For many of you, especially in the Midwest, you won’t be thinking about back to school quite yet. Summer is still in full swing and the kids have almost another month off. In Colorado, the kids tend to finish the school year at the end of May and head back at the beginning of August. They also get a Fall break (lasting 1-2 weeks depending on the school calendar) and a Spring break (also lasting 1-2 weeks).
Michael is on what is called a Modified Calendar and he gets 2 weeks off for Fall break and for Spring Break. He starts back to school on Tuesday, August 2. David is on a Conventional Calendar and he only gets 1 week off for Fall break and 1 week for Spring Break. He starts school on Monday, August 8. And that means that David will finish school a week earlier than Michael.
Honestly, I never got what the big deal was about going back to school, in terms of shopping. I shop for the boys’ clothing year round and buy them what they need, when they need it. Since moving to Colorado, they generally don’t wear long-sleeved shirts. So shirts are good year-round. Shorts can often be worn through November if the weather is mild. But to go and buy them a new wardrobe because school is starting seems silly to me.
Most likely they will both wear shorts for all of August and September and maybe October. We get a lot of wear out of shorts. And when they need shorts, I wait for them to be on sale or clearance. No big deal. Pants are a bit trickier. Michael will not wear jeans: the only pants he will wear are sweats or workout pants. Michael could probably use 1 pair in his size. I checked at Target today and they only had one style out. So Michael will have to make due with shorts and what he already has until I can find something else. But he has about 25 pairs of shorts, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
Michael also has the benefit of getting to wear hand-me-downs. He has clothes that were given to us that didn’t fit David (Michael is a slim). Generally, I keep an eye out for slims as they are often hard to find. I have a number of things that Michael will be able to fit into in the next several years. I will also continue watching for pants for him in the next size (or two sizes) up. By the time he will fit into the next size, I will have a very nice wardrobe for him.
David will only wear jeans to school. 18 Husky are too small and we have moved into men’s clothing. I found him several pairs of jeans today at Target at 70% off – they were $5.98 a pair. I bought him 3 pairs of 34 x 30 (they are a little bit long) and 1 pair didn’t fit. But he now has at least 6 pairs of jeans he can wear to school. When I return the pair that didn’t fit, I will try to find another pair. David probably doesn’t really NEED them, but he has some room to grow and they will make it through this school year and at just under $6, I can’t pass them up.
Each boy got a funny tee-shirt today. They really don’t need tee-shirts, but they are fun and the boys enjoy them. Neither one of them needs anything else, so that was it for clothes shopping.
The only other things I needed to buy were school supplies. Again, I shop for these all year round. The chain-stores have a lot of school supplies left after people are done buying. This means that school supplies will end up on clearance. Since David has the teachers that Michael will have, I have a pretty good idea of what Michael will need. Two years ago, David needed a yellow spiral notebook, I could not find any that weren’t in a pack of 5 (one each of red, blue, green, purple and yellow). It really frustrated me that I couldn’t find one outside of the 5 pack! But you can be darn sure that when I saw those 5 packs on clearance several weeks later, I bought 4. Notebook paper is something that we tend to need every year, no matter how much I buy.
For me, the challenge is to buy everything without spending a fortune and that means that we purchase items all year so that we can be ready to head back to school without the shopping stress or cost.