Instead of hand writing each name a thousand times with a marker, I preprinted address labels with each of their names. Now, I’ll just peel and stick my way through this tedious process and hopefully have more time to talk with the teachers, investigate their rooms, and maybe even ask a few questions. Such a simple idea, I can’t believe it took me this long to figure this out.