school supplies, back to school, parenting

The Only Thing You Need For Back-to-School

school supplies, back to school, parentingSchool started this week where we live in Denton, TX.

This year we started Mr. B and Mr. C at a new school, a Montessori school close to our home.

Maybe it’s just me but I’d like to think my kids can start a new school year without spending hundreds of dollars.

Call me a cynic, but since becoming a parent I’ve never been a huge fan of all the back-to-school supply insanity.

Yes, insanity.

No matter whether your child is starting a Mother’s Day out, a daycare, a preschool, public school, private school or even homeschooling, no one is immune to the push by merketers to spend, spend, spend on back to school supplies.

The range of consumption possibilities varies from back-to-school haircuts to backpacks to nap mats to number two pencils to shoes to uniforms.  The list goes on.

We spent $25 on Amazon for two new bento boxes. The ones they used last year were not big enough to hold the amount of food I must pack in order for them to feel full.

And that’s it.

That’s all we spent.

While I was writing this post I even stopped to wonder, “what do other countries do in regard to back to school supplies?”

I was so curious that I did a little research and found this article that outlines what six countries require for back to school.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only thing you need for back to school.

You can’t buy it at Target, it doesn’t fit in a backpack, and you can’t order it online.

So what is it?

Confidence from parents that this will be a great school year.  That at Kindergarten drop-off students know how much they love them.

Confidence that their babies will be okay when someone is mean to them.  That the teacher will notice them.  That they will get enough lunch to fill them up.  And that if they don’t, they’ll be okay.

Confidence that they will remember all that they have taught them at home.

Confidence from kids that they will make friends.  That they have everything they need even if they brought the wrong color notebook.  That they have a voice that needs to be heard.

Confidence from teachers that they are supported by their administrators, community, parents and coworkers.  Confidence that they are getting through to their students, even when it seems like nothing is sticking.

Confidence from the administrators that they have surrounded themselves with capable teachers and support staff that will work hard to do right by all students.  Confidence that the parents are working hard at home to support what is happening at school.

Confidence from the community that whether a family is homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling,  unschooling, etc. that our children are being well guided.  That they are being allowed to grow as resourceful, respectful and responsible individuals that will help transform our world.

What we really need more than a yellow folder or a pack of highlighters is the courage and the optimism that no matter what comes our way this school year, we can figure it out.

What about you?  What do you think is most important for back to school success?



IMG_0707_optWe have taken 8 weeks off from producing fresh content for Parents Who, in large part so that we could focus in on the newest addition to our family, Mr. A.

He has grown so quickly in such a short time, and he has even decided to begin sleeping through the night!

We took this wonderful development as a cue from him that we should get back to our most important project outside of raising our family; serving fresh content, resources and products to enhance the family quality time of all of our Superb Parents at Parents Who!

1. So, Podcasting…

We did manage to find time to attend Podcast Movement 2015 which was hosted near our home again just like in 2014.

Our take-away this year was very different compared to our take-away when we attended the very first ever Podcast Movement in 2014.

This is due in large part to the fact that our company is in a very different place this year compared to last year.

We celebrated the one year anniversary of Parents Who on July 17th of this year. In 12 short months we have launched a successful blog, grown our social media following to over 4K relevant followers, and generated our first year of positive (though modest) income for our business via the launch of Imagining Aloud.

At podcast movement last year we were in no position to even consider creating a podcast, though we both felt very tempted.

We knew that there were approximately 2,500 other tasks on our to-do list that had to take priority over creating a podcast (plus, we completely undershot; there were more like 25,000 other tasks that had to take priority).

We felt different this year.

For one thing , it might be nice for readers of our weekly blog posts be able to LISTEN to our weekly blog posts while commuting to work, while sweating on the elliptical or while winding down for bed at night.

But for another thing, after listening to the current podcast offerings that are out there in the Kids & Family podcasting category of iTunes, we think we could bring some untapped value.


2. What do you think?

Our mental wheels are turning and turning right now as we research, discuss, create demos and monkey around with technical details around producing a podcast. Or two podcasts. Or three podcasts?

The point is, this is the very best time for us to reach out to you, our invaluable Superb Parents, to ask you some very specific questions:

1. What kind of podcast would you like us to make for you?

2. How long (or short) would you like an episode to be?

3. How often would you like us to make new episode for you, daily, weekly, monthly?

Drop us a note at or just reply in the comment section below. Your input is actually much more valuable than our own, though we do have a lot of our own ideas about what we would want a Parents Who podcast to be like.

It’s good to be back interacting with all of you, and we hope to hear from you soon!