I'm on vacation right now, away from home. This week is a big deal where I am, because they are having a tax-free shopping time to help families get ready for school (and to help businesses with a notoriously slow sales period). Taxes here aren't that high but analysts predict a huge boost in spending. I feel bad that many families feel the financial crunch when it comes to preparing their children for returning to school. What do we REALLY need to be ready?
Usually, the physical things my own kids require are backpacks, pencils, binders, and uniforms. They took good care of their bags and binders last year and the style is still fashionable enough for them to reuse last year's luggage. The right size for their tops and bottoms were snatched up in July because they are a popular size that sells out quickly. We don't actually need to buy anything right now.
I believe that the things my kids (and other students) need to be ready for school are more intangible and take more than just a week of sales. They need a positive attitude toward the upcoming year. They need friends in their classes and in their schools. (My husband's tales of his best friends Eric Fitzpatrick and Tony Palomini demonstrate how important those connections are to young people.) They need some reintroduction to the tasks and routines related to the institution of school (another reason why I insist my son and daughter scrapbook - communicating through writing is something they're expected to do frequently at school and they don't always practice this throughout the summer).
I'm on vacation, and I don't really want to think about returning to school right now, but those intangible items that students need sound like they are things a teacher could use to get ready as well.