Tuesday, August 18, 2009

School Supplies

I remember when I was a child and mom took me to school registration. While there, we received a school supply list for the upcoming year. Mom then took me shopping. We bought new filler notebook paper, new pencils, and new crayons. I loved having new school supplies. Expensive items like 3-ring notebooks were saved from year to year. Paper left over from last year was used up during the summer. But the new items, especially the crayons, were the best. I wanted to use them right away, but was afraid the teacher would yell at me if she could see they had been used. I proudly took my new supplies to school and one of the first things the teacher did was have us take out our crayons. She then told us to take the paper off them. She then told us to break each crayon into three pieces. I was devastated. How could she have us take brand new crayons and make them look like old ones? I didn't understand.

I remember telling my mother about this and she convinced me it was okay. She said the crayons would still work and she explained why the teacher had us do this. I accepted the fact that maybe the teacher did actually know what she was doing, but it still hurt to break brand new crayons.

After all these years, I still remember this. New school supplies are a big deal. All children deserve to have the proper supplies for the new school year. Parents should make sure that they have provided their children with everything on the supply list. Every item has a purpose. The teachers, 99.9% of them anyway, do actually know what they're doing. High school students often have to wait until the first day of school to find what they will need, but most teachers will tell them on that first day and will expect them to have these supplies within a day or two.

There are amazing sales this time of year on school supplies, so read those flyers in the newspapers. Often you will find sales in the stores that aren't advertised, so get out there and shop around. If you can't afford school supplies, call your child's school or your church. Many collect donations of supplies and provide those to students who can't afford them.

Another thing that parents should provide for their children is a place at home to study. It should be a fairly quiet place away from distractions. It should have a work surface like a desk or table or even a TV tray. There should be good lighting. There should be pencils, pens, and paper. Other items that really help a child succeed include a ruler, colored pencils, file folders, 3-hole punch, stapler with staples, pencil sharpener, scissors, tape, glue, construction paper, dictionary, and calendar or student planner.

And one last thing parents should provide ... time for their children to study. Make sure your child has a time set aside every day for study. But more about that later.

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