School supply list is nearly impossible to complete

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

On Monday, Lori tacked a green neon piece of paper to the bulletin board in our laundry room.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

It’s longer than Ty’s Christmas list and more detailed than my honey-do list.

I was stunned when I started reading it.

It was filled with all the school supplies we need to purchase before he starts kindergarten next month. To give you an idea of its enormity, we must buy at least one of every item at Wal-Mart.

For many of you, buying school supplies has become a habit and a routine part of your July and August. For us, it’s our first year purchasing all the supplies needed for Ty to start school.

As I see the shelves filling up with supplies at Target, CVS and other stores, Lori says we need to go ahead and get them before they’re gone or we’ll be fighting other parents over the last box of Crayola washable markers (classic colors – not the thin ones, as our supply list warns) or glue sticks or Iron Man book bag.

And what the heck is a Pink Pearl eraser?

One thought is that we can wait to compare the sales at all the different retailers to buy the most for less, or we could go ahead and get the supply list completed before we’re making a midnight run to find things not crossed off our list.

Hopefully your tips will help school supply newcomers like us and other parents who are familiar with this annual rite but are looking to save money this year.

Are you already buying school supplies?

What are some of the best ways to save on them?

Do you wait or do you get it done weeks ahead of time?

Do schools ask parents to bring too many items?

- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog

111 comments Add your comment

malleesmom

July 19th, 2011
3:19 am

I am already done (minus the three-ring binder). I purchase supplies as I see them on sale throughout the year. I abhor standing in some store aisle crammed full of frustrated parents with restless children searching for the last orange folder in the metro area :) I no longer fret over the “right” markers (or crayons, pencils, etc) as indicated on the list. The kids don’t care and will use the supplies regardless.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
5:58 am

Yes, the school supply list can be daunting. This is ( one reason) why I am in awe at people who have perhaps 6 children, How do they manage the school supply list? I am past that hurdle now with college expenses.

Re the eraser, I am pretty sure it is that rubbery kind that is just a bit bigger than a flash drive.
When children are learning to write, the eraser on the pencil does not last long.

Target typically has a GREAT sale in a week or two. Lugging all that stuff to school is another thing.

As a former Kinder teacher, I stuck to the list. There is usually a reason why the teacher wants certain things even though it may seem odd. Teachers tend to appreciate those who follow directions. I know I did. Kind of like leaving a list for your babysitter and when you get home he/she says, “Oh we did not follow the list…the kids did not care a bit! They were good with eating ice cream for dinner and playing in the street.”

It’s not like the teachers get a commission for recommending odd things to purchase just for the fun of it!

Also, some kids will bring everything they need and others will bring nothing and probably be using what your kid brought. It all starts when they are small.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
6:03 am

Andy…thin markers do not last as long with little hands. When children are learning to recognize, select and read their color words it helps if they all have the same CLASSIC colors.

newblogger

July 19th, 2011
6:07 am

Please stick to the list and please get everything on it. As a teacher and a mom, I don’t want the children who did bring in everything to have to make up for the children whose parents didn’t or couldn’t get everything, so I buy it myself. I know a lot of teachers who do this. I really don’t mind buying it (I find the 10 and 25 cent sales and get off brands) but it would be nice to have less to buy. And no, we don’t get much money to spend on classroom supplies. You would be surprised at how fast crayons, pencils and glue sticks are used up. @MJG_Great job on the pink pearl eraser description! Pencil erasers disapper faster than you think and cap erasers are useless except for sticking them to foreheads and launching them across the room. There really is a reason for all the “odd” things on the list. We really will use everything on there…and more.

djm_NC

July 19th, 2011
6:46 am

there are some things i really miss now that my kids are grown..buying school supplies is definately not one of them. the reason for the list (as mjg pretty much said) is so everyone has the same thing-and the teachers know what works best for the kids. at my work place we do a different community service collection every three months-this period we are collecting money for the head start teachers to buy bookbags filled with supplies for the kids whose parents cant afford them. they will be filled with exactly what is on the list..each set of supplies the same. its amazing that even the little kids get into the ‘my stuff is better than your stuff’ attitude. but they do. best to stick to the list.

mom3boys

July 19th, 2011
7:09 am

I am tired of kids w/ iPhones and $200 shoes not having school supplies. I told them last year if we did not have the same last name and if they didn’t appear on my tax return as a dependent, I would not be giving them school supplies. When we ran out of tissues, I said, “use your sleeve.” I am so mean…but I teach in a middle class school, and there’s no reason for this.

homeschooler

July 19th, 2011
7:47 am

Never had to deal with the school supply lists that are put out by public schools but I see them posted all over Walmart and think about how overwhelming it all must be. Still, I’m sure it is all necessary.

I will say that it made me crazy when my sister-in-law would spend days rounding up everything her kids need and it was very obvious to me (in South Cobb County) that she was buying for many more kids than hers. Her child obviously does not need 4 large boxes of tissues per year or 3 sets of Crayola markers. She was even told (as was mentioned above)that they put extras on the list because many don’t buy them. Wow! just another reason my children will never step foot in a government school. (not blaming the teachers here. They can’t very well buy for 30 kids).
My kids attend a “one day a week” school and also have a large list of supplies. But at least I know that they (and only they) will use them.

It is absolutely ridiculous that parents will not buy school supplies. I work with low income families and can assure you that they can afford pencils that cost a penny and folders that are 20cents. They just know that their kids will be “covered” and so they just don’t worry about it.

Kathy

July 19th, 2011
8:04 am

Andy……take the school supplies in on the night/day that you go to meet Ty’s teacher. DO NOT take them in the first day of school! Taking them on the “meet the teacher day” will give the teacher a chance to put them all away before school starts. As a Kindergarten teacher, I can tell you that teachers don’t like getting anything other than your child on the first day of school…..it is a CRAZY day! And I can echo the thoughts of newblogger…….STICK TO THE LIST! If it says to get Crayola crayons, don’t get Roseart, get Crayola. If it says get PLAIN folders, don’t get folders with puppies on them. Teachers LOVE it when you get exactly what is on the list.

mystery poster

July 19th, 2011
8:06 am

@Mom
Agreed. I once had a student tell me she couldn’t afford a $10 calculator, after coming into the room with 3 things from the snack machine. I told her all she would need to do was to bring food from home for a week instead of using the machine, and she would be able to buy a calculator. She gave me the most filthy look. Another time, I had a student call me out into the hall to tell me that he couldn’t afford a calculator. He had a brand new mp3 player around his neck (this was in the days when they were expensive).

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
8:07 am

@newblogger….sometimes I can get a few things right! :)

@mom3boys…I hear you loud and clear…I have mentioned this before and been shot down by some here.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
8:09 am

Andy…Kathy knows all about this…you may need to e-mail her :)

Mrs. G

July 19th, 2011
8:14 am

The school supply lists these days are so much more comprehensive than they were when I was in elementary school (late 80s/early-mid 90s)! I remember that, for me, it was essentially a pencil box (remember the plastic ones? Do kids still use those?), pencils, an eraser, Elmer’s glue (which we liked to spread on the palms of our hands, let dry, and peel off during class…), crayons, markers, and scissors. Sometimes a little pencil sharpener, but usually there was one in the classroom to use. As I got older, a calculator was required (first the scientific calculator in middle school and then the graphing calculator for high school math). I was absolutely amazed when my brother started kindergarten (in ‘05; oddly, the year that I graduated from college…I’m sure that my mom never anticipated that she would have one kid graduating from college and then be starting all over again that fall!) and I saw his supply list. It was long. And, obviously, expensive. I guess that parents are having to provide more now that the schools’ budgets have been cut so much and they can’t afford to provide the things that they provided when we were younger (Kleenex being one example…my mom told me that every child in my brother’s class has to bring in boxes of Kleenex for the classroom; we always had industrial, sandpaper-like tissues provided by the school).

April

July 19th, 2011
8:17 am

@MJG – I love the babysitter list comparison – so true.

I agree with the others who said get what is on the list. Unless you have a brand new teacher, the teacher has refined this list over several years and knows exactly what the kids need and knows why one brand of crayons or size of folder is better than the others. Also, my own kids’ lists have gotten shorter and less specific as they have gotten older.

I also know some teachers who take all the supplies and put them in a “community box” for everyone to use. I do not agree with this and have never done it myself, but it is fairly common. This means that the kids whose parents did not buy them supplies do not get left out. It also means that if you spent extra to get Ty the pencils with the footballs or the eraser shaped like batman he may never even get to use those things.

In the elementary grades at our school, we have the option to pre-pay for a box of supplies that is delivered before school starts and is on the kids desk the first day of school. I love it because I do not have to search for the certain things. Some parents do not like it – they think it costs more. I really don’t see that it is more expensive, plus when you add in time, gas, and aggravation I think you come out ahead by pre-paying. Some others may have this option, too.

Becky

July 19th, 2011
8:43 am

When my 2 were in kindergarten, I bought everything that was on their list..Spent about $300.00..Three months after they were in that school, they moved and I was told that nothing could be returned because it was all dumped into one bucket and shared..WTF??

I don’t mind buying the stuff that my two need and I don’t mind helping out kids that need help, but I am not going to buy stuff for kids that are driven to school in a new Merceds, Lexus or Rangerover..If you can afford a $60 thousand vehicle, you can afford $75.00 for school supplies..Especially since your kids are already eating breakfast and lunch on my dime..

I buy things all year long and I usually do send in most of what the teacher puts on the list..I do not send it all in at once..I let the kids take a few things the first week of school and I tell the teacher that they will bring in more as needed during the year..

If they do a class project, I will send in only what my two are going to use..Couple of years ago, they did a tie dye T-shirt..I sent in 2 pkgs. to each class, then my two took in their own shirt..When the boy came home with his shirt, it was about 2 sizes to small..When I said something to the teacher, she was like, oh, so and so didn’t bring in a shirt, so I gave him K’s..Oh H3LL freaking no…

  

July 19th, 2011
8:46 am

I am so mean…but I teach in a middle class school, and there’s no reason for this.

You’re not mean, and I admire you for not taking that crap. Good for you!

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

July 19th, 2011
8:50 am

I am sick and tired apathetic/lazy parents and/or students expecting others to take up the slack since they think they can just shrug off their responsibility to purchase & bring proper supplies.

It reminds me of an art teacher I had in a college class.

He use to rant about how so many “students” would whine and cry about supposedly not having any money and wouldn’t get their supplies, but yet not one of them had to work at a real job and when he would go outside he’d see a parking lot full of new cars.

He was right!!

MomOf2Girls

July 19th, 2011
8:55 am

I agree as well about buying the brands / colors / etc the teacher requests. There are some brands that work much better than others (Elmer’s glue sticks work – Office Depot ones, not so well). Teachers often use color coding to make instructions easier (”pull out your blue folders so we can work on xyz”). There is almost always a good reason for buying that specific item versus the one that looks similar, but isn’t.

Another thing that I do is label (almost) EVERYTHING. By this, I mean writing names in Sharpie on every item from folders to markers (each marker) to erasers. The only things I don’t label are pens and pencils. I do this because there is inevitably a sticky-fingered child who will “borrow” something when your child isn’t looking. As others have said, I’m not paying for someone else’s kid’s supplies. Putting a name on things makes it easier for the item to be positively identified as my child’s, and for the appropriator to be positively identified as a child to keep an eye on.

JJ

July 19th, 2011
8:58 am

I never fretted. I bought what I could, and sent it in when it was easy. I didn’t send in EVERYTHING the first day of school. That’s just silly. Kleenex, paper towels, and hand sanitizer do not need to be stuffed into the backpack the very first day. We staggered it……

Don’t make your kids lug everything to school the first day. Remember, they are getting adjusted and settled, and it takes a week or two. Send stuff in on a daily basis. By the end of the week, it will all be there.

homeschooler

July 19th, 2011
8:59 am

In my area (South Cobb Co.) most of the teachers use the “everything is used for everybody” method. Meaning, the parents I know buy for their kids and those whose parents would rather spend money on cigarettes and lottery tickets. Yet another reason why my kids don’t go to government schools. (not blaming the teachers. They can’t buy for everyone).
My children go to a hybrid school (one day a week). They have an extensive list but at least I know that what I buy is used by them and only them.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
9:04 am

@ Black and White…college kids….jobs? What? Mine have them but it is not common in our area.
However, a neighbor’s son who was Valedictorian in our HS two years ago and will be in his 3rd year at Ga Tech told me he has 3 part time jobs this summer. I am more than impressed! He was laying sod with his Dad when I spoke with him ( that is not one of his jobs).

Lori

July 19th, 2011
9:14 am

I always stick to the list because I know that the teachers have a reason for everything on it. I do get confused sometimes. Like this year, my son’s list said “tacky glue” for the art room. I wasn’t sure what that was, since there was no name brand called that. I assumed they meant that rubber glue stuff, so I hope I’m right!! But the one that baffled me the most this year was a role of packing tape. Really?? What are they using packing tape for? But the rest of the stuff was standard and actually I got off pretty light this year for 2nd grade compared to last year. I only had to buy 1 box of crayons and markers as opposed to last year’s 3 boxes! Needed lots of pencils, but they are cheap.

Techmom

July 19th, 2011
9:31 am

Once they get to middle and high school it isn’t so bad. I still buy a pack of markers and colored pencils b/c inevitably there will be a project that requires it but for now, all he really needs are a couple of three-ring binders (NOT one for every class like some teachers ask for), dividers, a couple of spiral notebooks, lots of notebook paper and pencils and pens.

They still ask for paper towels, tissue and hand sanitizer but I don’t send that in the first day- I usually wait until after fall break. I also tell all of his teachers that if they ever run out of anything to let me know and I’ll be happy to help replenish the supply (and let a couple of other parents know as well). BUT the boy goes to a private school so it’s never an issue to tell a couple of other moms, “hey, they’re running low on paper towels in the science lab, do you mind putting 5 bucks in the pot and I’ll pick up a big package of paper towels?” I don’t like paying tuition but to be in an environment where everyone (or close to it) takes responsibility for their own kid, sure does make my life a lot easier.

By the way, my recommendation on school supplies is to go buy them now. Target will give you your money back on anything that goes on sale in the next two weeks so even if you buy something and it goes on sale next week, simply take your receipt to customer service and they’ll refund the difference. Then you don’t have to worry about not getting everything or facing the outrageous crowds.

Sam

July 19th, 2011
9:32 am

You can always reuse the items year after year. I can’t tell you how many supplies/folders/clean paper I see thrown in the trash can every May. Kids expect to get all brand new stuff for the school year. Maybe you can set a precedent in your house where supplies are expected to be reused. Then next year your shopping list won’t be so long!

Also, know that when your kids get to high school, markers and things (yes, even paper because students do come to school without paper) are purchased by the teacher, from their personal money.

Techmom

July 19th, 2011
9:32 am

@Lori Tacky Glue can be found in the craft section. It’s usually in a bronze/brown bottle. I’m a little surprised they’re asking for that though- seems odd.

Sam

July 19th, 2011
9:36 am

@momof3boys When we run out of tissues in my classroom, I go and get a roll of (unused) toilet paper from the bathroom. If the kids ask why we don’t have tissues, I tell them I can’t afford to buy them tissues, but they’re welcome to bring them in if they don’t want to use the TP. It usually inspires one or two of them to bring in a few boxes.

vsmom

July 19th, 2011
9:41 am

@Lori–”tacky glue” is a craft glue, it used to come in a brown bottle with a gold lid…you may have to try Michael’s or JoAnn to find it.

