Do you buy off "the list"? UPDATE- POST 90 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 101 Old 07-18-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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As public school teacher, I have to agree with Springmom who said that the schools must provide your child with anything they might need.

When we send a list home it is "suggested" supplies. (Items on it are: pencils, a pen, a highlighter, scissors, glue stick, crayons or colored pencils, hand soap, and kleenex) My teaching partner and I usually plan on about 50% of the students bringing in supplies. We purchase some of the rest with money allotted us each year and then we buy the rest on our own.

I do not keep track of who brings supplies in. I do not allow any of the supplies to become community supplies except for kleenex and hand soap. I think many teachers realize that parents don't have the money for all of the supplies. I have never started the year on bad footing with a student because they didn't bring in supplies.
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#62 of 101 Old 07-19-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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I do what I want honestly. I get what they need, but I'm not going to be picky about the brand. Actually what bothers me more is that the school district here says things like *3 peachies, plain; 1 3 ring binder, white; 1 pack of post it notes, yellow, square, 2"* Stuff like that. I'm sorry, but I used to look forward to picking out my own stuff, unique to ME! So, I let my kids pick what they like. So far I've never heard anything bad about it.

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#63 of 101 Old 07-19-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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My school doesn't ask kids to buy anything specific. I teach middle school in a preK-8 school, and we encourage the older kids to come with their own pens, pencils, etc. This year we are thinking about asking kids to supply their own calculator and scissors--mostly as an attempt for them to take more ownership and responsibility so we don't have to replace them so often.

It drives me nuts when schools ask families to buy individual packages of things when they are just going to pool the stuff anyway. It is usually much cheaper to buy a classroom pack of bulk crayons, for example, than to buy all those small boxes. I also think it's completely absurd that our schools' budgets don't cover those expenses. I'm pretty spoiled--I've never had to ask families to buy anything because I didn't have enough money in my budget for it. But for schools that don't really have any other choice than to ask parents to buy supplies, I totally understand the need to be specific in brands, sizes, etc. It makes things go so much more smoothly in the classroom when kids are using the same supplies that behave predictably.
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#64 of 101 Old 07-20-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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Lots of low income kids at our school so "the list" does not have specific brands. They try to be sensitive to financial concerns and keep the required list as short as possible and have a number of optional items.

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#65 of 101 Old 07-20-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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The school here do send home a list but it dosnt say brands and actually encourages buying the cheapest you can find on things like binders and folders. The list is really pretty short actually.

She is in 3rd grade
6 packs loose leaf, wide ruled notebook paper (200 count)
#2 wooden pencils
2 folders (3 prong, 2 pocket)
2 folders (2 pocket)
2 boxes crayons 24 count
1 three ring binder (1 inch or whatever is on sale about $1)

Optional
kleenex
anti-bacterial soap or hand sanitizer
paper towels
clorox wipes

So I do buy off the list. But if it did say what brand then I probably would do the best I could and get the cheapest any way.

 
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#66 of 101 Old 07-20-2009, 03:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
I'd buy the number and size that is requested. In most cases, these are shared/classroom items that may sit in a carousel in the middle of each table, shared by a number of kids. It is easier if they are all the same.
Agreed. The system made more sense to me as the year went on. The teacher knew what she needed and made it clear. Her perspective (having done all this before) was different and better than mine.

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Originally Posted by denimtiger View Post
I *have* tucked the wrong kind of supplies onto a shelf for the year, though, and replaced the child's community share from donations or my own pocket.
yeah -- my DD's teacher was the same way. I let her know that I was always happy to send in more of anything if she dropped me an email. I really didn't like the idea of her picking up all the loose ends. Even if it was something like hand sanitizer, it was my way of being supportive to someone who was working VERY hard and doing a fantastic job.

Having homeschooled for years and years and bought curriculum, paid for all extra classes, field trips, etc, I find the cost of school supplies VERY low. It's really a heck of a deal.

I think that I also appreciate my DD's teachers more than some parents. I know that not all kids are so lucky, but DD's teacher last year really put a lot of energy into her teaching.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#67 of 101 Old 07-20-2009, 04:43 AM
 
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The lists make sense as long as the teacher doesn't seem to go overboard. The last school we nearly sent The Kid to had everything on the list brand named and sized right down to Puffs Plus With Aloe. Seriously? I can understand preferring one brand, but it is not necessary to classroom peace or whatever excuse they want to come up with to have only Puffs Plus with Aloe in the classroom. It smacks of greed and lack of understanding on the teacher's part, especially combined with the rest of the list with things like paper plates, hand sanitizers, and ziploc bags from every child. If they're wasting that many resources they need to reconsider what their school is teaching.

