Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve considered back to school as the REAL New Year. After all, nothing changes on January 1, but when school starts, everything changes. There are new teachers, new classmates, new lessons to learn. To me, it just seems like a much more natural time to clean the slate, make new resolutions, and start all over.
I was always obsessed with school supplies. I loved getting those brand new notebooks and perfectly pointed pencils and even the plastic protractors that I never used for anything more than making fancy doodles in math class. I’ll never forget that feeling of heading off to my first day of school each year with all my new supplies and feeling like I could change the world and everything in it.
There were a quite a few years between my graduation and having kids, but my mind always continued to operate on a school calendar. And now that I have three kids in school, I am totally re-immersed in the whole concept of considering back-to-school as the New Year.
We live in the northeast, so school doesn’t start until after Labor Day (as opposed to my poor southern friends who start smack in the middle of summer!). Our family has designated the second Monday in August as school supply shopping day. Apparently, I have passed my obsession on to my kids, because every one of them loves this shopping excursion.
So, off we go to Target where there is an entire section called the School Shop with everything my kids could possibly need. There are backpacks and composition books, crayons for the little ones, pencil pouches, organizers, notebooks, folders, erasers, batteries, you name it!
This year, Target has these adorable clear backpacks that my daughter went crazy over. She filled the backpack with colorfully fun folders, like a blue and yellow polka-dotted one. The bright colors showed through the clear backpack so she got to make a fashion statement with her backpack!
I have a special cabinet in the corner of the family room that I use for extra school supplies. I fill it with extra one-subject notebooks, gel pens, glue sticks, dividers, highlighters, binders, crayons, and composition books so that when there’s a school supply emergency, it’s solved before there’s a crisis. This year Target started carrying a new school supplies brand called Yoobi. It’s great because when you buy a Yoobi school supply, they’ll donate one to the Kids in Need Foundation. It’s a win-win for all of us -- we have the supplies we need and another child right here in the US benefits from our purchase!
When we get home, the kids spend some time organizing their new supplies and loading their new backpacks. At dinner, we sit down and make a list of back-to-school resolutions and slip them into one of the school supply drawers, to be read on the last day of school. The kids love that!
And then, at the end of the day, all the new backpacks get hung on their designated hooks in the family room where they hang around, just like the kids, waiting excitedly for the first day of the new year of school.