Monday, July 27, 2015

School Supply Shenanigans

I move much more slowly than I now than I normally did these days, but I am trying to get back on my feet again.  The chemo left me feeling weak and tired and while I am not interested in spending my life in one of those motorized wheelchairs right now, I have had to face reality and make adjustments.  My usual, night before, last minute frenzy of school shopping will not be on the menu for this year.  I've had to actually think ahead.

My son hasn't been happy about it, but I went ahead and ordered all of the special shirts for his school uniform that he will need.  They came in the mail in June.  I went online to download the school calendar, so that I might be aware of any school holidays or teacher workdays that may not coincide with my school calendar.  And I downloaded the school supply list, hoping to get those items purchased well before the first day of school.

And I had a minor coronary.  What in the name of Harvard were these teachers thinking?

Zane is going to be in the second grade. Still learning to read, not yet reading to learn. They need supplies, and the parents are expected to provide them.  We aren't supposed to label any of the supplies, so they will be communally shared.

I don't mind that.  I understand that second graders need pencils.  But 36 "special" Ticonderoga #2 pencils? Why not just generically random #2 pencils  Why does a seven year old child need that many pencils, anyway?  I still have a few pencils from high school.

And crayons.  I understand that elementary school students use crayons.  But Zane is supposed to have FOUR boxes of Crayola crayons.  As well as two boxes of Crayola washable markers.  And colored pencils.  How much coloring is a kid supposed to do to go through that many Crayolas?

I understand that kids get sick, and that kids can become little snot factories during allergy season.  Zane's school supply list calls for tissues.  But EIGHT boxes?   In a classroom of twenty children, that is 160 boxes!  Even in an allergy-prone area like ours, it seems excessive.

What I did not see on the school supply list was notebook paper, or spiral notebooks, or journals. I'm hoping that last year's group of second graders supplied that particular need.  Second graders need to write; it helps with eye hand coordination as well as learning.  Even if second graders do most of their work on iPads, they will still need to write.

Am I being unreasonable?   I don't think so.  When I added all the items to the Amazon basket, the total was around 150 dollars.  If this is how much second grade costs, I don't even want to think about high school!


  1. woah.. that is just so much ... but it is great that you are planning from before ...

  2. FYI - it does get more expensive....1 in HS (Senior) & 1 in 8th grade. What they don't tell you is that all that suggested not mandatory....because they will ask for more later in the year. Not everyone sends the stuff @ the beginning of the year. And yes...reg #2 pencils are fine. They all write the same don't they???

  3. 36 weeks of school and 180 boxes of tissue. Actually, 180 school days and 180 boxes, that will be one tough school year. That is a lot of crying and sneezing.
    I taught secondary but sometimes those lists blew me away. I wondered if a teacher authored any of them. I bought folders for students to use after a child whose grandmother bought him a $10 notebook for science class. It made me sick, I knew she had a tight budget. That is what crosses my mind when I see lists like that. What a burden on some families.

  4. That's insane! Whatever happened to 'needs basis' shopping? I don't buy all the tissues I'll need for the rest of the year all at once in REAL life - so why is this required for school? And pitching in for a communal supply virtually guarantees that anyone who buys the 'special' pencils is going to get diddled! But what would I know - look Mum, no kids!!

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  6. Aside from the $120 calculator in 10th grade...that is COMPLETELY optional (as long as you don't care if your child succeeds). That list is cuckoo! I like your theory about the leftover paper.


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