My best school supply story is that when V was in about 2nd grade an office supply store had pencils for 2 cents/box…my DH bought so many boxes of pencils that we still haven’t had to buy them, she’s going into 10th grade and I don’t think we will need to buy them ever again :). I also bought a whole case of spiral notebooks that year, I think we just used the last of them.

I do buy throughout the entire year to avoid the crush, but now that we’re in HS I think the specifics will become less (except for the TI-84 graphing calculator).

HB

July 19th, 2011
9:51 am

Is it less expensive to buy bulk supplies of notebooks, pencils, folders, etc? It feels like an awful lot of money is being spent per child at CVS and Wal-Mart. I wonder if the PTA or groups of parents were able to arrange some sort of coop if everyone would come out better by buying in bulk together and then paying their share of the discounted cost.

mystery poster

July 19th, 2011
9:53 am

@VS Mom
Check ebay for the TI84. Many college kids sell them back once they’re done with them.

JJ

July 19th, 2011
9:57 am

I had to buy that TI84 calculator – $120 when my daughter was in high school. But, 4 years later, she is still using it, in college. So I have gotten my money’s worth…..

jarvis

July 19th, 2011
10:01 am

Teachers, remember to save the receipts for anything you spend out of your own pocket. It’s 100% tax deductible.

Becky

July 19th, 2011
10:08 am

@MomOf2Girls..I marked everything with a sharpie when my two were in kindergarten, the teacher marked it out..Now my two are in the third grade, so they will be able to keep up with their own stuff..

@Black and White..Too funny..I know someone that has a daughter that is a junior in college and she can’t work because it takes away from her study time..Really, she has 2 classes a day, three days per week..Yet, she has time to call her Mom about 8-10 times a day, every day..

vsmom

July 19th, 2011
10:25 am

We actually got her 2 TI-Inspire(sp) from e-bay, one came with the TI-84 faceplate conversion. We chose this version as it is the one that can be used with the probes to do chemistry and physics labs if necessary and it was still much, much cheaper than the TI-84.

@JJ–I still use the calculator I bought when I started graduate school 20+ years ago and somewhere still have the one I bought when I started undergrad several years b/4 that…they are a great deterrant to my students wanting to borrow one as they are not anywhere near as idiot proof as today’s calculators…OTOH, I can’t use their TI-84’s worth a darn…but if a college chemistry student can’t use a calculator they’ve supposedly been using since the 10th grade, there’s a bigger problem afloat (different story, different day, perhaps a different blog).

Techmom

July 19th, 2011
10:32 am

@JJ, my son has been using my TI-83 which I bought in 9th grade in 1993. I used it for HS, college and then my dad used it in college before he gave it back. As far as computers have come, calculators really haven’t changed much.

Andy Johnston

July 19th, 2011
10:37 am

Great comments and suggestions so far. I think I’ll be heading to the store this week to avoid the rush. To me, it seems schools are asking parents to buy a lot more stuff these days than when I was in elementary school in the ’70s. Is that true?

Angie

July 19th, 2011
10:48 am

I personally think that some of the school supply lists have gotten out of hand. I understand the needs for SCHOOL SUPPLIES – (pencils, paper, etc.)But why do I have to supply reams of paper, ink cartridges. Yes, these items were on the list. I purchase all the items on the list because if my child needs a tissue or santizier, I want him to have access to it. I really think that they can be scaled down some, too. Ok, what will he need baby wipes for and he’s in the 2nd grade? There is a sink in the classroom and we supply hand soap and paper towels. Why do I have to buy 4 boxes of Ziploc bags (gallon & quart)? Oh, sorry I forget – this isn’t the vent section!! :)

Cindy

July 19th, 2011
10:49 am

I couldn’t find 4 packs of Crayola Twistable Crayons in the basic 8 colors. I had to find them on ebay. It was the cheapest place because all other supply stores charged 10 s/h. We found a 10 color pack but the basic eight was no where. Plus, I could buy a regular 24 count of crayons for $0.25 versus 3.19/pack.

Tonya C.

July 19th, 2011
10:54 am

@jarvis:

Only if you itemize. If you don’t, you get a measly $250.

To the subject of the original post:

This year I start over with elementary again. I now refuse to oversupply at the start of the year. I will send in what I know my daughter can use from the list, and will re-up every 60 days. Sorry. Not providing for those that seem to have better ways of spending their money than providing their kids with supplies.

RJ

July 19th, 2011
10:54 am

@Jarvis, only up to $250, unless that amount has been increased.

I don’t buy from the middle and high school lists. I find that each teacher has their own requirements, so I wait to get what they require. I don’t like that in elementary the supplies are shared. Parents need to be responsible for their own kids supplies.

Tonya C.

July 19th, 2011
10:55 am

@Angie:

If it’s any consolation, my husband is a teacher and I STILL think the lists are completely out of hand.

malleesmom

July 19th, 2011
11:04 am

Becky – your first post hit the nail on the head. I don’t mind helping out. I will not support everyone else. I am not a fan of the group supplies concept. In kindergarten there’s really no way around it. I mark everything possible with my children’s name so they can use the supplies we purchased. I too do not send everything in on meet the teacher day or the first day of school. Keep in mind that 1) this list is expected to cover the entire year. It’s the same concept as food. See a full plate, eat a full plate. See limited portions, one rations their supplies and uses them wisely. We had plenty left over at the end of this year which meant I bought less for August. 2) in our school the list is not teacher generated. It is generated at the grade (usually grade chair) level. It is a general list. I have no problem sending in a few things at the beginning and then replenishing as the child or teacher asks for it. I am on our PTA. I sub at our school and volunteer weekly. Point being, I am a huge supporter of my school and am not being ugly or miserly.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
11:22 am

Andy, yes I think they ask for more things. When mine were in K, I do not remember anyone having hand sanitizer…was it even available 12 plus years ago? Just like most schools do not have chalkboards anymore, things have gotten different as far as what each school gets used to.

@ Angie…I never sent in reams of paper or cartridges when mine were in elementary school but they did not have computers in their classrooms then. I did send both of mine to college with a lap top and did not have one when I went to college…we never used them then as they were the kinds that took up an entire room.

FYI. I have a TI-86 calculator sitting right here on the desk with me. We found it when we were cleaning out the basement. One of our kids left their calculator in their locker the night before the SAT test ( I think it was my son) and Dad went and got another one as there was no way to get into the school and get it. The test was at another school. To be fair, I was out of town for our daughter’s test and both she and her Dad forgot to set their alarms and she missed it…no things are not perfect around here for sure.

Anyway, does anyone use this model now? My daughter told me NO but maybe someone would be interested in it?

Becky

July 19th, 2011
11:22 am

@malleesmom..Thanks..I didn’t mean to be so high up on my soap box, this is just something that really gets on my nerves..I know what its like to not have everything that the other kids have, I’ve been there..Thats why I don’t have a problem helping out if needed..BTW, if your childs name is really mallee, I love that name..

Question to the teachers on here..Why is it that I’m always hearing that teachers have to buy with their own money, so you need to buy for your child, yet I spoke with the teachers for my 2 at least 2-3 times per week last year and I was always asking them if the kids needed anything brought in and they always told me no…Was I just lucky with 2 really good teachers or did I miss something?

MomOf2Girls

July 19th, 2011
11:28 am

@Becky, sorry to hear that. I’ve heard stories about public schools being run like a commune but haven’t personally experienced it. We go to private, so it wasn’t a question of communal supplies, it was a tracking mechanism. Was it a private school or public?

@Andy, another thing to know is that you need to have supplies at home as well. What you need depends on your kids, but you’ll quickly get a feel for it.

I have a couple of suggestions that have helped us to stay organized:

1. Set aside a storage area for school supplies. We have a shelving unit set up in a little nook. I have plastic shoeboxes to store the supplies, and each is labeled. It is very quick and easy to find what you need.

