As I’ve mentioned a million times, all 4 kids have different schools/schedules this year.
Elle has no school so she stays home with me of course and she doesn’t even need therapy anymore.
Ezie is in a preschool (afternoons) Monday through Thursday down by where we used to live.
SJ starts 2nd grade and this will be her final year at her deaf school which is in a nearby city.
Z is going into 4th grade at a local public school.
There were so many unknowns as to how all of this was going to pan out. Today is the first day of school for the boys and I am so happy to report that everything is falling into place perfectly.
Ezie has the same teacher he had for speech therapy last year and she is great. He will also be riding the bus for the first time and he is so excited about that. Lastly, he was given a barely used Ninja Turtle backpack. Ezie loves Ninja Turtles and needed a backpack, so that was such a blessing. Now I can officially check all of those concerns off of my list.
SJ will also be riding the bus for the first time. I’ve met the bus driver and she’s so sweet. SJ is super duper pumped and talks about riding the bus all the time. I already know all of her teachers and it’s a fantastic lineup. As far as a backpack, my mom got her a Shopkins one because that’s her favorite. More little details crossed off my list!
Lastly, Z is starting a new school. The faculty and everyone has been great. There are even two boys in his class from his old school. This is unheard of, but a huge relief for the new kid. Since the little kids are riding the bus I will be able to drive Z to and from school and still get back in plenty of time to be at the bus stop for Ezie and SJ.
Whew, I can wipe the sweat off of my brow. Awesome teacher? Check. Transportation? Check. Backpack? Check!
I keep on mentioning backpacks because it’s a big deal. When you have a large family on one income, starting out the school year can be tough. Over the years we have had to humbly accept help in different areas, like the free lunch program or supply fee waivers. Thankfully we aren’t in that place anymore, but we aren’t totally out of the woods yet. Z still gets a discount on school lunches and for the past 5 years has received a donated backpack.
I mention this for two reasons. Some of you are probably donating backpacks and there are probably a few of you that are receiving them. If you are struggling to get supplies for your family because you have limited resources there is no need to be ashamed. It is okay to ask for help. I know what it’s like to sit in church and watch the backpacks come in for those “poor needy” kids knowing that your child is secretly one of them. You don’t have to be in a homeless shelter to need a little assistance. Did you know that for a family of 5 you can make up to $53,000 a year and still qualify for reduced lunches? What is a reduced lunch? It’s a lunch for your child that cost 40 cents and you can get breakfast for 30 cents!
It costs hundreds of dollars to send our kids to publicly funded schools. This year we will pay $150 in supply fees and that’s not including backpacks, supplies, shoes, clothes etc. For some of us that is a lot of money, especially all at once. And believe me, I am not complaining. I love our schools and would pay more for my kids to go there. It’s my desire to make big donations to the schools and teachers one day because it’s worth it. What they do for our children is invaluable. However, I am not at that place right now. We are a one income family with special needs children and we are doing everything we can just to make ends meet from month to month. To get that free back pack with almost all of the supplies in it is something that helps lift some of the burden around this time of year and I am extremely appreciative. When Z accepted his plain Walmart backpack from the school office the other day he marveled at all the pockets. He was so grateful for the donation and he will take good care of it. When his sister saw it she said “Wow that is a cool back pack!”
So if you need a backpack or assistance for your kids to go back to school I hope it is encouraging to know that you are not alone. I can assure that this is only a season. And if you donated a back pack or school supplies this year. Thank you. You have surely been a blessing.