That said, I don't think all lists are bad. The ones for the school here are very, very simple. The kids need a binder, crayons, pencils, loose paper, folders and the other general stuff. No brand names, no hard to find items...just plain school supplies that will be consumed by the child. We don't send The Kid there (though checked it out again this year to be sure), but I really have to say I'm impressed with how they handle areas like this. It seems to send more of a welcome message than the crazy lists do - because like it or not, the first feeling a child will have is one akin to embarrassment when he sits in that classroom on the first day without all the supplies the list said. He knows, he was with his mom doing the shopping and saw her only get half. He'll be sitting there with his desk half covered as the teacher goes up and down to collect the community supplies. It doesn't matter that the teachers says she tries to make sure the list doesn't matter - it already did.
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#68 of 101 Old 07-20-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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I've noticed that the kids (parents) are not punctual about bringing the supplies in the first day, so even if a child does only bring in part of the supplies or none at all I doubt that the other kids really pay attention. There will always be straggelers who will bring in the supplies much later. Last year when my son was riding the bus I know it took a while before he was able to bring all his stuff in, just because all the stuff wouldn't fit in his backpack. This year he is on his 5th day and he still needs some stuff but that's just becasue I haven't bought them yet.

Maybe the kids in the older grades realize the behind the scenes workings of the classroom, haven't got there yet with our boys to experience it first hand, but I doubt many of the kids really sit around talking about who brought what.
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#69 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 03:17 AM
 
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I buy off the list because you can order it and they deliver to you for free. Easy for all concerned.
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#70 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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I bought my DD school supplies today her 1st grade list (around $35 worth not including backpack and lunch container)
there were a few specifics like Fiskar sissors which are all I buy anyways and Twistable crayons that I figured the teacher had a reason to request to obliged. Others things like "clorox disinfectent wipes" or Ziplock bags I figured were more "we need closabe plastic bags and disinfectent wipes and did necessarly get specific brands. Some things I also figured balanced out. I went to Walmart to get the stuff and to there "school supply section" and was determined I'd only go there. Some things on the list said like 1 doz #2 pencils to be shared... well they had packs of 10 and packs of 24 but no packs of 12 the packs of 24 were $.82 so i got that figured someone somewhere in the school could use pencils but it also said 2 large bottles of Elmers glue and they only had the smaller regular size so I just got 2 of those again figured it all balances out in the end.
I do expect my DD school to provide what she needs but I also understand that I both choose a charter school inorder to not be totally tied down to thetraditional PS ways of the rest of this area. I also know the supply fee the teachers are given can me super small and have known plenty of teachers who end up paying for students needed supplies out of there PERSONAL money and teachers salaries are pathetic enough were in a position to be able to provide for our child and help a little to others so I really do try my best to follow the lists and help.

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Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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#71 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 11:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
I buy off the list because you can order it and they deliver to you for free. Easy for all concerned.
I wish this were an option at our school. Not only would it simplify things, it is so easy to provide the packs for kids whose parents cannot afford school supplies.

I'm quite happy to provide extra for other kids, but I would like it to be done in a way that no child ever need feel shame for what their families can and cannot pay for.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#72 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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Teachers get kick backs if they name certain brands on their supplies lists. I have seen promotions saying that if a teacher can show they are naming a brand on the supply lists, the teachers will get some sort of freebie. I'll try to find proof.

I looked and found this interesting link:
http://www.desktopschoolsupplies.com/

I think I will do that if our kids ever go to public school again. It was a major hassle and pricey to bring the kids with me for supply shopping. But taking a three year old and a five year old into those crowds may not be a big deal if I am taking older children well in advance of the school year.
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#73 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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We have the option to just give the PTO a set amount of money and then a box with all the school supplies needed for that kid and that grade are delivered to the class. I didn't take the option when my eldest started kindergarten thinking that it would be fun to shop together for school supplies. Boy, was I wrong. I have a "follow the rules to the letter" child and he freaked out when we could not find the exact color and brand pack of markers on the list (I think we needed Crayola fine tip bold and we could only find Crayola fine tip bright...something like that). We had to go to three different Targets until we found the correct kind and substituting was not an option for this by the book kid. So, I learned. Now we give the money and everything is there waiting for us.

We have an ice cream social a couple days before the start of school and that is when everyone brings in their supplies and meets their teacher, finds their locker, etc. The boxes are delivered that night as well. Very easy.

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#74 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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This is our first year of school supply shopping (new school). At the previous school, there were no lists, all supplies were supplied by the school. I confess, I looked longingly at the school supply section of the stores around this time of year...

