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Ready or not? Have you started your back-to-school shopping yet?

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    The Simpson children sort through their school supplies. The Lansford family purchased their supplies early, having everything from backpacks to crayons and glue by the end of July. From left, Shavonne, 6, who is home-schooled; Bishop, 13, who is entering the eighth grade; Konnar, 11, who is going into sixth grade; Illiana, 10, who is going into fifth grade; and Kaidence, 8, who is going into third grade. KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS

Published August 20. 2018 12:42PM

Students are heading back to school soon, which means parents are heading to the store.

And just like Christmas shopping or filing our taxes, some of us get it done early, while others wait until the last minute.

Mother of five, Desiree Simpson of Lansford, likes to get a good head start. Her kids had their backpacks, pencil cases, and the rest of their supplies by the end of July. Clothes shopping was next on the list, but she planned to get that done early as well.

“I have to wait for the oldest to get his supply lists on first day of school to get his,” Simpson said. “We’re shopping at Walmart for supplies and uniforms.”

Were the kids excited to go back to school?

Yes. And no.

The girls, Illiana, 10, who will be entering the fifth grade; Kaidence, 8, who is going into third grade; and Shavonne, 6, who is home-schooled, were all looking forward to the start of the school year.

“I like school, and I like a boy there,” she said. “I’m excited to see what teacher I have.”

Shavonne first said she liked school, but quickly changed her mind and said that she loved it.

“I’m excited. I like science and to learn online. I’m excited to use my new supplies and excited to meet my online teacher.”

Kaidence was also looking forward to the new school year and seeing her friends and the new playground at her school.

The boys were less enthused.

Bishop said he was most looking forward to lunch, seeing his friends, and band. Konnar said recess was his favorite, as well as gym. The new year also means the start of football.

While the girls are all looking forward to the new school year, mom Desiree said waking them up is hard, but she’s up for the task.

“We’re getting them back into the routine. They get excited about all their new supplies.”

Ready or not?

At the end of July, we asked parents on social media how they were handling back-to-school season this year.

“I grab some clothing items here and there as sales happen. (Children’s Place online has been a life saver),” said Amanda Zellers. “I also pick up a few items as I see them to avoid a particular print/color being hard to come by next month. Otherwise all the basics can wait until the end of August.”

“We go back to school in two weeks,” said Paige Jennifer. “I started shopping a couple days ago since the supply lists are out. I mostly shop at Walmart since it’s close. I don’t go crazy on back-to-school clothes/shoes. Just a new outfit for the first day since my oldest is only 8 and grows like a weed. I just wait until they actually need new stuff.”

“We have picked up clearance clothes as we’ve seen them, but we tend to wait for tax- free weekend for the bulk of shopping,” said Kristen Humphry Johnson. (Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not participate in tax-free weekends.)

“I bought my daughter’s supplies already, but we haven’t gone clothes shopping,” said Sarah Streby. “I won’t do that until just before school starts because she’s still growing.”

Dominika Aziagbe likes to wait to do clothes and shoe shopping as well.

“We still have over a month left before school starts. No shopping done yet. I will wait till tax-free week to get her school supplies, including 20 glue sticks,” she said. “Clothes/shoes the same, since I am afraid she will outgrow them before she starts school.”

“We’ve already started supply shopping even though we have more than a month to go,” said Samantha Leigh. “The minute my girls get their supply lists from the school’s website, they HAVE to. But I will wait on clothes a little longer. My only delay on that is finding the time to purge their old clothes — that’s the only delay on that.”

Jenn Holter was celebrating that she was nearly done by the end of July for her two kids.

“When we first spotted the school supplies out, my husband told me he knows it’s like my crack. I so love school/office supplies, but honestly last year, my daughter needed a few odd things and we couldn’t find them, so I wanted to get them out of the way early this year. Plus deals!”

“We’re done too,” said Stacey Yaroszeufski. “She’ll probably need pants once cooler weather hits, but she grows so fast that I’m waiting.”

“I have four kids,” said Emile Marks Horne, “one starting college and three in high school, and a one-income household, so I have to spread out the shopping over a few weeks. I’ve already bought new shoes and uniforms for my twins, who are in ninth grade, and of course, I’ve bought quite a few things for the college kid. But I have much to do before I’m done. The school supplies usually wait until after school starts because every teacher wants something different.”

Rachel Foster said she starts her back-to-school shopping in mid-July.

“Old Navy has a big uniform sale, and my daughter attends Panther Valley, so the clothing shopping is already done for me,” said Foster. “Everything else will wait until last minute because that’s how I roll.”

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