I have 3 children, who this year are entering 6th grade, 4th grade, and Kindergarten. It's been interesting to watch my children grow up and work their way through the school system, partly for the deja vu, and partly because it's fascinating to observe what has--and hasn't--changed from when I was that age.
First off, there aren't any buses. You drive your kids to school, or they walk. This wasn't a big deal last year, with the elementary school a convenient quarter mile away, but this year we'll be driving my daughter to the middle school which is 11 miles away.
There don't seem to be any lockers either. I thought that would mean having a lot of stuff to carry, but apparently in the middle school kids get two (2) sets of books--one copy stays in class, the other stays home.
Also, no one's gotten beat up. Yet.
As for school supplies, some of it's the same as in the past--elementary kids need things like pencils, erasors, scissors, crayons--but in middle school these days a student must have a USB flash drive. The language arts teacher requires students to have access to PowerPoint. And one of the core subjects right up there with reading and writing and arithmetic is Technology. "You want to go to her school, don't you?" my wife said knowingly. I do!
School starts here in 4 days, and my kids have a look on their faces reminiscent of convicts facing the end of their time on death row. Some things never change after all.