For my to-be-4th grader, the supply list had no specific brands. For the to-be-1st grader, there were lots of specifics, in bold--Crayola, Large glue sticks, etc. I assume there's a good reason for it, and will follow it as best I can.

Teachers pay for so many extras out of their own pockets! I figure sticking to the list, when it's prepared by the teacher, is a way to help them out.

Mom to DD1 (11/1999),  DD2 (07/2003), and DS (11/2012), all born at home and cloth diapered. 

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#75 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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I things like *3 peachies, plain; 1 3 ring it.
i have to ask...what is a "peachie"?

CPST
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#76 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Our kids are heading back to public school this year after a two year homeschooling hiatus. My 6th grader's list cost me about $42 in supplies. For my two elementary students, I was able to get in on the PTA's group supply buy. Thirty dollars for the 1st grader and $34 for the 4th grader. Not too bad.

Glue sticks always drive me crazy because if you wait too long (like say, September or sometimes mid-August) all the cheap multipacks are gone and you have you buy them singly--very $$$. Smart (cheap) moms buy in July the week they put them on display!

They always insist on "all-wood pencils" too and usually specify Ticonderoga. I guess because these are the only all wood pencils left? I saw some made of recycled compressed paper for much less but perhaps they don't hold up.

When we were in public school previously, the teachers requested things like baby wipes (no problem for me, since I still have a toddler) and specific colors and type of folders to organize subjects (they had a string tie and were hard to find; turned out only one office supply store in our area carried them).

So far I've stuck to the list. When we homeschooled, I bought much, much less (pretty much just paper and new markers every year--who really runs out of pencils and crayons?), but then I had to buy curriculum, so obviously ps is cheaper.

At the end of the year, the teachers at our elementary usually divide up all the supplies that are left and send home a grocery bag full of supplies with each student. Usually we get scissors and colored pencils and maybe some used crayons. The markers are always trashed and thrown out probably.

I definitely like the PTA bulk buy better. Saves me a lot of money, I think. Of course, it would be great if the school could actually supply all this for us with our tax dollars....

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#77 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
i have to ask...what is a "peachie"?
She means a Pee-Chee. It's a type of folder for holding school papers. It's a classic name brand and has become ubiquitous, like Kleenex instead of tissue.

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#78 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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I have to chime in as a teacher here. First of all, I have never heard of teachers requesting certain brands because they get a kickback from the company. Not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never ever even heard of such a thing. In my experience, the brand requests are because if you don't say "Crayola" or whatever, someone will bring in dollar store markers, which are often dried up when you take them out of the package, or last just a few weeks. When I requested supplies, I rarely cared about details like brands, glue size, etc., but did often request specific folder colors from an organizational standpoint, ie. math folders are red, etc. It makes their desks much easier to navigate. Also, if a child can't supply things on a list, sometimes the PTA will fill in those blanks. In my experiece, if that doesn't happen, I buy them myself. Yes, it would be great if our public schools could supply everything. In reality, the money isn't there and it isn't up to the teachers as to how the money is allotted anyway.

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#79 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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If they went to the trouble of specifying the brand and they size of the items on the list there is obviously a reason. I would buy off the list, if you can't afford it just tell the teacher don't buy an alternate that they didn't ask for that will just go unused.
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#80 of 101 Old 07-22-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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I always buy off the list.

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#81 of 101 Old 07-23-2009, 02:32 AM
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I buy from the list.
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#82 of 101 Old 07-23-2009, 05:38 AM
 
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I had heard that about fees, so intended to apply for my middle schooler. We are vegan, though, and dd#1 has some significant food allergies, so she literally cannot eat anything from the school lunch menu.
FYI, according to USDA rules, the school would be required to accommodate your child's food allergies if you requested it, and definitely if you apply for and are eligible for free or reduced lunches. The school district could get in big trouble for not making accommodations for a food allergic student, as the USDA considers food allergies to be a disability as far as the school lunch program goes.

To answer the original question, our schools ask for specific sizes sometimes, and suggest brand names, but they don't get their panties in a bunch if someone brings in something else.

Me, I stick to Crayola products, and Acme or Fiskar scissors.

Some school request all wood pencils because some of the "decorated" pencils have plastic jackets on them that can jam or break pencil sharpeners. The elementary school my kids go to had at least 3 electric pencil sharpeners die that way.
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#83 of 101 Old 07-23-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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I always purchase off the list for childcare, and I would do the same for PK, except the school bills me for needed supplies.

