Day 3 – Go Shopping for School Supplies
Do you remember that 2016 viral Facebook post written by a teacher about school supply shopping? It was about the attitudes toward education that kids learn in the school supplies aisle. After the teacher listened to griping comments from many parents who were annoyed with the lengthy supply lists brought home from school and then being offered a $25 gift card from one parent who noticed the pile of classroom supplies in the teacher’s cart and wanted to help out, he offered these observations:
“The kids who heard their parents complaining heard this message: ‘School is not important enough to spend money on it, teachers are not to be trusted and have bad judgement, and learning does not require investment.’
The kid who’s dad handed me the gift card heard, ‘School is important enough that we should give more than required to make sure it is successful, teachers should be respected and valued, and learning requires us giving it everything we have.’”
If none of this is ringing a bell, it’s worth the time to read about it here.
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I bring the teacher’s story up to make the point that we need to always be aware of the messages we’re sending to our kids about education.
Shopping for school supplies is a great way to help kids get excited about the new school year, and more importantly, it sends the message that even in our budget-conscious homeschooling households, education is WORTH IT.
I’m not saying that you have to spend a lot of money. Even if it’s just to let a child choose new pencils or a fresh box of $.50 crayons, make school supply shopping a tradition. Make it a day as much as possible.
My mother still remembers the days when her own mother took her back-to-school shopping – the drive downtown, the department stores they’d hit, the special lunch out they’d share together. All these years later, she still remembers those days and the message they instilled in her about the importance of the school year she was about to embark upon.
Even if you’re pretty sure that your kids have gotten the message about the importance of education from… oh, you know, having parents who make great sacrifices to provide them with the most highly personalized education available, it’s still a great way to help build up some enthusiasm for the new school year.
Plus, fresh crayons ARE one of life’s great small pleasures.