2. For each child, I have a modular caddy that has a lid and handle. This caddy contains all of the supplies they will need for a homework session (again, depends on the age what will be in it, but basics include pens, pencils, erasures, white out, tape, colored pencils, etc.). If the homework location needs to change for some reason, such as working on the computer versus the table, or going to a friend’s house to do homework, the caddy goes along too.

Good luck, and take a deep breath!

DB

July 19th, 2011
11:29 am

Our school (private) just sent a bill for supplies for the elementary classes — they bought in bulk, and when the kids walked in on the first day, each desk had their supplies in a nice little pile on their desk. No running around, the teachers had exactly what they wanted — it was nice, and I never had the sense that I was being price-gouged.

We started buying our own supplies in middle and high school — not so bad. We actually enjoyed back-to-school shopping — I guess we’re odd. :-) My biggest challenge was purchasing the books frugally, but by the time my kids hit college, they were pros at researching ISBN numbers on the internet, knew which websites were consistently lower, and how to group books to take advantage of free or low-cost shipping (i.e., yes, the paperback is $4.95 here, and $3.50 there, but if I get the $4.95 with the free shipping batch, I don’t have to pay $3.00 shipping on the $3.50 book . . . that sort of thing.)

DB

July 19th, 2011
11:33 am

@MJG: “They were the kinds that took up an entire room” ROFL!!!!! That describes it perfectly! How many of us can remember lugging boxes of keypunch cards and making burnt offerings to the Gods of the Computer Science Building, hoping that the cards would go through properly and your program wouldn’t crash?!

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
11:39 am

@ DB…oh yeah, my husband’s brother worked with computers as soon as he got out of college.
That must have been in 1981? We visited him at his job and the whole room was humming!
I took a computer class in maybe 1988 and there were so many things you needed to memorize that seemed useless to me ( plus I was teaching and had a baby) that I dropped out. Things are sure different now!

Cobb MS Teacher

July 19th, 2011
11:42 am

Great topic! I know that when I compare my being in school (70s/80s), my kids’ being in school (90s/00s), and my time teaching (since 2001), I have definitely seen a difference in supply lists at all levels. Part of it is due to changes in teaching strategies – there are a lot more “activities to facilitate learning” that require the use of lots of color, glue, construction paper, etc – I’m thinking of things like “interactive notebooks” and “foldables.” At the same time, we’ve seen a real decrease in classroom funding – bad economy and “no new taxes” mentality have meant less for the classroom budget and teacher’s wallet. I know for me personally, I have seen my classroom and subject area budget cut a lot the last 5 years. Believe it or not, if you are being asked to supply reams of paper and printer ink, it’s because your school is trying to save money on those things (mine does not do that, but I have had parents send in reams of paper, and let me tell you, I get very excited, lol).

@Sam’s 9:32 – I know what you mean about good stuff being thrown away! My professional kids know that during locker clean-out in May, I will take almost anything (not the moldy sandwich stuck in the back – I draw the line at that). They give me pens, pencils, markers, glues, scissors, and binders – not to mention lots of paper. Doing that every year has really helped me keep my class costs down – I have the “Beggars Can’t Be Choosers” bin full of supplies for those that need them. And to your 9:36 about the TP – I do the same thing!! Only my kids don’t seem to care…

@Angie 10:48 – hand wipes are used to clean tables as well as hands – sometimes it’s easier and faster to give everyone a wipe than wait for everyone to take a turn at the sink. Ziplocs are used for a multitude of things such as sorting and storing (and I save and reuse mine if they’re in decent shape – the same with plastic spoons and cups, although they’re not for eating, they are great for mixing). As I said before, you’re probably being asked to supply those things because of budget cuts – teachers used to either buy with their own money or with classroom money.

Becky

July 19th, 2011
11:44 am

@MomOf2Girls..It was a public school in the North Ga. area..Really soured me on buying school supplies for a while..Thank goodness the school that they are in now is sooo much better..

One other thing that I would add to your supply list Andy, is a pencil sharpner..I can’t tell you how many times, I would hear, I can’t do my homework because my pencil isn’t sharpened..So keep one of those handy at home also..

DB

July 19th, 2011
11:44 am

@MJG: I thought I had died and gone to heaven when my dorm installed a remote card reader and a terminal in our basement — NO MORE TREKS TO THE COMP SCI BUILDING AT 2 AM!!! YAY!! My honors research had five boxes of keypunch cards (500 to a box . . . ) those suckers were HEAVY! Now, my cell phone has more computing power than those room-sized behemoths did!!

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
11:51 am

Also, you may actually need a dictionary…as in a book. Of course, we have one and the neighbors called to borrow it in the spring. It seems no one had one on hand and they thought we would.

Techmom

July 19th, 2011
12:30 pm

@MJG, the TI-86 is an older model is all. As it turns out my old one is a TI-85 and the TI-86 replaced it. I believe back then they said the 85/86 was geared more towards engineering and 81/82/83 was general mathematics though there isn’t much different honestly.

I think most schools ask for students to use the 84 now days b/c that’s the model that Texas Instruments makes companion tools for teachers (like for the overhead projector) and most text books like Prentice Hall use for their examples. They all do the same thing really, some of the buttons might be in a different place though. I’m sure if you find someone who has a HS student in need, it would be perfect.

April

July 19th, 2011
12:30 pm

@Becky’s Question to Teachers – I am always hesitant to ask parents to purchase supplies for specific students. I will say, “We are running low on tissues and hand sanitizer.” But, I have never told a parent, “One student did not bring in any supplies.” I probably should when the offer is made, but I really feel like it is not that parent’s responsibility. I know it is not mine either, but after all this time, I just figure it is part of the job.

If you are really willing to do it, perhaps you should phrase the question with, “I know some students may not have been able to bring in all their supplies. Is there anything I can bring in to help those students out?”

I also recycle from the previous year and take donations that are about to be tossed in the dumpster. I then have the basics to “loan” to those who do not have any or, as often happens in middle school, to those who have already lost their pencil, pen, notebook, etc.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
12:37 pm

Guess I am not the only one who is fed up with perpetual takers. I am all about helping folks but not when they are spending their money on something that is not in my budget and using the things I contributed.

This just came in my box:

http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2011/07/Courtesy-in-the-skies-is-gone-frequent-fliers-say/49492738/1?csp=Travel

Not trying to hijack the blog but we have talked air travel with Malaysia and TSA before. Guess I am not the only one who has observed rude behavior. Interesting, to me.

@ Techmom…thanks! Maybe I will put it on Craigslist.

Top School

July 19th, 2011
12:52 pm

With all the money in the school system that is wasted on administrative MISTAKES …Parents should not be digging down in their pockets to pay for school supplies…THERE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH MONEY IN THE EDUCATION POT…. IT IS NOT GOING TO THE RIGHT CAUSE. PARENTS SHOULD BE OUTRAGED AND REFUSE to pay for supplies!

Beverly Hall and all her minions need to be criminally charged and serve time in jail. If you think this is the end…it is only the tip of the broken education pencil. Check out the APS Finance department formerly headed by MARGARET COLEMAN. JACKSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL principal had a direct hot-line to the APS-Cookie Jar. Making up numbers over the phone to payout Bonus Checks to select JACKSON STAFF MEMBERS with no criteria…and you guessed right… Reich’s hands were not clean. The media needs to dig deeper into the politics behind the multiple layers of cheating our children. It’s not just about TEST SCORES. Rename this Education Scandal – Atlanta’s version of WATERGATE…and some of us are labeled the DEEP THROAT.

The media has not peeled back the layers of corruption in the Georgia State Professional Standards Commission…Someone needs to interview attorney Warren Fortson and the lead investigator John Grant and ask them what’s going on with their Code of Ethics.

THE FLOOD GATES HAVE NOT OPENED YET!

http://www.TopPublicSchoolCorruptionAtlanta.com

YouTube Channel: TopSchoolAtlanta

PA

July 19th, 2011
12:55 pm

The office where I work is all adults but many of us take advantage of school supply sales to stock up on pens, paper, notebooks, binders, and numerous other things we use around the office. School sales save us a lot of money. So, thanks kids, for letting us have discounted supply prices once a year.

