Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to school preparations

It's back-to-school prep time (actual BTS is next week).  Thankfully, our shopping list is pretty minimal.  Each kid needs:

  • A lunch box.  There is no school kitchen, so every kid packs everyday.  They'll each use the same ones they've used in the last 2 years.  Done.
  • A backpack that serves almost exclusively for carrying their lunch box.  They each carry their recorder and music binder on music day. On Fridays they bring home a "Friday Folder" with announcements; they bring it back empty on Mondays. There is no homework and rarely do they need to bring in anything else.  They'll use the same home-made ones since pre-k.  Done.
  • Sunblock if we want the school to dose out a specific brand; otherwise they get a shot of whatever the classroom uses. (We skip this completely.) 
  • Indoor shoes.  Each kid brings in a pair of indoor shoes--often crocs or slippers or moccasins--and puts them in their cubby.  Every day, upon arrival, they change into their indoor shoes and put their outdoor shoes (whatever they wore that day) into their cubby.  They change back into those for recess.  They can keep gym shoes there, too, for gym class days, or just wear them as their outdoor shoes on gym days.  This keeps the classroom clean and dry no matter the weather.

    This is great for several reasons:

    (1) I don't have to remind them to pack indoor shoes on days they wear boots (rain or snow).

    (2) They have no interest in owning shoes in general since they only serve as a way to get from the car to the cubby and  back.  In the summer, Katie owns 5-6 pairs of shoes (crocs, flip-flops, water shoes, running shoes, 2-3 pair of dressy slip-ons, etc) but in the school year we buy nothing and there's nearly no thought given to choosing shoes to go with an outfit.

    (3) So much more comfy for them to wear slippers all day!    
Indoor Shoes: Check!
Jorge's fleece lined, rubber bottom slippers, $14 at Sears
Katie's slip on mary-jane style shoes, $15 at Payless.
  • Clothes to wear.  The school doesn't have a uniform but does have a dress code: nothing with glitter or sequins that flake off (ok otherwise), and strongly encourage not to wear things with licensed characters on them. So they can wear something with a generic princess or car or robot or train, but not Disney's Cinderella, Pixar's Cars, R2-D2, or Thomas the Train.  Especially in the younger classrooms, this keeps kids from spending their time discussing movies and TV shows and making some kids feel left out (like ours who rarely watch anything and have no idea who most licensed characters are).

    To this end, we picked up 4 new-to-her-and-in-perfect-shape skirts, 3 tops, 2 zip-up sweatshirts, 3 sweaters, and 2 pair of knit pants in her favorite color and design at a friend's adoption-fundraising yardsale in July.  We retired 5 of her 7 favorite skirts which turned out to all be 4T (she still insists that the last two are too comfy to retire).  Added to her already huge closet, Katie's done.  And all of that plus pants for Jorge, four shirts for me, some shorts for Rob, and a few other things were $10.

    Jorge is still best in his 4T shirts but has finally outgrown most of his 4T pants. August is nicely in 3T, meaning the 4T's are headed for short-term storage.  Turns out, though, that all but two pair had the knees blown out.  Considering he spent 2 years in them, I can't be surprised, but I did have to laugh that all of the busted knees were the left knee.  I patched 6 left knees and 1 right knee this morning (the right knee being a pair of pants we grabbed at the yard sale).  This leaves Jorge with 5 pair of as-yet-never-ripped pants and 2 pairs of patched all in 5T; the other 5 pair of patched pants are 4T's awaiting August's next growth spurt along with the two pair of unripped 4Ts.  (The pile of 3T pants are already for him this fall with no rips or patches.  He won't start school until January at the earliest, though).
Three pair of star-patched pants.
Two pair have monster-knees

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