Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Getting ready for their first full year of school in America. School clothes shopping. School supplies etc...

The day after we arrived from Japan, at the end of July, I went online to the Jansport website and I had the boys decide which size, which style, which color of Jansport backpack they wanted. They each picked navy blue, but Branden picked a larger size than Noah picked. And that's understandable, he's so much taller, bigger and older than Noah is. I ordered them in the morning. Later that day, since we were jetlagged and ordered before 8am. And later that day, I had received an email, saying they had been shipped from their factory in California and would be arriving within 2 days. Free shipping. And they arrived perfectly. Nicely packed. And Bran's went into his closet in his room and Noah's went in his closet in his room. So backpacks for the new school year were no longer an issue. Also wanted to point out, I saw Jansport backpacks all over town all August and September. And they were about $7-10 bucks higher in price at Kohl's and elsewhere than what you could buy directly from the actual Jansport website. Just FYI, for you in the states. 

They each have a laptop pouch built in.... in each of these backpacks, which is perfect for American kids, like mine because now days every school in the US has kids use Chromebooks for much of their homework assignments.So kids bring their laptops back and forth from school to home, back and forth.
School supply list. In America, each grade for each particular school, provides a school supply list. Things your child will be needing for class. And remember 3 ring binders? Now they call them D ring binders. Good thing my kids started last April, because they both told me, all the kids at both their school "prefer" the Avery brand D ring binders... over other brands, because they're super gentle to open and close with just the lightest touch of the button. Since, I clearly came from the Trapper Keeper era. This fact was helpful for me. So, when we went to Target and also Walmart to get school supplies. We made sure to pick the Avery binder at Target immediately. 98% of their school supplies came from Target. Composition notebooks. Or as my kids call them..."comp books." These are required in almost *every* single class now days? Noah wanted a pencil pouch, and his school supply list says he needs one. Branden did not want one. He wanted to use his one from Mujirushi. @_@ Which is fine. I offered him a new one, he said no thanks. : ) Also, I made another mistake last April, I bought my kids Mead paper/cardboard but definitely paper-based type folders. You know, in the old days we used to call them, peechee folders? Well, Branden said, the paper ones...cardboard type ones are bogus. And they tear easily. So I made sure, to buy them plastic folders for like 59 cents instead. Again, I am learning this stuff all over again. As a mom, not a student. And in a new era. : )

Stuff on the left is Branden's. Stuff on the right is Noah's.

Loose leaf paper was $1.79 at Target in Augus,t but like 69 cents a pack at Walmart. I bought 6 packs of college width loose leaf paper at Walmart. Both of the kids got a calculator. Not sure where the pic of Bran's calculator is. His is for harder math though. Same price as Noah's, but more technical than what Noah needs for middle school. By August 5th, I was 100% done with their school supplies. 

I also did go and buy a few extra comp books for the boys. And OMG, am I glad I did. Branden ended up needing an extra one and said, "mom can you take me to Target later tonight, I need another comp book?" I walked to my closet and grabbed a navy blue one of these and handed it to him. I told both my kids, I bought extra loose leaf paper and comp books and spiral notebooks too. If you both need anything, more than likely I have it. I also bought Noah this mirror and magnet holder for his locker, he says he keeps spare pencils in there. High school kids don't use their lockers here??? They can have one, but none use them? @_@ But middle schoolers do. 

As soon as they both got their school schedules. I set up Branden's and Noah's D ring binders. Wrote the little name subject for each class. Bran was impressed after his first day of school. He said, "wow, you really were raised in America...how you set up my binder, is the same way, everyone set theirs up too." I said.."duh, no kidding" LOL. : ) In Japan, I would ask for help from my senpai mom friends. Until I didn't need help anymore. But here...I naturally know this stuff. And honestly? It's kinda easy...and sorta cool. 
Living in Japan for 16 years. It was wonderful. And we sorta just buy clothes throughout the year. On a need it..basis. If you outgrow something, go and get another one. And sure, being American...I did stock up according to the season, in Winter and Summer. And we do that here too. But the "back to school shopping" in America is huge. And I guess, I sort of forgot how exactly huge it is... until we moved here. From the end of July, every time we'd go to Walmart or Target or the shopping mall. There were posters or signs that read "back to school savings" Sort of mentally revving up the nation... if you're a parent. Seeing the signs you start to think...Everyone is preparing. I guess I better prepare my kids too. Plus again, I do have memories of myself getting prepared as a teen too. So, backpack check! School supplies check! New underwear check. And all August underwear was on sale in packs. A gentle reminder for us parents to stock up. Okay both kids new underwear done. Check! 