AreYouKidding?

July 19th, 2011
1:00 pm

Why would kindergarteners need anything more than a pencil box with pencils, crayons, scissors, and a glue stick???? That’s REALLY all they need. Get the kleenex in bulk with coupons!!!

DisneyDad

July 19th, 2011
1:06 pm

I am a single dad of an 11year girl and 8 year old boy. For the past 6 years we have made it an outing to get school supplies. We typically just start at the top and move down the list…great fun and the kids love it!!!!! The mom’s in the store have proven to be very helpful. smiling!

missy

July 19th, 2011
1:09 pm

I just finished my daughter’s school shopping this week to the tune of $62.43. She’s starting second grade and her school also works with the methodology that every thing will be shared by every one in the class. I don’t mind the school supplies such as crayons, markers, pencils – but I do mind being told what brand name to purchase. I also am baffled as to why we are to supply hand sanitizer, hand soap, lysol cleaning wipes, klennex, band aids and ziploc bags. I spent more money on cleaning supplies than acutal school supplies. Shouldn’t the schools be providing these basic necessities?

Angie

July 19th, 2011
1:09 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I have bought the majority of the items needed. This weekend, I plan to finish up. Ok, another gripe – what’s up with schools giving students the supply list on the FIRST DAY of school. This burns me up. Everything is either picked over or no longer in the store. My daughter’s middle school did that last year. I was P/O’d.

RitaH

July 19th, 2011
1:16 pm

I bought most of the items my son needs yesterday. The frustrating part was that Walmart did not have some items yet (b&w composition books) and were already sold out of a few things and waiting for more.

There is always a couple of items that I have to laugh at – like wanting (3) red pens when everyone knows that are packaged in 2’s or larger packs like 5 or 8. I buy 2 packs for a total of 4 and send them in. I have a friend that gets really peeved and will open a pack and only send in the “required” 3. She refused to send in anymore than is listed because she knows the school administration is not cutting corners where it needs to (like with staff, etc).

I guess when we are all not doing our part, especially now in a horrible economy, people just get tired of doing more than they should.

PS – I have seen stockpiles of ziplock bags stored in the teacher’s classroom(s) and other items near the end of the school year. Why do teacher’s (or that grade level) continue to ask for things they do not obviously need? Volunteering in the classroom can be a real eye opener when it comes to seeing stockpiles of supplies! :)

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
1:18 pm

@ AreYouKidding…do you teach Kindergarten and where? As a teacher, what does your list look like? I taught over 15 years ago and things ARE different now.

@Angie…what is up with colleges putting a $200 book on the required reading list for a class your child is taking and when she gets there on the first day, “If you purchased the book, we will not be using it…sorry.” Thanks JJ…we try to use Chegg, at least we can return the books.

catlady

July 19th, 2011
1:19 pm

I have not read what others are saying, but want to make a small note: IF the list asks for a certain kind of something, it is because the teachers have found that kind works the best for that age child. Please don’t buy mechanical pencils if they are not on the list, for example, as the lead gets lost and wasted and it’s too light to read. If it does not say college lined paper, get the other size! Please don’t start with the “That teacher isn’t going to tell ME what to buy!” Your child is picking up your attitude!

Also, please don’t send your kids to school in racy/dangerous/inappropriate clothes and shoes! And when it is cold, have them wear a coat!

science teacher

July 19th, 2011
1:21 pm

I have purchased almost 500 mechanical pencils because when they installed my pencil sharpener the catch basin came out of the box in three pieces and they won’t replace it. I have purchased 32 protractors, 150 pens, 2 scientific calculators (for loan to those who refuse to bring them to class even on test day), 16 pairs of scissors, paper clips, and two staplers and 10000 staples(cause they never seem to survive the full year). I have two boxes of notebook paper, two full boxes of copy paper (because work must go on even when the county doesn’t send paper), a printer cartridge for a laser printer (which the county won’t buy), 16 packs of colored pencils, four pencil boxes to store the pens, pencils, colored pencils, and other small things. I have also purchased 6 huge boxes of kleenex, two huge bottles of hand sanitizer, and a huge pack of paper towels. I have spent 500+ dollars on supplies, and these are not even the lab materials that will come out of my pocket later.

I still have to buy the supplies for my 15 year old.

The supply list for my class is 1 scientific calculator, notebook paper, a binder (may be shared with other classes), a pencil and a pen. Projects will be assigned for which supplies may be needed, but I allow my students and their parents to determine which supplies they need. Most of my projects involve building something out of things they find at home, whether that is using a sponge and a spoon to build a catapult, or rolled up newspaper to build a bridge, or even peanut butter and the cardboard rolls from toilet paper to protect an egg in an egg drop. Though some of my students do buy a kit for every project, many of the best projects come from students who used just what they found laying around in a creative manner. I know those students learned more.

Andrea

July 19th, 2011
1:27 pm

@newblogger:

Can you please explain, how a child (i.e.in Cobb County) could possibly use 36 pencils in a year? Also, I strongly disagree with being told which brand of markers, pencils etc to buy as I try not to purchase items made in China and purchase recycled products as much as possible. Please explain.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
1:33 pm

@ science teacher….and can you tell which student’s parents did the project for them? I sure could!

catlady

July 19th, 2011
1:35 pm

I never ask for anything. I supply what I can, but I limit it since our government(state and local) has taken over 5700$ from my paycheck (not taxes, just pay decreases) for the last 2 years, so I no longer spend hundreds.

Our parents at my school aren’t asked for much, and only about half send in things. The list of things the state does not supply gets longer, too, folks!

Years ago, when I was teaching kindergarten, I had sent home “the list” and parents were kindly sending in paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, and napkins. Right after school a mother STORMED into my room, walked over to my desk and SLAMMED a box of Kotex down! She yelled, “I would THINK that you teachers could buy these for yourselves!!!” I was absolutely perplexed as she stormed out, until I realized she had misinterpreted the request for “napkins.”

tim

July 19th, 2011
1:35 pm

WHY should anyone BUY school supplies? Have the school give you the supplies.

Do you think that any child attending a free or reduced lunch school is out buying school supplies with their parent(s)??

They get all they want for free. Why shouldn’t you?

Are the school supply police going to arrest you if you don’t have crayons?

You are all so gullible!

catlady

July 19th, 2011
1:51 pm

For my kids that don’t have pencils, paper, crayons, notebooks, I keep a supply of “orphan” supplies I accumulate as the time goes by. I pick up pencils outside, get notebooks abandoned, etc, and keep them for kids to use. I have a box of old, broken crayons as well. They aren’t nice enough that anyone would want to appropriate them permanently, and they make the case for the student getting some supplies. I do have some students who will kindly supply their friends, but I caution them that their friends should return the favor later.

MomsRule

July 19th, 2011
1:54 pm

We start the year with the basics (pens, pencils, paper, folders). Once school starts we will purchase any additional items needed based upon my kids coming home and saying, “Mom, I need XYZ.”

After 10 years of receiving supply lists I have yet to see the list given out before school match the list that is received from the classroom(s) after school starts. The $50 calculator purchased some number of years back because of the supply list that to this day remains unopened in its original packaging cured me of buying anything on the list in advance.

I haven’t sent everything to school at the beginning of the year since Kindergarten.

We have a supply cabinet in the kitchen that I keep stocked with the all basics. My boys take what they need when they need it. I don’t need teachers “holding onto” a years worth of supplies for my kids.

