Back-to-School Supplies on the Way!

05 Jul

Well, here we are at the end of our first week for this new school year already. We didn’t finish our testing at the end of the this past year, so we started this year a week early and here we are! This week was a testing-only week, which was kind of nice because it somewhat eased our transition back to doing schoolwork after our few weeks off. No matter the length of the break, coming back always can be difficult.

My son will be in SIXTH grade this year – Middle School! It’s so hard to believe! And this will be our fifth year of homeschooling!

If you’re anything like me you love the newness of everything for a new year. New curriculum. New supplies. New activities. And, for us, even some new decorations and classroom posters for our school area!

Supplies are hands-down my favorite thing to shop for. I love doing curriculum shopping as well, but a lot of that is done online, so it doesn’t have the same giddiness of pushing a cart through the Back-To-School (BTS) area of a brick-and-mortar store. Notebooks! Pencils! Erasers! Things you didn’t know you even needed! It’s great.

When my son was in the younger elementary grades one of my favorite areas was the $1 section of Target where they’d have various things to add to our teaching. We went today and they’re already stocking it up with school things and clearing their summer area for their BTS section. I’ve got this thing down pat I think.

Our typical school start is the second week of July. This is when Target’s BTS section is a work-in-progress. Some supplies are out. Bins are there but they are empty. Employees sit on the floor with shippers and supplies trying to figure out what goes where. An empty stocking cart or two are hanging around. By the second week most of the supplies are out and I can actually shop! Yay! This is also a great time to shop because NOBODY else is usually there buying stuff yet. Public school here doesn’t start for a least another month, and it will be a week or two before the BTS craziness begins and the aisles are hopping.

Now, be ye warned, the last week or two before school actually does start AND the week school has started it’s complete chaos. I had the misfortune of having to brave the obstacle course known as the BTS section last year during this time, due to not buying something we really needed to have and still hadn’t found yet, and let me tell you, you’re risking your life by venturing into there at that point.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the $1 section. Yep. It gets me almost every time. I went into Target today for regular stuff – soap, cleaning supplies, etc – but, as you walk into Target there that $1 section sits, beckoning you to come over and look. Sometimes there isn’t much. Other times there are a few things that catch my eye. Towards Christmas the wrapping paper and gift bags catch my eye. Today, it was the school supplies.

Granted, my son really is getting too old for most of the stuff there, but I still like to look. If you have younger kids you might find a whole variety of fun things you can use with your teaching. Here’s (of what I can remember anyway) what they had today:

– workbooks (I know there was at least math, reading readiness, and some easy science experiments workbooks. I’ve also seen some for basic geography and history in the past.)

– fun Post-its (These aren’t name-brand, but I go through a ton every year, so I get one or two of the fun packs and will get a bunch of the plan name-brand ones when they’re on sale with the BTS supplies.)

– stickers (I didn’t get any because my son is beyond this stage, but these are great for those younger children who love to see colorful stickers congratulating their effort on a short worksheet, test, or quiz)

– stamps (This was a four or five-pack of single-colored self-inking stamps that said things like, “Super” and “Great Job!”)

– flashcards (I think over time I eventually bought practically every flashcard set they had so I didn’t really look at their selection, but I saw them there today. At different times I have seen flashcards for planets, space, land animals, sea life, dinosaurs, US States, US Presidents, landmarks, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, basic Spanish, street signs, etc., etc, etc., and so on, and so forth!)

– plastic pockets that hold 8 1/2″ x 11″ papers (These came in three or four different colors, and are handy for those of you with multiple kids who don’t want to reprint out the same worksheets. I’ve heard of people printing out one of the papers, use it in the pocket by having the child write on the plastic over the spaces on the worksheet with dry erase markers, and then they save the page for the next child to use at some other time.)

– foam decals (I’m sure there are various uses for these. They came in various shapes and colors.)

– pocket charts (I believe these are used for sight words, sentences, and other reading/spelling/writing related skills.)

– teacher planning books

– reading log books

Be on the lookout! Later in the season you’re also sure to see things like:

– dry-erase lined handwriting boards

– Beginner Classics (everything from Anne of Green Gables to Tom Sawyer)

– various bins for organizing and storage

It’s always worth taking a look. You never know what you’ll find! What’s your favorite thing about Back-To-School shopping and where have you found the best deals in the past?

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