Friday, August 9, 2013

Q & A–school stuff

There were a whole slew of questions yesterday so I figured I’d answer them here.

Do most children in the US go back to school early in August & if so, why? As you say, it's still summer.

I think kids start school at different times all over the US.  The answer as to why we start so early here in the desert: I sure don’t know!  I think I may need to march in to the school board and figure that little tid-bit of information out.  There are heat advisories most days so the kids can’t even go out to recess and they come back with flaming hot cheeks, poor kids. 

You only have one month of holiday?

We get out mid to late May so we get a little over two months.  We have a week of Fall Break and a week of Spring Break so I guess they feel they have to make up for those days somewhere.  I do like those breaks but why not go to school until the beginning of June and stay out until Labor Day like we did in the olden days?  My theory is that they’re trying to pull the wool over our eyes and have us do the year-round thing at some point.  I am personally not a fan of that not-so-great idea.

I see where none of your children wear uniforms......is this normal for the US as we here in Australia all wear uniforms?

That varies all over the US too according to school and area.  I could take or leave uniforms.  I love the idea of uniforms but I bet if my kids had them they would get two sets of clothes dirty each day (the uniform and the clothes they’d most certainly change into when they got home) and then they would leave two sets of clothes on the floor and then I would have to wash double laundry which would cost more in water/electric bills which would be wasteful so I’m fine with this little arrangement.  Ha!  Of course I kid on that one.  My children never leave stuff out.  Ha again!  Ok, next question…

My little ones are going into kinder, 2nd and 4th grade, and the 2 & 4th girls have backpacks that are still like brand new from last year, literally, new. But I am having that fight with, do I buy new ones 'just because' and then end up with bunch of backpacks hanging around, or do I just buy them new, because, that's what I would normally do.. what do u think?

I am a backpack re-user fan.  Being raised with the “saving” and frugal parents I have (see funny video here), I can’t stand the thought of not thoroughly using a backpack.  It just so happened to be the third or fourth year on their backpacks from last year so I buckled down and let them get new ones. 

That is, all except for Lucy, who somehow got attached to one of Claire’s old backpacks that somehow escaped being completely worn into the ground, and didn’t even want her new one. 

My teenage daughter is in need of a backpack. Where did your kids get theirs?

Max got his at H&M.  Elle’s (polka-dot) is from Target. Grace’s (gray) is from JC Penney.

Please share where you got Miss Claire's backpack!

Target

Have a happy weekend!

20 comments:

  1. oh thank you shawni!!!!

    PS, last night, my girls all by themselves decided that they would trade backpaks this year, since they both looked brand new.. solved, and I didn't even have to think about it :) However, I am in love too with Elle 7 Claires, and in 2 hrs I am headed South to Montana ( target, here I come, I am way beyond excited) :)
    I would love uniforms too. Of course growing up in England that all we wore, but I remember watching 'pretty in pink, and 'some kind of wonderful' and wishing soo bad I could wear what I wanted to school.. Now I wish sooo bad they did uniforms here LOL!

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  2. oh thank you shawni!!!!

    PS, last night, my girls all by themselves decided that they would trade backpaks this year, since they both looked brand new.. solved, and I didn't even have to think about it :) However, I am in love too with Elle 7 Claires, and in 2 hrs I am headed South to Montana ( target, here I come, I am way beyond excited) :)
    I would love uniforms too. Of course growing up in England that all we wore, but I remember watching 'pretty in pink, and 'some kind of wonderful' and wishing soo bad I could wear what I wanted to school.. Now I wish sooo bad they did uniforms here LOL!

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  3. we start after labor day but don't get out until mid to late June.

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  4. Students in the US typically get 180 days of school a year. Some are year round. Most are late summer/fall to spring/summer. The school day itself varies. Some students have class less than 6 hours, some go almost 7 hours most days. In high school especially a day of the week might be a shorter day to allow for teacher meetings and such.

    We are starting our third year on a backpack. Before becoming a mom I thought I'd replace every year. It's better to spend $40 on a backpack that will last two years than buy the $15 one that will be replaced months into the year.

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  5. Here in Aurora Co, we got out in mid June and my high school kids went back Tuesday, my last in Elementary (sob) went yesterday. WAY too early for me. I feel like it flew by. They have been at soccer and softball practices for 2 weeks already, seriously feel like we had about 2 weeks to do anything special. I too am completely down with reusing backpacks, My 4th grader has had the same llbean since 1st grade and still loves it.