I’m tired of so many people expecting others to provide for their children. I say, if the kids don’t show up with the basics, they can sit there all day long and twiddle their thumbs. (or send them all to one communal room so they can’t disrupt the classrooms) Maybe after they start complaining to their parents and the kids start failing because they can’t complete their work – maybe, just maybe parents will begin stepping up to the plate. Right now…its too darn easy for slugs to take advantage.

irisheyes

July 19th, 2011
2:00 pm

Trust me, it doesn’t matter how long or short the supply list is, some parents just won’t buy the stuff on it. We cut our list down as far as we could last year (everything could be purchased at Wal-Mart for a total of $25 or so), and I STILL had students come in with an empty backpack. So, I will be heading out today to buy 25 boxes of crayons at Wal-Mart (thankfully only about $5), notebooks, and pencils so that when the first day of school comes, we’re not scrambling around trying to figure out how to share supplies. I get $50 from my school to buy supplies, but when I’m buying construction paper, markers, staples, whiteboard markers, etc, $50 doesn’t go very far.

BTW, one reason that the supply list may contain multiple boxes of crayons, glue, etc, is that one doesn’t last the whole year. In my class last year, a box of crayons would last about a grading period. After that, crayons are lost, the box is falling apart, etc. After every grading period, I’d replace everyone’s box.

science teacher

July 19th, 2011
2:00 pm

@MJG Yes, when I ask them to show me how their project works, and they can’t operate it, I know they did not build it. Some of them even bring in the instructions from the kit and then have to study it before they can make the catapult launch the marshmallow.

@Tim The *schools* aren’t providing supplies. The *teachers* are the ones left supplying materials out of their personal paychecks when you do not provide for your students. I do not receive any money for classroom supplies. I get maybe $100 all year for labs for 150 students. More and more, teachers are deciding that if you can’t be bothered to provide for your student’s education then neither should they. I haven’t reached that point, yet. Most of the parents of my students buy the materials. The students just won’t bring them to class. Well, they *forget* them in their locker so that they can go hang out in the hall to get them, or they leave them at home. They think if they just don’t bring the materials that they don’t have to do the work. Most of the time, once the parents find out that their child is doing that and wasting time as well as making it look like they aren’t providing for them, it stops. If the parents care that is.

Recessionista

July 19th, 2011
2:01 pm

Are you already buying school supplies?

What are some of the best ways to save on them?

Do you wait or do you get it done weeks ahead of time?

Do schools ask parents to bring too many items?

I have already bought most of my school supplies. My goal is to get the majority for under .50. I use the Sunday Paper and go when the stores open to make sure they don’t run out. Walgreen’s often has great deals, but it is sometimes hard to find the items because they don’t show the actual sale prices. Just go through the store with the ad. Teachers can buy up to 25 of the 1 cent items at Staples, but they have a 5 dollar minimum. I like getting supplies from Walgreen’s, Target and Walmart because they typically do not have a minimum dollar amount or maximum quantity to purchase. My school in Gwinnett has an average list, it has been shortened over the past two years. I really hate buying the copy paper. The county should give the teachers enough.

teach1

July 19th, 2011
2:04 pm

Henry county teachers are told to keep the list simple. So we pared it way down to the basics. I can’t imagine any parent having aproblem providing the following:

Requested Supply List 2011-2012

Students will need:

6 glue sticks

20 pencils

1 pair of scissors

4 plain erasers

24 pack of crayons

1 plastic pencil box

1 inch white 3-ring binder (with clear plastic sleeve)

The tissues, baby wipes, sanitizer and paper towels are only on a wish list. Contribute if you can. I think we do a great job of keeping the list reasonable.

Seriously

July 19th, 2011
2:10 pm

What happened with just needing a pencil and paper for class and why are teachers dictating what kids need for school?

Wait

July 19th, 2011
2:11 pm

If you think the school supply list is amazing, wait until you see the list for Teacher Appreciation Week. The first year my son brought that home I almost fell over. Imagine my shock at finding out that Monday was “bring a rose for your child’s teacher, teacher aide, music/art/pe teachers”; Tuesday was a “send a toke of appreciation such as a Starbuck’s gift card for the same said teachers”, etc…..The list was for the whole week and school had only been in session about 2 months.

Old School

July 19th, 2011
2:12 pm

I’m a drafter and I absolutely HATE Pink Pearl erasers. I bought my grandson White Rose vinyl erasers that don’t leave a pink smudge when he scrubs away his mistakes. I also bought him several boxes of the larger wood cased Ticonderoga beginners pencils (HB lead is softer and easier for little hands to write with). It made quite a bit of difference in his manuscript writing (although I had to re-learn lower case letters in order to work with him on his handwriting.) If you get the large diameter pencils, get several sharpeners and keep at least one at home, one in the car, one in the bookbag and you might get a couple for the teacher.
Back on the subject of pencils: do try to buy wood cased pencils no matter what size. Those awful composite or plastic pencils will ruin a pencil sharpener and no matter how hard you press, they just don’t produce dark writing. If your high schooler insists on a mechanical pencil, make it a .7mm and not a .5mm. Purchase HB or B lead if you want extra but usually they will lose the mechanical pencils soon after purchasing them or someone will “borrow” it.

Lib in Cobb

July 19th, 2011
2:18 pm

I am married to a very happy retired teacher.

Attention all parents: It is not the teacher’s fault that you must buy all these items. So please, don’t bitch out the teacher when your little darling starts school. Teachers are spending a lot more than you are on school supplies. The classrooms are under-funded. By the way there are many teachers who kick in for your kid throughout the year because there are too many parents who will not provide the needed items. My wife has spent an average of $1,200 per year over the last ten years on needed, but not furnished school supplies.

KIMBRA

July 19th, 2011
2:23 pm

The key is now that you are in the buying school supplies “business” you have to stock up when things go on clearance. So around September and October start looking for clearance items and stock up. This year for my 4th grader I did not have to purchase a single item because all he needed we already had.

Shon

July 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

For the teachers needing help with school supplies (those that may teach at low income schools), the Atlanta Community Food Bank has a program called Kids in Need that offers free supplies each year. More info on this program can be found on the food bank’s website – http://www.acfb.org. I just went to Target and found many of the needed supplies on sale for prices between $.15-$1.50 (paper, binders, etc.). I can deal with having to buy the “usual” supplies but all of the extras such as computer paper, paper plates, etc. I’m not a big fan of. As a former PTA president, we helped teachers get supplies they needed for the community box as well as supplied some students with book bags containing their supplies via collaborating with community partners/members and/or fundraising events. Dollar Tree sells supplies year round and may be a good resource for some, especially if you buy things any time you find a sale like I do.

My oldest child (of the four) is a high school junior in an early college program so the number of supplies he need are almost doubled. I can definitely agree that it can sometimes be a strain to get all that’s needed but it’s very vital for the teachers and students.

Georgia High School Teacher

July 19th, 2011
2:46 pm

@Cat Lady–I am still laughing at that misinterpretation!

I teach high school, but I have two children. I, too, have had to deal with the endless supply lists. I tell parents and students that I SUGGEST the following: a 3-ring binder notebook that they can use with several classes, blue/black pens, paper, pencils. That’s it. I teach English, and although we do projects sometimes, we don’t do them often enough to require students to bring in their own basic supplies, though they may be required to purchase a poster board. I have markers and glue sticks that I have purchased. Most of my projects are more computer based anyway. I do add a wish list of hand sanitizer (because the bathrooms are often out of soap) and tissues (because the school does occasionally have them, but they are hard and scratchy). If parents want to purchase them, I really do appreciate them. I am not purchasing it myself, however. They know that the wish list items are to be used by ALL of my students.

Reality

July 19th, 2011
2:49 pm

Homeschool your children and you won’t have these problems (or a whole host of other one’s either).

Eye Roll

July 19th, 2011
2:53 pm

“Teachers are spending a lot more than you are on school supplies. The classrooms are under-funded.”

So you (teachers) focus your anger on the parents, and not towards the administration / school systems that you work for? This “underfunded” classroom is not a new phenomenon when parents have been buying supplies from the insane lists for decades. Parents who are loosing jobs vs. a teacher who is guaranteed a job and tenue. Please excuse me if parents don’t cry a river for your years of agony!

