Wednesday, July 25, 2012

School Supply Strike

We have some unwritten rules about school supplies around here.  They look something like this:

And guess who made these commandments?  THE MOM.  That would be me.  My kids wouldn't know any better to make these rules.  My husband would hand the kids a carpenter pencil and steno pad to take to school if it were up to him.   I have no one to blame for this but myself.   

I have fond memories of the new shoes, backpacks and "cute" new school supplies, and I guess I've wanted my children to have those same fond memories.  (pretty good excuse, don'tchathink?)

I'm currently reading the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  

Here's what it's about:

This book is changing me-BIG TIME.  I want to turn off may cable, go feed the poor, throw away 90% of my wardrobe, get rid of my iPhone...ummm, well, let's not go that far.  But you get the picture. 

And unfortunately, school supplies are an innocent bystander caught in the whirlwind of my convicted heart.  So here's what I'm doing about it:

1.  I went school shopping WITHOUT my children.  No peer (or kid) pressure.  Just me and the list and sale items.  Like what I got or lump it.  Or buy your own with your own money.  TAKE.THAT.
2.  I kept all of their supplies that were returned from last year.  I inventoried everything and crossed of the things that I could from the current list.  This meant blacking out their "number" from last year with a Sharpie.  This means I tore out the only 5 pages that were used in the composition book.  This means I'm sending in a ton of notebook paper that's not packaged out of an old notebook.
3.  They are going to reuse their Jansport backpacks from last year.  I washed them in the washing machine and they're as good as new-Oh, yes I did...
4.  I am not buying my children new shoes. They both received brand spankin' new shoes from Nana late in the school year last year.  And they are nice, and they still fit with room to grow.
5.  We're gathering items from around the house.  We have a GAZILLION dry erase markers and pencils around this place and gosh darnit they're going to get used, finally.
6.  I will make sure my kids have a 1 week supply of uniforms.  My kids don't need 3 weeks worth of uniforms.  We have this dandy thing called a washing machine and I do laundry like every week. Do the math.

So should I feel like the worst parent ever because my kids backpacks won't have that new backpack smell? Should I let mommy guilt set in because I'm not creating "new memories" for my kids?  
NO STINKIN' WAY! In fact it should be just the opposite.  I think I should get the Mom Of The Year Award.  I should receive the Nobel Peace Prize or something.  
I wrote the rules, I can change them.  

I want to raise kids who appreciate what they have and learn to be good stewards of all that God has provided.  I don't want them to live in excess, like so many of us do.  

So this whole school supply mutiny, is just one small step for momkind-
Are you brave enough to take it?

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  1. I totally agree Kris. I have 4 kids, 3 of them will be in school this year. I made them clean out their closets this summer to see what they actually need. You know what I found that Taylor ONLY needed a couple pair of jeans. Liam needed NOTHING and Cassidy needed a few things. But we are starting at Plato's Closet Consignment store first! Supply list I start with the sales for .1 and .25 items. They have never complained and I am thankful! But is is crazy the amount of money you can spend before school starts. I just don't have it, or maybe I should say this is not how we choose to spend our money! Good Luck in the new school year. Mine will be in 12th, 8th and VPK :)

  2. Jen-I can't imagine have 3-4 kids to buy school supplies for! I bet you probably know all the tricks!

  3. Love this happy you rethought your school list. :) There are alot of kids in Africa who would love all those extra water bottles and such btw. And thanks for stopping by my blog! Blessings, Nicki

  4. I have read many good things about this book! I should check it out, but I will admit I'm nervous to do so!

    I realized how expensive all new school supplies were when I bought them for the first time in college. I quickly learned to use old notebooks with paper left. I am STILL using leftovers after undergraduate and graduate school.

    Thanks for linking up with WIP Wednesday!
    Mary Beth @newlifesteward

  5. I recently read this book and it was very challenging! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and how you are going to make changes to your school purchases. I homeschool so I don't "have" to buy a bunch of new things, but I am still tempted when all the school stuff is displayed in multiple aisles at Walmart! Loved your back to school commandments!! Super clever :)

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