+ + =
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#84 of 101 Old 07-23-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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I'm planning to buy what is on the suggested list but I don't think it is a very extensive list. The only brand specific item is Fiskars brand scissors. The rest is pretty generic like 24ct box of crayons, 4 glue sticks, 6 #2 pencils, etc.
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#85 of 101 Old 07-23-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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I buy off the student list, and take a number of things of the teachers "wish list" as well, several times per year, so I might be buying extra glue sticks or kleenex or fabric or whatever. We're doing well enough that we can afford to do so, and I know the teachers allowance is piddly, so for while I can, I'm just going to do it. I paid $85 in supplies for 1 of my children (a preschooler) and only about $40 for the other. We tend to buy "good" supplies - Jansport backpacks, etc, that will last multiple years as opposed to buying cheaper stuff that won't last.
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#86 of 101 Old 07-25-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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Watch the ads religiously at Office Depot, Office Max and Staples (and any other office supply store). They usually have a couple of loss leaders every week, starting about now. Yes, it's a pain to keep going back but I usually stock up when I go. So, if rulers are on sale for 5 cents each, I buy as many as they allow. Usually I donate what we don't need either to ds' school (where a lot of kids can't afford supplies) or to the school kits that our church makes up for Lutheran World Relief. Though, I think I still have glue left from last year.
They really do--even stuff like clorox wipes, kleenex, ziploc bags (a lot of the things some parents take issue with buying) is on sale really cheap.
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#87 of 101 Old 07-26-2009, 02:09 AM
 
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In the school the kids will be going to this year, both grades specify that EVERYTHING they bring in must be labelled with their names on it. Since it's a new state and school for us, I'm assuming that's because they won't pool everything and not because they keep track of who brings in what. Also, they do specify the Tyconderoga (sp!?) pencils but state that's because they are the only ones they've found that don't mess up the pencil sharpeners. I can get behind that without a problem. For folders for the 1st grader, there are 4 pocket ones requested; red, green, yellow and "student's choice". I'm sure 3 subjects are color coded, but like that they get to pick one of their choosing! The one thing I'm not too keen on with the new school (and all schools in the district do this) is that the kids must have velcro closure tennis shoes to be left at school for gym class. We can't just have them wear sneakers (their shoes of choice anyway) on gym day? That's at minimum $35 PER CHILD for a second pair of sneakers. OUCH!
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#88 of 101 Old 07-26-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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The one thing I'm not too keen on with the new school (and all schools in the district do this) is that the kids must have velcro closure tennis shoes to be left at school for gym class. We can't just have them wear sneakers (their shoes of choice anyway) on gym day? That's at minimum $35 PER CHILD for a second pair of sneakers. OUCH!
Probably because the kids' regular sneakers are really dirty from walking outside. Even at adult gyms you're typically supposed to wear sneakers that have been used indoors only. Not to mention the fact that there are probably a lot of kids who don't wear sneakers every day and would forget to bring shoes to change into.

Reading this thread, it seems like the biggest reason to follow the list is to avoid having the teacher buy replacement supplies out of their own money. Seems like a good reason to me. We haven't gotten to that point yet (DS is just starting preschool this year), but we'll probably follow the list. Unless it's something silly like the kleenex example.
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#89 of 101 Old 07-26-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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I don't buy everything from the list. But if there is specific stuff requested I try to get it, but maybe not in the quanity they specify.

For the glue sticks... There's something you gotta know about the small ones, there is hardly any glue in them! In my classroom we go through a TON of small glue sticks because there is so little in them. Like, really very little glue! We had to start requesting larger ones because they last much longer. With the little ones I'm throwing out 2-3 empty tubes every time we do art, which is every day. It felt far too wasteful!

What I do for my kids is buy the minimum to get buy for a week and then go buy everythign when they put school supplies at %50 off and stock up. Usually the day after school starts. We buy cases of notebooks and baskets of crayons. We still have notebooks that are unused from last year, lol.

I don't buy classroom supplies though. Tissues and stuff? Nope.

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#90 of 101 Old 08-06-2009, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE-

We had the parent orientation at ds's school tonight. It was explained that all the supplies will be put into a community pot. Not only that, but at the meeting tomorrow (which the kids will go to)- the KIDS are supposed to put each of their supplies into the appropriate container. So the kids will all see the other kids putting stuff into the containers. Talk about setting that one up for teasing before school even starts : Fortunately, I only work a half day tomorrow so ds and I will go out and finish buying the rest of his supplies.... including the large glue sticks No need to tick off the teacher AND set ds up for being the oddball before Kindergarten even starts.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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