I bought my child an iPod for her 13th Birthday, or basically about a month before my husband lost his job. Sorry that I did not forsee my spouse being RIF’d from his job of 12 years, but that is the economy that we live in today. I suppose the teacher would be happy if I retuned the iPod to the store and taken away the gift? This is a teacher that drives a newer Audi SUV and went to Greece for 10 days this Summer. I am sure that there are many more examples close to mine.

Parents get tired of teacher’s beotching about everything and doing never complaining to the people that can help really them (administration). Teachers, we are sick and tired of hearing how horrible we are if we don’t follow the list to a T every darn year, especially after years of supporting you. Complain to your bosses, not your parents. Maybe then changes will be made to improve your miserable tenured, job guaranteed lives.

Jumping down off the soapbox now!

tim

July 19th, 2011
2:57 pm

@scienceteacher >>>> Thanks for the supplies that YOU BOUGHT! HA HA. Talk about gullable……

Gilstrap

July 19th, 2011
2:58 pm

Can someone tell me where to find 3 ring binders at a reasonable price?

say what?

July 19th, 2011
2:59 pm

@teach1- around the 2nd or 3rd week of school, Office Depot on Hwy 138 in Stockbridge is almost giving away their brand of disappearing purple glue sticks (4 pack) for around .25. I still have 30 packs of the stuff.

I purchase boxes of composition and spiral notebooks from Target 3 weeks into school; by that time they are .15 each. I get wide and college ruled.Paper is usually .25 a pack and you can buy cases of the stuff. Target is trying to get ready for Halloween and needs to get rid of school supplies right around Labor Day.

Getting back to the questions, purchase a little at a time, and keep the rest in a homework ready kit. All supplies necessary for homework time, because kids come home from school and can never find their scissors, pencil, markers, crayon, etc.

I do purchase Clorox wipes, large bottles of hand sanitizer, and boxes of tissue for the classroom. I have OCD tendencies, and a suppressed immune system, so I want to keep germs out the classroom so my kids do not bring those germs home to me. That annual $50 is literally a lifesaver for me.

Andy and Ty- enjoy the best year of many to come!

say what?

July 19th, 2011
3:05 pm

@Gilstrap, there is no place to find 3 ring binders at a reasonable place. Office Depot will have their basic brand in white and black on sale for about .97 each. These are the 1 inch size which will fold like cardboard once tossed into a heavy book ladened bookbag.

Depending on the age of the kid, and the amount of organization required by the teacher ( I had a teacher who demanded 12 tabs in a 6 inch heavy duty, 3 ring binder, a horrible year), spending more than $6.88 on a heavy duty binder is sufficient.

say what?

July 19th, 2011
3:06 pm

I meant to say “spend no more than $6.88 on a heavy duty binder”.

Old School

July 19th, 2011
3:06 pm

The best place to get cheap (free) 3-ring binders is in the hallways of high schools on the last day or so. Kids just toss ‘em or leave them in their lockers for the custodians (at our school it was us teachers who cleaned out lockers) to toss. Some will be pretty beaten up and marked on but you’ll be surprised at how many look barely used.

MomsRule

July 19th, 2011
3:29 pm

@Georgia High School Teacher — your list is very reasonable and makes sense! Every parent should willingly provide each item on your list. I’m certain some still resist. :(

I happily providing every item my kids need to complete their school work, special projects included, and I provide monetary funds to the science teacher(s) for labs, donate tissues, etc. But some of the supply lists that come home are insane.

Tuckergirl

July 19th, 2011
3:33 pm

@Catlady, that Kotex story is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day! :-)

Fayette Teacher

July 19th, 2011
3:42 pm

As an English teacher I would truthfully spend about $300 each year for classroom supplies from my pocket – extra pencils, paper, highlighters, cleaning supplies, binders, or other miscellaneous items. Nothing fancy, just the basics needed daily. Extras mostly, because believe it or not, some students will show up each day without a pencil, paper, or notebook. Every day. My own little protest because of furlough days, pay cuts, added responsibilities of no merit, i.e. RTI, extra time spent on students who do nothing in class, etc., makes me feel better that I no longer spend a dime for my classroom. Don’t have a pencil? Get one from the floor, in the hallway, or from a friend who is tired of lending supplies to you.No paper? See if anyone is willing to lend you some before class. Again. Constant emails to the same parents stating Johnny’s inability to bring a pencil or paper doesn’t work. NCLB? Those who won’t help themselves will be left behind. These are not elementary kids.

MomsRule

July 19th, 2011
3:58 pm

@Fayette Teacher – “Those who won’t help themselves will be left behind.” <—- and its about time!

Cobb MS Teacher

July 19th, 2011
4:56 pm

@ Eye Roll – no offense, but after reading all the posts, you’re the only one that sounds angry, and I didn’t think anyone on here, teacher or parent, was “beotching.” Fact – teachers spend their own money in their classroom. Some spend more than others, but spend they do. Fact – school supply shopping is a “necessary evil” that some find more problematic than others due to reasons that extend from logistics to economics. Fact – some parents aren’t willing or able to supply their kids with the necessary supplies, but do buy them other goodies. Fact – values placed on school supplies vs other goodies may differ from family to family.

Fact – funding for schools has been decreased and..Opinion – no one wants to raise taxes. For anything. Ever…Look at what you are being asked to purchase as a user’s fee, and far more palatable to Libertarian-types than a tax raise. And, FYI, you clearly haven’t been keeping up with education news if you think that teachers are “guaranteed jobs and tenure.” I’m sorry your spouse lost his job, but teachers have spouses that have lost theirs as well – I know, I am one. Your teacher with the Audi may not have blinked twice at your child’s i-Pod – I’m sorry you’re feeling so defensive, but I think your anger is misplaced. For every slacker parent I have, I have at least 5 supportive and 1 amazing parent. It all balances out.

Government School

July 19th, 2011
5:15 pm

Our school and government system is a joke. Why do I need to pay for all of your brat kids to go to school when I don’t and never will have kids. Parents need to be responsible for their own kids education and not put the burden on those who don’t use the system.

Cobb Mom of 4

July 19th, 2011
5:21 pm

My elementary and now also middle schooler attend Title I schools and yet the parents are still required to send in supplies for the “class”. I spend about 75 to 100 per child for supplies, and absolutely will not send in extra supplies for the class. It’s my understanding that Title I schools get extra federal money for each under-privileged child. Administrators need to put that money where it belongs. In addition there are all types of back to school supply drives by churches and community organizations that will provide free school supplies to those that need it.

I do let the teacher know that if there is a child that seems to truly need supplies, perhaps in foster care or a group home, then I will gladly purchase extra for THAT child anonymously. School administrators and parents on public assistance need to make better use of our tax dollars. Teachers need to take a harder line about spending so much money(that they don’t have) on children whose parents are capable. School administrators need to get their act together, especially in light of the APS mess.

Fayette Teacher

July 19th, 2011
5:40 pm

@ Government School:

Just curious. Who paid for your education? Education is for the good of society.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2011
5:50 pm

We have all fussed here before about paying for things that go to other kid’s whose parents refuse to pay. Is there anything we can do about it?

I recently spoke to 2 ladies who just received their Doctorates and were working on a nutrition project. We talked about school lunch and those who take advantage of it.
The consensus was that no politician is going to step out to step up the fraud as he would not be re-elected over lack of empathy for hungry children.

I love kids. Some days, I can barely afford my two. We just did a pre-op for impacted wisdom teeth removal for next week. We have dental insurance that pays 50%. Our health insurance excludes wisdom teeth ( guess some are going this route now) . Our portion is just under $1300. How do people do this with 4-6 kids and no insurance?

Government School

July 19th, 2011
6:21 pm

@Fayette Teacher

My parents sent me to a private school named GAC.

