Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A New School Year

*image courtesy Google images

Summer is almost over and in a less than a week, my kids will be starting a new school year.

When my oldest started kindergarten, I went a little nuts buying new clothes and other things for school. I bought him a backpack more than one that year), a lunch case, school supplies, and new clothes (no T-shirts, only nice clothes) and shoes. I walked with him to school, took pictures of him lining up with his class, walking into the school, etc.

When he started first grade, he got a new backpack and a few needed new clothes items plus some school supplies that he didn't already have. I forgot the camera and didn't take any pictures.

When he started second grade and my second child started kindergarten last year, I bought them both several pairs of new jeans and a couple new T-shirts (yes, I downgraded from nice shirts). I don't remember even buying school supplies.

This year, the school hasn't sent us any sort of a list of supplies that are needed, and I'm not going to buy tons of school supplies in case they're needed if they won't be used. Like last year I sent them both with pencils, crayons, pencil boxes, and folders and neither of them used any of those items. Thankfully, those were things we already had.

They're boys. They don't care if they wear cut-off jeans and an old T-shirt to school. They do need new backpacks since last year's backpacks are pretty worn out. I pulled out and dusted off the lunch cases and they are in good condition, a little dirty, but otherwise functional.

So I hesitate to even bother with school shopping. I don't have a school supply list. I bought new jeans at the end of last school year (it was still cold and they needed them!) and those still fit just fine. I bought them new tennis shoes at the end of last school year. Other than a little dirt from camping once, those shoes are fine, not worn out at all. And they are perfectly happy with the lunch cases we already have.

So do I even bother? I just feel like it's nice to start school with something new, but I don't think boys really care. At least my boys don't. Maybe I should shop the clearance racks at Target or Walmart for some new T-shirts and spend $20 or less for the both of them, just so they can have something new.

So how much do you spend on back-to-school for each child? What do you deem necessary or not necessary?

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