I can’t believe it. In a few weeks, I’ll have a daughter headed off to junior high school. The thought makes my stomach turn. She’s growing up. They’re both growing up. Where did the time go?
Like any frugal mom, I have a stash of school supplies on hand. I always stock up when there is a good sale because you never know when you’ll need something mid-year when the prices are back to normal. Each year as part of our back-to-school prep, we sit down with the girls’ required list of supplies and sort through what we have in our stockpile. From there, we make a list of what we need to pick up at the store to fill in the blanks.
With only a few short weeks to go and sales on pens and paper blanketing the stores, I gathered our extra supplies, handed the girls their lists then began to rattle off items. “Who needs loose leaf paper?” They each checked their lists and responded. “What color folders do you need this year?” Once again, cross-referencing the list and grabbing what they needed. I proceeded to go through the items in the stash, asking who had what requirements. Then I hit an item that neither of my girls needed and my heart broke. For the first time, crayons were not on the supply list. The little voice in my head began to whimper and the anxiety set in. It’s painfully obvious that life is changing.
Gone are the days of walking them to the school bus and waving until the bus is around the corner. Farewell to them running from the bus stop at the end of the day because they can’t wait to see me and give me a hug. So long to the feeling that they really really need me.
From here on out, things are going to be very different. Not just from the emotional standpoint, the physical necessities are as well. There are rules and requirements in junior high and high school than they experienced in elementary school. While younger kids in our district utilized online documents at the elementary school level, expectations for Miss M in junior high are even steeper. She’ll still utilize online document storage but she’ll also have additional challenges. Projects will become more reliant on enriched writing along with supporting media. She’ll be working on the projects at home in the evening as well as in study hall during school. I suspect her bedtime will be judged by how much homework she has and not by the clock on the nightstand.
Her school supply list has a dramatically different makeup as well. Graph paper and a scientific calculator are among the advanced necessities. We’ve been told by other parents to stock up on storage options because the kids will be transferring data and carrying their homework in digital form. We’ve been looking at a variety of Sandisk products available at Best Buy to find ones that will meet her needs. Of particular interest is the Dual USB that will allow her to transfer data from her Android phone to a computer. Each day, teachers will write the assignments on the board that the students need to document upon arrival in the classroom. We’ve been told many students find success in taking a photo of the lesson plan instead of hastily writing it down in a journal only to discover later they can’t read their own writing. Along the same line, the USB for iPhone and iPad will allow her to transfer data from her iPad. These tools will give her flexibility to digitally control what she needs for her classes. SanDisk microSD™ cards give a smartphone or tablet a more responsive camera function and smoother media playback and are a great way to add fast, reliable data storage with capacity options from 4GB to 200GB. We may not know exactly what she needs right now but at least we know Best Buy stocks a variety of Sandisk products for students. We’re as ready as we can be on that line.
Junior high certainly is a big step. One thing is certain, I’m not ready for my girls to grow up. At least their backpacks and electronics will be ready for school, even if I’m not.
What advice do you have for a new junior high school student?