Gratituesday: Back to School Shopping


If you’ve been hanging around here long, you might already know that the boys and I have a tradition each year a few days before we start school. Each boy gets his very own “school supply list” and off to Walmart we go so that they can pick out new notebooks and folders for the year.

I will admit that I tend to forget each year that while this is an incredibly wonderful experience and I love doing it…there is also a fair amount of chaos involved with four boys, four baskets, four lists and an aisle full of bright and attractive objects. My older guys can be calm and patient while basically picking their supplies without much help. My youngers require more help and also um…they don’t always like to follow their list so much. My youngest doesn’t know how to read the prices on the shelves, which means that I have to quickly redirect him to the 15¢ notebooks instead of the really cool $2.50 notebooks. The paper inside is the same, ya know. ;)


Oh yeah, and this year I had a fifth boy with me…because if you’re already taking four, you might as well take five. Five boys, five lists, five baskets.  Five hundred questions. All at once. (“Is this the kind of folder I need Mom?”  “I don’t know…why don’t you get it out of my face so that I can actually see it?”)

And yet, I do it because the boys love it. And mostly, so do I. It is SO much fun to watch them enjoy getting excited for school to start. It is so much fun to watch them walk out of the store with their very own bags of supplies. 

And…it is so much fun to only pay 20¢ for glue sticks.


The best part is watching them come home and pour the contents of their bags out to look at all over again. Then they put it all away to have it ready for the first day of school. (Or, they leave it sprawled out all over the floor so that it can get ruined already before it even has a chance to be written in yet.)

There really is something magical about new school supplies and new books that brings an excitement to the beginning of a new school year. So far we’ve had three days of school and every one of them has been just wonderful. Perfect? No. But wonderful nonetheless. 

Today, I’m grateful for the chance to be my boys’ teacher and thankful that we share traditions that will be lifetime memories. I’m even grateful for that crazy joy in the Walmart school supply section. Having a bunch of boys eager to start a new school year…now that’s something to be grateful for!

What are you thankful for this Gratituesday? Write about it on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for!

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday,
please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


  1. says

    Thanks for the reminder!! I have been wracking my brain, trying to remember what else I was supposed to pick up at Walmart tomorrow! Oh Yes! It’s Walmart’s back to school cheapo school supplies month! :)

    I love taking advantage of the bins full of super cheap supplies at Walmart this time of year. I fill my kids’ supply boxes with all the basics and add one special thing to each—usually a pencil with a design in their favorite theme or color. On the first day of our school, they love to open their boxes and see all the new surprises I arranged in there for them!

    We truly are blessed to be able to teach our children in our homes in our own way. I am thankful for that as well.

    Have a wonderful day and happy Gratituesday!



  2. Danielle says

    Okay, scary! Just yesterday I was wondering where the pictures of shopping for school supplies were!

    I have fond memories of shopping for supplies and clothes every year as I was growing up. We went to public school, but we had fun!


  3. says

    I love the pictures. It is a blessing to teach your own children. I remember those days with fondness.
    God Bless you in your ministry Laura.


  4. says


    You love for your family is so obvious. Thank you for who you are! What a blessing.

    This post reminds me of a conversation that I had just this week. What a treasure this sister-in-Christ is to me. Yet, this mom has been having panic attacks each time she walks into a store and sees the school supplies. To her, it’s a sign that their wonderful, relaxing summer is over.

    This mother has two children with special needs. For her child with autism “Hitting the books” will actually be okay. Yet, this is a mom of a very bright daughter with severe learning disabilities. “Going back to school” means frustration… tears… and hours on end just trying to understand simple concepts.

    Today, I pray for all the mothers of children with special needs who find that “Hitting the books” brings much stress into their homes.


  5. says

    Cute story. I always loved getting a new back pack and Trapper Keeper when school started! Oh…and of course new clothes!
    Have a blessed day! :)


    Candice Hudson Reply:

    hehe Trapper Keeper.. I just had a conversation Saturday about those and how they aren’t used anymore.


  6. says

    What fun! And what a good way to teach bargain shopping and life skills. We may just have to borrow this tradition as my kids get older. Until then, I go store to store as the deals occur – Staples, Wal-mart, Ocean State…


  7. says

    I love back-to-school shopping too. I have a deep love for office supplies already and the amazing sales during the summer before kids go back to school just enhance that love even more. My 4-year old son comes home from his summer vacation in five days and I can hardly wait to take him shopping for new crayons, construction paper, glue sticks, and untold other craft supplies so that we can begin preschool at home!


  8. says

    I love new school supplies! This year my lists were smaller because my oldest is starting at college and she didn’t need as much in the way of the small supplies (just more in the way of the big$$$ supplies…oh well) and I had a ton left over from some wildly frugal shopping I did at the beginning of last school year. Though, my boys did get to go “shopping” in the school supply cabinet.

    I hope you have a wonderful school year filled blessings far and wide!


  9. says

    There’s a line in Sleepless in Seattle where Tom Hanks says he’ll send Meg Ryan a ‘bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.’ I have always loved the thought of that, because THAT’S how much I LOVE school supplies! ;) This season just brings out a giddiness in me.


  10. says

    I completely busted out laughing when I read the part about getting the folder out of your face so you could see it. My kids do that to me all the time and that is exactly what I am thinking! LOL

    There is just something I love about school supplies. I don’t know why but I really like looking at them :) My oldest starts Kindergarten this year and yes it is chaotic! I had a 5yo, 3.5yo, & 2yo in walmart digging through the crowds & supplies. It was great to see their excited faces.


  11. says

    Oh – I miss back to school shopping! As a teacher, I’d go each year and would be so excited at the promise of another new year! My kids are far too young at this point (2 under 2). I did enjoy taking my oldest (22 months) to get some crayons and markers!


  12. says

    I know the feeling of chaos in the isles of Walmart…..I am trying to do most of my shopping for school supplies when the boys are with grandma and’s too hard with my littlest as he doesn’t understand why he isn’t getting everything


  13. april says

    “I don’t know, why don’t you get it out of my face so I can actually see it?” Thanks for the giggle! Some things are just universal.


  14. Dawn says

    So WHAT did you do with the twenty thousand other people who were in that aisle before you took the picture? I can see it now: Laura says, very politely, “Excuse me folks! Could you all please step out of my way while I take this really cute picture of my boys happily shopping for their back to school supplies? I need it for my blog, dontch’a know?” hahahaha
    Seriously, it’s been hard to have fun at our WalMart, cause it’s been so crowded. But we went on Monday at around 10 a.m., and it was blissfully EMPTY!!! Then, we had fun!!!! My kids, too, are chomping at the bit for school. We started half days this week. Will prolly start full time in 2 weeks. Having fun so far!!


  15. says

    i enjoy school shopping so much!! the isles at our walmart were so much more cluttered than that!! and it is so fun to read about other people having things shoved in their faces while kids are asking questions a mile-o-minute!


  16. Erin says

    Fall back to school shopping is always exciting! My kids love the new stuff, mom here loves the 25 cent boxes of Crayola crayons (although, that seems to be going extinct now!).

    Question: Have you done a post about a typical day of homeschooling? I’ve wondered how other moms do it. We’re sort of newish at it and I’m always trying to figure out better ways.

    I appreciate your blog very much, God Bless you fellow heavenly homemaker. =D


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *