School’s back.

For some, it’s the first time in 2 years.
For others, it’s back after summer vacation again.

It’s the same in the Philippines. Their kids are going back to school. They haven’t been in person for 2 years and they’re in the back-to-school shopping rush. Only this time it’s worse.

Julia shares what back-to-school shopping is like in the Philippines.

I’m one of those parents who enjoy back-to-school shopping because I love shopping for school supplies. But even I can acknowledge that it can be exhausting and frustrating. If you want to get the best supplies at a good price, you have to do your research, make price comparisons, and shop early to beat the rush.

I think the excitement of going back to school is getting to everybody because everybody was shopping early this year. These past few weeks, all the malls and bookstores were full of people. School supplies were running out of stock.

My husband and I went to 3 different stores just for index cards. Index cards!!! I barely used index cards when I was a student. But for some reason, it’s now the hottest stationery of the year!

Because of the pandemic, some school supplies were harder to get now than before, not just index cards.

I think it’s partly due to the global supply chain issue and partly because more people had to buy new school supplies than ever before.

School supplies can be expensive. If there’s anything that can be reused, we’ll reuse it. Many of us would carefully unwind ring notebooks so we could gather the unused pages to make new ones. We would share extra or unused school supplies and books with friends and family. That way, we don’t need to buy new supplies every year.

During the pandemic, we didn’t have to buy school supplies, but many of us did use up whatever we had in stock. So when they announced that face-to-face classes were back, we needed to buy more.

A big example of this would be school uniforms.

Here in the Philippines, all students wear uniforms regardless of whether they attend public or private school. Pre-pandemic, we find ways to make our school uniforms last. We usually buy or have a seamstress make the uniform a little bigger so the uniform can last for at least two years. And when our kids outgrow their uniforms, it can be passed on to younger siblings/relatives/friends.

But now, the kids have all outgrown their uniforms. We’re all in a rush to buy uniforms or fabric. There’s a shortage of uniform material and a long waiting list (at least 4 weeks) if you want a tailor-made uniform.

Despite all that, I am happy that the kids are going back to school. They need social interaction.

Our kids were in person at school last year, so this was back to school after summer for us. Only, we pulled them out of school 10 days early so we could go ride our bikes across Europe.  It felt like the longest summer ever.  Still not as long as 2 years of at home school like the Philippines.