Cobb MS Teacher

July 19th, 2011
6:22 pm

@Cobb Mom of 4 – you said, ” It’s my understanding that Title I schools get extra federal money for each under-privileged child.”

Uhm…it doesn’t quite work that way. Like all government money, Title 1 funds come with lots of strings attached. It’s not an open pool that can be used for whatever (such as unlimited school supplies). I can’t tell you how your school is using its Title 1 money, as each school has its own plan, however as a parent, you should’ve been given a several page document some time during the school year that outlined how the school was implementing Title 1 programs. Parent involvement is a huge requirement of Title 1, and there should be a parent facilitator (paid for by T1 funds, not local money) who can fill you in and answer your questions. The parent facilitators will also coordinate with bbusinesses, churches, and other local charities for supply drives (as well as coat drives when winter comes).

If you don’t want to send in class tissues and hand sanitizer, don’t – send in a personal bottle and package for you child, and be sure to replenish it. I know a lot of parents who do that at the MS level. I don’t believe that pencils, pens, paper, etc should be “community” but that’s just me – I guess like the other MS teacher that posted, I’m mean, lol.

Realist

July 19th, 2011
8:46 pm

Government School – Nice to see another poster with some common sense. Don’t sweat the comments of Fayette Teacher. Those who feed off the socialist system can come up with every possible justification as to why theft isn’t immoral when its being done for their kids or their job, or whatever, but is somehow immoral when done for things they don’t benefit from.

My parents paid for the useless LA Unified in California AND paid for a great Montessori, another private school, and finally a Catholic High School (wasn’t Catholic, but no way in hell was I going to the government prisons).

You know, the socailist argument would go over a lot better if society was ACTUALLY benefitting from the government endoctrination centers – but it is not. It may be a nice prison/daycare facility that keeps kids off the streets and out of trouble, but it isn’t actually educating them, isn’t teaching them enough to even function in college or basic jobs (without remedial re-education), and is systematically destroying their individuality, their sense of self-worth, their knowledge of freedom and liberty, their innate distrust of authority, and every other good thing that I am sure Thomas Jefferson had hoped publically-funded education might bring to the masses. Funny how he had the common sense to realize that a piece of paper was never going to constrain the government. Why he thought that the power of educational monopoly wouldn’t be abused for government benefit is beyond me.

Somehow people actually think that parents will give a damn about their kids education when someone else is essentially picking up the majority if not the entire bill. And these same people also think that you can tinker around the edges of the failed system and achieve change. And these are the folks whose kids are going to be running this country some day. And these are the folks who claim to educate kids in the government system. We’re doomed.

No name used

July 20th, 2011
8:59 am

I don’t mind the supply list as far as the things the kids will use. I DESPISE the practice of dictating brands. Have you noticed they are always the most expensive brands? Then when you can’t afford the brand, but get the supply in a cheaper brand, the child is upset because she is convinced (prior experience?) that the teacher is going to be mad at them about it. I have 4, 2 of which are still in high school. I was never able to afford all the name brands, and truthfully, cheap scissors work as well as Fiskars for cutting paper. Fabric, no, paper yes.

My personal peeve is the teacher that requires vast projects that all have to have computer printed images and won’t accept the drawn or cut out images or a neatly handwritten paper because “COLLEGES require computer generation”. Hello they are not in college. Ink is expensive. The sheer amount of ink used in pictures is enormous. Why can something not be done in neat handwriting on a pre college level?

My kids had a Spanish teacher last year that assigned projects.Ok. fine, but all of them cost money. One was go out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner with your friends and order in Spanish. One was make a music video!! Hello- those are not teaching Spanish.My favorite…sponsor a needy child in a Hispanic nation..Now, how is that teaching Spanish? When I asked the teacher about it, she said it was about Spanish culture, not just the language. Oh, one more thing-they had to paint a ceiling tile that the teacher would keep. On the rubric, it point blank said that if it was not pretty enough, it would not be given credit. ERRRHHHH. This woman lives across from my MIL and it is all I can do to not go yell at her.

Government School

July 20th, 2011
9:51 am

@ Realist

Our third President also stated:

“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

The wolves need to be taken down and liberty needs to ring again!!!

grits1am

July 20th, 2011
10:47 am

There is one Cobb elem. school where the 2nd grade teachers are asking for:

New or gently-used: football, soccer ball, playground ball, frisbee, jump ropes

reward trinkets ($1 store items are perfect), assorted band-aids, sidewalk chalk, back-up class snacks (i.e. boxes of animal crackers, granola bars, cereal bars, etc.)

Really???

Super Dad

July 20th, 2011
11:20 am

granola bars!!! I’m calling the Nut Allergy Gestapo on that school.

motherjanegoose

July 20th, 2011
3:52 pm

grits1am…If I knew where this school was, I would gladly donate. Any tips?
I once sent a box of books to a poorer school, where the teacher was just starting out. I paid the shipping charges too. Glad to help!

grits1am

July 20th, 2011
5:35 pm

motherjanegoose – the school is not a poorer school, and interestingly enough now only one teacher has all the items I listed still on their blog. I have been to events in the gym and other parts of the school and the school has plenty of balls, jump ropes, etc. What I really do not understand is the need for all this extra stuff when it is readily available in the school.

Cobb MS Teacher

July 20th, 2011
6:20 pm

@grits1am – I’m guessing the balls, chalks, and other things may be for recess – the PE department’s supplies aren’t used for recess – they’re used for PE. Most teachers aren’t going to use either their school’s or personal classroom budget for those things, I would imagine. I don’t see anything wrong with asking for used stuff like that – I gladly donated a ton of my kids’ old stuff when they grew out of it. Seemed a shame to throw it away.

Reward trinkets are generally used for “Treasure Chests” a common tool for behavior managment at the elementary level. Kids earn tokens for a trip to the treasure chest, usually by going above and beyond either behaviorally or academically. As a MS teacher, I don’t use that type of things, but I used to help stock my children’s teacher’s TCs when they were in elementary. Whether that type of token economy is a good idea or not is a topic for another day, lol.

Band-aids are not generally supplied by the school – the teacher could possibly use some classroom money to purchase, but most end up buying their own if parents don’t supply them.

I’m sure the back-up snacks are for the kids that forgot or simply didn’t bring snacks, We have been constantly reminded in my Cobb school for the last couple years about the economy, and not to assume that because a child has a certain address, that things are all right at home. We’ve been told to be careful what we ask for, and to keep the economy in mind as we make our supply lists. At the same time, we have had our pay cut and our classroom budgets slashed. As I’ve heard so often the last two years, “Welcome to the New Normal.”

Vanessa

July 20th, 2011
8:21 pm

www.honeyfern.org

July 21st, 2011
9:11 am

For HoneyFern, you bring yourself and a laptop if you have one. That’s it. Everything else is included. Makes everyone’s life easier! :)

Leigh

July 24th, 2011
10:52 am

As a K teacher, I DO NOT share supplies, unless it is tissues, hand sanitizer, paper towels, etc. Last year, I had one or two kids using their broken crayons from September through May. Some of them only had two colors left by the end of September! If you are unable to take care of your items, you certainly will not be given the chance to break someone else’s things!

They each have a plastic pencil box and their glue, crayons, etc. go in there. I only give them what they need. For example, they get their whole box of 24 crayons, and about 3 pencils in the box. They get scissors (if they can handle it) and one glue stick. All their other items go in a large ziplock bag, labeled with their name, in my closet. When they need more supplies, I get it out of their bag. If they run out, I politely ask Mom for more. If she can’t buy it, oh well. I have extra crayons (used for many years so they are not the best and newest) and extra glue and pencils that the child can borrow if needed, but it goes back on my shelf at the end of the lesson.

Also, I agree with the posters who said buy what is on the list. Crayola is much better than Roseart or Target brand. They last a lot longer. Elmer’s is much better glue than Wal-Mart. We try and make our list as simple and short as possible. We know parents are strapped for cash right now!