School Supply Shopping: An Evolution


As a kid, I always loved school supply shopping and thought it was so much fun. My mom and I would dedicate time going to the store, go up and down the aisles, and take our time picking out the perfect supplies. I would stare at the folders and pick the right colors for each subject, the best pencils, and if I were lucky, I would get a new trapper keeper. Lisa Frank was my hero!

When my oldest son became school-aged and we were preparing for Kindergarten, I could not wait to take him shopping and have the same experience. We got to the store with our list, I shared with him what we needed to buy, and he stared at me with absolutely no interest. WHAT??

He did not care what color his pencil box would be, or which crayons we picked out; I could not believe it.

It had not even occurred to me that this would not be a fun experience for him. The next 45 minutes was spent with me picking out his supplies and him saying “I don’t care” when I gave some options on what we should buy.

Lesson Learned!

I found out the next year that some of our favorite big box stores have the school supply list online, you select the school and grade & they add all the supplies to your online shopping cart. Genius! I was able to make a few adjustments, we didn’t need a few items so I could remove those, and I picked out a different pencil case than the one that was added to the cart so I still got to have a little fun. The supplies showed up at our front door a few days later; it was perfect.

The summer before 1st grade, I thought about what is important to my son to prepare for starting school again. Shoes! He is a tennis shoe guy. I lay out his clothes in the morning, and he typically agrees with whatever I pick out, but he likes to select which shoes he wants to wear.

I took a day off work the week before school started, we went shoe shopping. He tried on about 10 pairs in three or four different stores before finding the right ones. We went to lunch and chatted about school starting and if he was nervous about meeting his new teacher.

This was the school shopping experience that he needed, and I cannot wait to do it again.


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