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  6. Thank-you so much for sharing where you got the backpacks!

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  7. You are awesome Shawni.... This year marks 5rys of used back packs for 3 of our kids so I broke down and bought two and grabbed one from my sis in law who buys new ones each year and had a nice one up for grabs. Reuse, reduce, recycle. Why not!

    Denine

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  8. Schools in SoCal have began starting earlier as well. Our local radio did a news article on why. You may find it of interest as the reasons may be similar.

    http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2013/08/08/14457/summer-is-over-for-kids-in-la-puente-as-school-dis/

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  9. Interesting article, Elizabeth. I guess the smart kids are ruining it for the rest of us ;).

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  10. I live southeast of you Shawnie, but our little school district started the same day as you. Our district is trying to slowly integrate year round school I'm not a fan of it either. I've heard teachers say that it is better for retention though. It's nice to have those breaks throughout the year too- you can go on vacations during low peak times.

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  11. I wonder if part of the reason AZ starts so early is that the schools are used at cooling centers? Are there people in AZ who dont have air conditioning?

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  12. I'm in California, and school started here on July 31st! We wear a uniform and I like it a lot, but I find that my daughter doesn't have a lot of options to wear to birthday parties and such (why spend $40 on an outfit she'll hardly ever wear?)

    And my daughter is only in the second grade, but she ran her backpack and lunch box down to the ground last year. We threw the old ones away on the last day of school and then bought new ones for the first day of the new year!

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  13. Oh my gosh, I just watched the video of your dad's money system. How is Jonah doing? I heard his name a lot. I did not watch the whole thing because I was laughing so hard. He would be horrified to see how we taught our children about money. I have four children, three are grown. Two of them are very frugal. The third is somewhere in the middle. My husband is frugle, me, not so much. My fourth is fifteen and she probably rides in the middle as well. She really does not ask for a lot. When she does, watch out! Sometimes we say yes and sometimes not. Somehow my husband has rubbed off on them. I can take no credit. Then again, there are things that they have learned mainly from me. We balance each other out. His parents were frugal, mine were not. Some how we worked it out in our marriage. We give and take. We have learned it is o.k. to say yes and o.k. to say no. I love to hear about different parenting techniques. I love teenagers and have endless patience with them. Pros and cons, mostly pros. My husband is easy going, but when it comes to work ethic, he does not budge. That has done my children well. My three grown sons are all hard workers. I will say this, parenting is ever evolving and as long as there is loving guidance, our kids some how manage to become productive adults.

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  14. Darn, I should have asked my question yesterday, haha! I'd love to know where you get all those cute coaster road bikes!

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  15. I'm from Germany and here children have six and a half weeks summer break. But on the other Hand there are lots of breaks during the year: fall, Christmas, winter, Easter and Pentecost. Growing up, I loved it, because School was off every six weeks (approximately) for one or two weeks.

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  16. I'm in love with Claire's backpack. It's funny you listed where you bought all but Claire's! lol I've been on the hunt for one.

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  17. THey passed a law in Michigan that all schools have to start after Labor Day. When they started in August, it affected tourism, especially in the northern part of the state. I love that we get to wait till September!

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  18. I live up here in Alberta Canada and we let out in late June and start early September, usualy after labor day but I have seen it start before. The idea of having recess canceled because of heat is a completely foreign idea up here though! They do cancel it for cold if it is -22c (-7.6f) with windchill. I wish summer vacation was longer! I hear you on the back pack thing, I hate buying new ones!

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  19. I love to hear what everyone does with their backpacks... What I do is I always buy one year ahead... Target puts all their school supplies on clearance every year. I wait until they go 70% off. I have never missed! I manage to find cute ones every year. Not the cheapie kind but the good heavy duty kinds... They usually carry quite a few good brands. Then their old back pack turns into their traveling backpack that they keep in the top of their closet. By the time it's been used for two years we donate them to our church run Deseret Industries... Kids are happy that they get a new one and it costs me less for all three than it does for one backpack not on clearance... :)

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  20. There are many reasons AZ starts school earlier than most. Part of it is the weather. It's better to have the kids in school when it's blazing and then let them out before it gets unbearable in May. It also has to do with the fact that more and more school policy is dictated from the Dept of Education, and not local school boards or state legislatures. There are Federal mandates that must be filled that take time away from other things. When I still live in Arizona, I taught in Queen Creek. They have a modified year round schedule which I loved. Two weeks off between each quarter. IT was just enough time to rejuvenate an then jump back into the fray.

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