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Opinion: It's almost time to ring those school bells

Students will be back to school in less than a month.
Stephanie Zoer

The end of August is quickly approaching, which means school bells will be ringing very soon.

School buses will have their tune ups and safety checks, and once again bus drivers will be on the roads early in the mornings.

Kids will be seen walking down the streets with their backpacks, filled with new school supplies.

Parents will rush around in the mornings to get into the old routine to get their children ready, loading them in the car to drop them off at the school's front doors.

Some parents will be happy to see the first day of school, as they may be tired of listening to their children bicker over the summer holidays.

Other parents may think that the summer holidays went too quickly, and will shed a tear or two when their kids walk out the front door.

And how about the parents who will have their first child attend school?

What type of parent are you? The happy kind or the tear jerker?

What about all the school supplies needed like pencils, pens, paper and binders, as well as shoes, clothing and coats.

I feel for parents today as I have seen the long list of supplies needed for each child. Does the school no longer supply these things?

I remember that pencils were provided by the school and so were the notepads. The pencil sharpener was at the front of the class and the pencil was used until it could no longer be sharpened.

I can see why Walmart has the huge bins of markers, pens and pencils set out in the middle of the isle for the parents to stock up.

It is a great time for me as well, as this is when I stock up on my note pads and pens.

I miss the days of school shopping, but not the expense that went with it.

Yes, I was one of those parents that enjoyed having my kids at home, but I also volunteered a lot at the school, so it was not too difficult to see them off.

Our lists were not that long. If they had items remaining from the previous school year, they were used first and then the new stuff could be used.

There always seemed to be a new fad. In the day it was Transformers, Hercules and Hulk Hogan. Cabbage Patch Kids and My Little Pony.

Do your kids beg for these fads? Are kids still wanting the popular lunchboxes and school bags?

What about cost? My kids did not get name-brand clothes; after all they would outgrow them before they were worn out.

We also had a budget, and they were taught how this budget worked.

If they wanted the name-brand jeans, another item such as the Transformers lunchbox would need to be dropped.

Or they would do odd jobs to save up for the extra cost of the item they wanted. If the budget was $20. for a pair of jeans and they wanted $40 jeans, they were given $20 and had to come up with the other $20.

They soon learned that the so-called money tree in the backyard did not grow money and that they needed to help out at home to make the extra cash.

Although my kids are now adults, I still miss these days. I loved it when they came home and told me about their day, what they had made and what they learned.

Teach your kids the importance of earning things, whether it be big or small.

Stop and listen to them when they want to explain something to you.

Before you know it, they will be adults and have children of their own and it may be the lessons that you taught them as children that they will use the most.

And please remember to slow down in the school zones and watch for buses. We all want our children to come home.