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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Need a PhD to Go Back to School


 Back to School Lists...

I navigated through the school supplies aisle. My head ached.

 I was buying school supplies for friends in need and, to tell you the truth, I was confused.

The lists were mind-boggling! I felt woefully inadequate to complete my mission of deciphering school supply lists for eight children.

As I angled my way between spilling notebooks and bulging bins of crayons, I asked myself burning questions:
 “Where in the world am I going to get red and green half-inch plastic binders?

“How much is 24 glue sticks times three kids?”

I wished one of my children had a calculator on his list so I could use it to figure out the number of pencils, markers and crayons I needed to chuck into my cart.

I began to muse as I grabbed ten boxes of Kleenex. Sometimes, I feel I need a PhD to plow through this back-to-school process. The lists and instructions can bog me down.

My daughter’s a Senior this year. That means she doesn't need a lot of school supplies. She needs money.

Last night, I wrote checks. I wrote checks for fees, checks for T-shirts, checks for decals, checks for fundraisers.
Back-to-school for my older university student does not require checks.  It requires checking accounts.

Checking accounts must be full to pay for rent and tuition and food and books.
-Does back-to-school ever end?
I calmed myself a bit and pushed my cart to the check-out aisle. I began to consider what I'd put on my own “Back to School Checklist.” Here’s what I came up with:

Laurie’s Back-to-School List
(Be sure your kids don’t go to any school without these items in their backpacks.)

___1. YOUR time. Children spell love T-I-M-E. Please don’t get yourself or your children
         overbooked. Spend quality time with them.

___2. YOUR attention. Pay attention to what your children are up to. Check what they’re  
          watching on  TV or computer. Know what they’re doing with friends. They will be annoyed  
         about this, but I don’t care. They will understand one day.

___3. YOUR discipline. Chet Cantrell, who takes care of hundreds of children as the director  
           of the East St. Louis Christian Activity Center, says children need to know two things:
           “Who loves me?” and “Who is in charge?”  
         Children are more secure when parents keep them safe with limits

So far, my list is not making my head ache! It is easy to remember and requires no math at all.
 I’ve got to go and start packing these items. Maybe next week I’ll add some more.

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