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Ready or Not #72: Getting Ready for School

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

School is going to start soon; I can feel it in the air. Actually, I can’t, but my mailbox is being bombarded with back-to-school advertisements and that is a dead giveaway. Last year I forgot that school was starting until I got a frantic phone call from my son. He had gone deer hunting with his cousin and on the drive back his cousin asked him if he was excited for school to start because it was his first year of high school. His heart stopped; he had forgotten too. He borrowed the cell phone and frantically called me asking if I would grab some new clothes and school supplies for him. It was about 7:00 at night when I ran out the door hoping that the shelves wouldn’t be bare.

The next morning, he went to school dressed in new clothes and he was well prepared for his classes with sharpened pencils and new class implements. I then went back to the store to return all of the extras that he decided against. (Whew.) For somebody that likes to be prepared, I was sorely lacking.

The year before, when I remembered the date that school started, I was prepared – for the entire year. It was a wonderful feeling. I am going to give you some tips that have helped me in the past to cut down on those “I forgot I have a report due tomorrow” blues.

1. I buy my computer paper by the box because it is cheaper that way and you don’t have to worry about running out. We don’t seem to use lined paper for the older kids as much these days because we use computers, but I have found that it has been very helpful to have a bunch of refill lined paper on hand – just because it always seems to come in handy. Pick up an extra cartridge of ink for the computer too.

2. One year I bought over a dozen different colored poster boards, and it was one of the most brilliant things I have ever done. The one rule that I had is that the kids realized that the poster board had two sides and when possible, I had them use the other side for a different project. I also told them to plan out their project on a piece of paper before putting it on the poster board – there were no do-overs with a new poster board if they made a mistake.

3. Buy some really good quality colored markers and make it the big pack (don’t buy the cheap ones – they are just an exercise in frustration). Also, buy one whole box of black Sharpie, fine tip, permanent markers. These are invaluable especially if you have the poster boards mentioned above and are doing class projects. I had a couple of rules concerning the markers: a) they were mine and I would lend them IF they didn’t leave the caps off when not using them, and b) they had to put them ALL back when they were finished. Actually, that was the rule for when they used anything.

4. Stock up on glue sticks. They are easy for elementary kids to use, and they are portable for older kids. You will also have fewer clean up problems.

These ideas are very simple, fairly inexpensive, and very helpful. You are probably thinking, “What does this have to do with preparedness?” Everything. Being prepared is a way to relieve stress – in all aspects of life - food, finances, water, or school supplies. Having kids in school is stressful enough. It only makes sense to prepare you and your kids ahead of time. It will pay off – and then you can sit back and smile, kind of like when you got your water stored!


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