06 August 2010

Bouquets of Pencils

This weekend we bought school supplies. We came home with pencils, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, markers, colored pencils, a towel for rest time, folders for homework, and a new ice pack for Isaac's lunch box. It looks like a frog.

I love buying school supplies. I am drawn to the colorful collection of brand new markers and sharpened crayons and the perfect symmetry of a pack of new pencils. The calendar year may begin in January, but a teacher's year begins at the end of August and the aisles of supplies just waiting to be put to use almost gets me excited about going back to school in a couple of weeks.

Since Isaac starts kindergarten this year we have been reading books about going to school. One that he particularly likes is Froggy Goes To School by Jonathan London. I hadn't read many Froggy books before last school year. But then I found a use for Froggy Gets Dressed for a lesson at school and Isaac discovered Froggy Plays T-Ball. Now I feel like a veritable Froggy expert.

The Froggy books are formulaic, but the stories are centered around problems children will relate to. They are humorous and simple and the familiar characters draw children in. In Froggy Goes To School, Froggy stumbles through his first day but, in the end, he looks forward to returning.

Froggy's problems with paying attention and listening will resonate with many children and parents. He gets into trouble, but he is not a trouble-maker. He is simply an excited kid who sometimes makes the wrong choices. He has a bit of every child in him.

Isaac's new bookbag is packed with school supplies and ready to go, just like Froggy's. The anticipation is building as the first day of school draws near. And just like Froggy, I hope that Isaac will be jumpy with excitement when it gets here.

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