Sunday, August 9, 2015

Super Summer #7: Back to School!

Dear friends,

School starts a week from tomorrow for my four youngest kids! We're in the middle of our typical back to school frenzy of shopping and organizing. Summer as we know it is almost over! This is always a transition for me, whether they are going to public school (because I won't be seeing them all day and I have to communicate with their teachers) or staying home with me for school (because I have to get us back on a tighter daily schedule and TEACH). I'm learning, too. More on that later in the post.

Two of my teens will be at the same high school this year, my son as a junior and my daughter as a freshman. Their chorus classes had a camp in the evenings all this past week with a concert at the end. 

I also have a son going into 7th grade in public school. :-)

My youngest daughter is doing 4th grade at home with me. She loves to sing and ask a bazillion questions. We had 3rd grade home school evaluation last week and she did just fine! I had to compile a notebook of her work and a lengthy reading log. I also showed the evaluating teachers my goals and curriculum for this next school year, and they were quite pleased. I think I'll do a post on my Start Well Home School blog about what we're doing for school this year.

While I was cleaning out our storage room a couple of weeks ago, I found a box of high school and middle school math books. I don't home school at those grade levels any more, so it was time to sell them. I also rounded up some others books I didn't need. The local used bookstore, Brightlight, gave me $50 in store credit for this pile, and I'm getting another batch ready to take in this week. I used part of the store credit to buy some ancient history books for home schooling this year.

What about me? I'm still learning, too! I spend a lot of time waiting for my kids away from home, so I wanted a secure place to take notes on what I'm reading without everything falling out or getting mashed up in my tote bag. Last week I bought this
full-featured zippered padfolio at Walmart, thinking it was $20. After I got home and started using it, I discovered that the handle had a frayed edge. I also figured out that it was cumbersome for a left-hander like me to use on my lap. When I returned it, I realized had paid $30 for it. Not worth it!

So with the cash I got back, I bought a simple zippered notebook for $5 there. Much better! I got one for my youngest daughter, too, along with a reading lamp and an alarm clock to start her new school year off right. Oh, and some all cotton white T-shirts since the two of us are doing a tie dye project to celebrate the first day of school. In our state, there was no sales tax on school supplies or clothes this weekend. Little bits add up.

I bought most of our school supplies and a new backpack for one son at Staples when they were offering 40% teacher rewards. Since I spent $100, that means I will get $40 back in store credit, which will come in handy for printer ink. We also return our empty ink cartridges for store credit.

So that's where we're at. What are you doing to get ready for the new school year? How do you save money on school expenses?  I'd love to hear, so leave a comment and/or a link!

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

P.S. The EDUCATION stained glass at the top of this post is from the Washington Memorial Chapel which is surrounded by Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania.

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