Some socks, I bought for them at Target, which is what is pictured here. And another big pack each... we bought at Walmart later. And that Aveda knock-off Suave brand Rosemary Mint shampoo was for me. I love that shampoo. 
Back to school shopping. We hit Kohl's, we hit Marshall's. Ross. The shopping mall. We were so busy in August. With back to school shopping.

We'd go out one day and collect some back to school stuff. And then go out another day and buy some more stuff. 
The shirt on the left is Noah's, we found it at Ross. He saw it, loved it. Size men's small. It was like $4.99 or something. B's shirt was equally cheap in price. But big on style. These Savage shirts we see everywhere! 
Kohl's, these 2 Vans tops are Noah's. 1 short sleeve and one long sleeve. 
Two pair of cargo shorts for Branden. At Kohl's.

Both Levi's brand shorts. 
Plus 2 pair of Levi's jeans for Branden too. That way if it should cool down unexpectedly, he wouldn't freeze to death. He'd have at least 2 pair to fall back on. Branden needs at least 3 more pair of pants, but this is a nice start.

Two Vans shirts for Branden from the actual Vans shop at the mall.

Noah's stuff from the actual Vans shop too. Noah's shirt is a size S in the men's size now. And he's been wanting a pair of checkered Vans forever. And now that he's going to school in America, he can. Plus he got that new pair of Nike's we brought back from Japan too. 

Noah's tops to start with. And second pair of school shoes. Plus remember, he also got shorts and pants in Japan. And the 2 sweatshirts from Gap in Japan too. Noah's not 100% done with school clothes shopping, but he has good stuff to start school with, no doubt!

Bran's stuff. Plus he still has 3 pair of Uniqlo shorts that still fit him. 

Plus the jeans.

We did go back to Marshall's another day too. Marhsall's round 2. And Branden picked these 3 tops. The mountain scene is from the Gap, but bought at Marshall's. And he was thrilled to get another Savage shirt too. This one is a short sleeve. 

Also bought on our return trip to Marhsall's. Round 2. Noah found these 2 Abercrombie tops. Abercrombie is expensive. I know, because I used to wear it in uni myself. And to find these 2 preppy Abercombie tops at Marshall's. Noah was so happy!
I also drove back to the mall another time and bought Branden a new pair of Vans. This makes his 3rd pair right now that he owns and wears. And gets to mix and match with his outfits.
We found another bigger pack of "no show" socks the kind of socks, you would wear with Vans. And bought another pack of undies, because they were 50% off. Again those back to school sales. Totally cray cray. And such a steal at that price. 

Marshall's trip round 3. They had zero long sleeve in B's size. How unbelievable but true. Only ugly stuff in his size that time. However the trip was not a total waste, because they had 2 long sleeves in Noah's size. Ralph Lauren. With the preppy pony and whole shebang. Are the kids 100% done with clothes shopping? Nope not yet. But, they each got a nice big chunk out of the way. And nice cool brand name stylish stuff too. And at great prices.
At Noah's middle school you are asked to donate to the class. A box of tissues and disinfecting wipes. Fact of life is kids sniffle and sneeze throughout the school year. And I know firsthand, that often more than people realize... things like keeping tissue stocked in the classroom is paid for by the teachers themselves. For the kids to use. And so, I have absolutely no problem helping. I was sadly surprised though... when Noah came back and told me...he was the only one who brought it to the class. I reminded Noah..."teachers are human too and they *will* remember which kid brought this type of stuff" Since I do prefer think the best about humanity and people....I will just think positively and hope the other kids brought it on a different day or something. : )