Saturday, August 21, 2010

Autumn's Yearly School Supply Rant

I'm happy to say at least for 1st grade, the school supply list wasn't two sheets long. (Yes China Spring Tx Jr. High, I still think you were the most abusive school supply list EVER. EVER.)

Haven't seen the high school needs yet -- but have seen the bill I'm getting for the teen's classes.


Not kidding.

Most of it is legit and I have to problem with. The money for choir is for the uniform. No problem. Chemistry has a lab fee. No problem. Spanish has a workbook fee. That's kind of iffy to me. But since its a consumable workbook and not the text book, I guess I get that.

Now the $20 you have to pay for the privilege of attending school? It will get paid if they give me an itemized statement and show me what I'm being billed for. I pay my taxes buddy. And public school is a right and a requirement..which means I don't have to pay for my children to walk into the building. Oh..and that whole "if you don't pay, you don't get your child's report card"? Keep it. I could actually care less. I don't need a copy on file. It just makes that folder fatter. It serves no true purpose in my life. Any school my kid moves to won't accept the info from me anyways...they are going to request it from you and you are going to give it to them.

But here's this years elementary rant..

1. Community supplies. I'm sorry, I have no problem buying my child her supplies for school. I do have a problem supplying someone elses. And that is completely due to current finances. When we aren't strapped I don't have problem helping with a fund for those that have no money. But to tell me they are taking away everything I pay for? Because not everyone can pay?

What???? Sounds like old school communism to me.

Total disagree on that one.

And the multiples we are to provide? Its not because my child will use that much stuff. It's because of those that don't provide anything. theory its really nice, but in actuality I should not be carrying someone elses child without choice. I pay my taxes which means I'm ALREADY paying for those that don't/can't contribute.

2. Specific brands.

Not only will they take everything away from my daughter to give it to others -- they demand specific brands. And if its not that brand they will not accept it.

No problem.

Because here's how I handle that.

We are asked for a specific brand (and color array) of say...dry erase markers (tell me my child will be using those!!!!!) . Now I would not buy myself this brand they require as they are over priced, in my opinion, and there are several more economical choices for me to choose from. So, if I wouldn't buy it for myself -- I won't buy it for the school. And since they won't accept what I would buy for myself, they get NOTHING. Yep. They get no dry erase markers from me.

And no, I don't feel the least bad or guilty about this. They don't get to tell me how I spend my budget....I DO. I'm responsible for getting all the bills paid and budgeting our money to make it last until next paycheck. When they give me the money for school supplies, I will happily buy their favorite brand. Until then -accept what I would buy myself, do without or buy it yourself.

Now, if we are talking about a brand that is literally .02 more than what I normally buy...I'll spend and extra 2 cents. I'm not totally inflexible. But it has to be within reason. And my money means I decide what within reason is.

12 glue sticks???? Really? My child will use MORE THAN one a month in your class??? Not buying it (although I am providing it).

And the 20 pencils -- no problem. But that sharpened part????? Hahahahahahahah! I'm supplying your supplies so YOU supply the labor baby. No, I don't feel bad about you sharpening 400 pencils. You know you are asking for too many anyways - so deal.

3. The crazy list of non-traditional stuff!!!

Some of this I totally get. The boxes of Kleenex....we need to provide those for the teacher. Someone always has a runny nose.....and that equals spreading germs. I'd rather see it handled and contained than passed on. I'm even happy to send in more boxes half way through the year -- my brand choice. And the whole keep them home if they are sick thing -- get real. Most people are not in a position to actually do that. Their bosses will accept a call from the school -- but not a call in.

And if we get asked to send in toilet paper (not kidding this is happening in some schools), I'm sending my kids with little pocket Kleenex's they can carry on their person. I am not wiping someone else's butt. Nope. Not happening. I can't even seem to keep up with the supply just form my own family!! LOL!!

Various sizes of zip lock type bags? Seriously? I am very confident my child can get a full education without ever using a baggie. Very confident. And they aren't even good for the environment! This should not be on my list. They have backpacks. Put whatever it is you need to send home in the backpack.

Paper towels? Ummm....we MIGHT use 2 rolls a year in my household of 4. They are wasteful. And they are something that would be considered an office supply -- for the school system. This should not be on my list.

Wet Wipes????? Soap and water baby. Its worked for generations. Hand Sanitizer? That should be optional. Send it in if you want but it should not be required. Its even debatable whether these are actually safe for our kids.

And finally -

I buy about 99% of my supplies from 2 different stores. If you have a list of supplies that is so crazy I'd have to go to more than are out of luck. I'm not burning my gas and adding mileage to my car to hunt down elusive supplies. Not happening.

And when they run out of the requested colors of folders and get what you get. I'm not running all over town to hunt down that yellow plastic pocket folder. I did that once and it will NEVER happen again. Get out one of those great markers I had to send in and color it to suit yourself.

So how about you guys? What is the craziest thing on your list? And what is the most expensive?


  1. I laughed throughout this post, but also nodded my head furiously at a few points. Because you are SO right.

  2. I won't comment too much.... but are you SURE you have to send her? (either of them, for that matter) JK
    Have fun shopping!

  3. LOL Bethy! Homeschooling is far more expensive than my school supply lists!!!!!!

    Plus MM HAS to be forced to interact with other adults. I had planned on homeschooling her but her lack of social skills pretty much forced me to put her in the public schools (cant afford private). She would literally never talk to anyone but those within her 4 walls if we didn't work so hard to pull her out of her shell.

  4. just a teeeeny weeeeeny defense on the dry erase markers. While I can certainly say that the asking for a particular brand is crazy, as a former teacher my students used the dry erase markers all the time. And it cut out on using as many pencils and as much paper when they could write scratch work/class practice on white boards and erase rather than use tons of paper.
    Teachers definitely need and use dry erase markers. My allowance each year for classroom supplies was pretty much spent on ink cartridges, printer paper, and maybe one new fun thing for the room. It was sad.
    I don't teach anymore, I homeschool my kids, ha ha. just wanted to share a little bit of the other side.
    I agree with you though. And yeah, a lot of times only 3-4 kids out of the entire class brought everything on the list anyway.
    OH, the pencils??? Yeah, they do use that many..HA! Especially if they are allowed to use the pencil sharpeners on their own! :)

  5. Carrie -

    Thanks for the input. My older kids never used dry erase markers in their class rooms so I really had no ideal that the kids were using them now. And it does make sense when you look at the waste it can cut down on.

    And no kidding on the pencils???? 20 in a year? That's amazing. We got 6 each year growing up and they lasted all year...and I usually had left-overs.

    (And I had to giggle at the especially if they sharpen them on their own!!! I bet teachers hate that!)

  6. It's sad use that many pencils. It's mostly waste because kids aren't taught to take care of their own stuff...they just lose things all the time, throw them away, drop them in the hallway..etc. They just disappear into wasteland. :(
    Oh, AND get sharpened to death. ha ha ha! If I could type out the sound of a pencil sharpener here I would...but no amount of combination of typed letters could possibly imitate the high level of annoyance!

  7. Just another reason I think you're great, Autumn - you tell it like it is...and I agree!