Tag Archives: back to school

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So we all know the Staples commercial with Dad flying down the store’s aisles collecting up all the school supplies his kids need for back to school, and the jingle “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” is playing. I love Back to School. The smell of new notebooks, freshly sharpened #2 pencils, undoodled upon binders…… Every year – though I always gripe about cost – I enjoy getting the boys ready to go back to school.

As they get older it seems they need less in the way of specific  stuff, and more in the way of – “make sure they have normal supplies”.

This year, well, I am laid up with this stupid neck thing which precludes me from driving and shopping and zipping down the aisles singing the jingle. I will not be shlepping four very grumpy boys / men around from store to store to get all the things on their lists.

I clicked and bought. Yep. I ordered clothes and supplies for them online – if you follow people like the Kosher Shopaholic and Kosher on a Budget you can really find some great deals. I found that I didn’t spend more than I would have had actually visiting the store – coupon codes saved me a buck or two as well. Perhaps I spent less because there were no impulse buys. AND I didn’t have to hear the whining about going back to school.

I won’t buy them shoes online, so that will be done when they need them – I don’t believe in them having EVERYTHING new for school. In fact, it’s only the two youngest that really need new clothes because they grew like absolute weeds this summer.

We still have the seforim / Jewish texts to deal with – the boys have to go through the bookcases and the boxes in the attic to find what they need. No way I am shlepping up that rickety staircase to see what’s what.

But we are pretty much set otherwise. Squiggy – who had this entry on his supply list “a phillip’s head screwdriver” – has his orientation at his new high school Wednesday night and his first full day on Thursday. Lenny starts on Thursday too, and HockeyFan and ChatterBox start on September 7th.

So looking forward to having structure in our days. Summer time and the easy living leave me a little frazzled – I am such a scheduler.

Now to schedule some time for my neck to feel better.

…and they are all (well almost all) at school.

The summer is officially OVER. Well for them anyway. They get a few days of school, then comes Rosh Hashannah, a few more days of school, then Yom Kippur, then Sukkot break. So, if we revisit my first statement, summer might be over, but school doesn’t really start until after the chagim.

But then again, if it doesn’t really start till after the chagim, what the heck am I doing waking up at the crack of dawn to imbibe my caffeinated sanity-drink in order to be bright eyed and bushy tailed (ha!) to get the kidlets up and off to school?!!

This morning, I had 3 of them out by 7.30. I always like to say I would pack lunches the night before, but hey, I am good, but not that good. Besides, being children, they would change their mind about what they wanted with a few hours of decent sleep.

The little one is showering right now, excited about the first day of third grade. He has decided to wear a button-down shirt and dress pants for his first day. His backpack is ready by the front door, and his excitement has been building for days.

The others played it very cool – after all, in seventh, eighth and tenth grade, you have had a lot of first days. I am glad that at least one of them is excited!! (but can he keep the chattering down a bit, the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet?!).

Me, what will I do today? I think as soon as ChatterBox’s carpool has left, I will go back to bed. Because I can. Ha! The other choice is to clean and do laundry. Hmm, which would you pick?

School Supplies

This is the season where we parents all descend on the Walmarts and Staples and Bureau en Gros and pick their shelves clean. We need pencils and erasers and a certain type of binder. Dividers and hole punchers, sticky tape and glue. And it is different for each child.

I have a question for you back to school parents. Do you send in EVERYTHING they ask for (80 pencils)? Or do you send in the minimum, knowing that if you sent everything on the list it would get lost by September 10th? Do your kids use everything you buy? Do you buy everything new or do you recycle from last year, even if the kids complain it isn’t cool? Share your tried and tested tips!!


I have so much that I need and want to write about, but this will be an insanely busy week. It’s back to school, but more importantly, this is the week of Squiggy’s barmitzvah. I have been in NY on “vacation” for the last 3 weeks, so I need to knuckle down and take care of business, so blogging will be sporadic at best. Right now the writing I have to do is my speech for aforementioned barmitzvah – anyone want to do it for me? 😉

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Happy Back to School!!

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Ode to Joy


Well, the day finally came. The children went back to school today. Hooray! And much tho they will deny it vehemently they were so thrilled to see all their friends again. I walked them into the school yard (how embarrassing can I be??) and helped them shlepp their stuff. Why do they have to bring everything on the first day of school? My six year olds back pack weighed more than ME!!


Ok so am I the only sap amongst parents who cries on the first day of school every year? I see them lining up to go into class and I get a huge lump in my throat. Every year they are that much bigger and need me that much less. My first grader (how is that even possible that he is in first grade??) turned to me after 2 minutes and said “It’s ok Ima you can go now, I don’t need you anymore”. Sniff. Rip my heart out why don’t you? I contained my tears until I got to the car, indulged in a little weep fest, wiped my eyes and squared my shoulders and told myself to get over it.


As I drove away from school I turned on the radio (the whole summer it has been on a Jewish music loop of Chevra and Six13, oh the joys of yeshivish boys) and what song was playing? Holiday by Madonna, followed by What a Feeling from Flashdance by Irene Cara. Perfect song choices. I am sure plenty parents were singing along to those this morning and smiling to themselves.


So happy back to school folks, enjoy the peace and quiet and the possibility of time to oneself – what is that again?


for your viewing pleasure :

 Madonna – Holiday

 Irene Cara – What a Feeling

School supplies

I remember well the days that we went to school with whatever pens and pencils we found lying around, and had textbooks and workbooks provided to us. These days we are sent lists of equipment, Sefarim, everything down to the number of staples you are supposed to send. My kids school has asked that I send each kid with 15 pencils on the first day of school. FIFTEEN!! Wow, they will be working hard for the first day for sure. We have to send Kleenex as well.


So I have added up what I spend on back to school, without clothing, and it’s a small fortune. But that is on top of the registration, book fees, photocopying fees, get-u-any-which-way fees, tuition – is it not cheaper to keep our kids home and home school them? Does it really make a difference whether they have a pink hi-liter or a blue one? Does the homework folder really have to be blue? Why can’t it have a picture on it?


There is a commercial that plays here that sings about it being the most wonderful time of the year, this back to school madness. Maybe for the stores, because they are raking it in! Maybe we are all fools because we give in, we do this bulk purchasing for our kids every single year. We never stand up to the schools and tell them enough is enough.


I should just thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to invest in uniforms. They have a dress code, but it’s pretty fluid. Pants, with no cargo pockets, no jeans, shirts with no pictures. High school is white shirts and dark pants.


Sigh. Remember that back to school smell from when we were kids? Those back to school butterflies? Would you want to be a kid again, but in today’s world?