Can I get sarcastically serious with you all for a few minutes? What’s with the ridiculously long school supply lists? Maybe your children aren’t in school yet so you don’t know what I’m referring to so I will provide a visual for you.
That pencil box on the left is my actual pencil box from elementary school. I put all my supplies in it at one point and took it to school with me on the first day. That ginormous pile on the right is everything from my daughter’s supply list for kindergarten. I kid you not. I won’t even tell you how much it cost. It fills two grocery bags and wouldn’t fit in her backpack if I tried…let alone that tiny pencil box!
Here’s a few things I’ve noticed….
- The supplies my mom bought me were for me. If I ran out of pencils, I got a new ones (Lisa Frank preferred), if my glue stick dried up, I took a new one to school. The supplies I buy my daughter go in a big pile for everyone in her class to use. Which is fine, but it takes the joy out of her picking things out. Those princess notebooks and folders are just teasing her because she is required to have plain colors that look like everyone else’s.
- This also doesn’t teach her to take care of anything, because none of it feels like hers. When things are in a pile and it’s a free for all, I don’t think kids are as responsible so things get torn up more easily. Maybe that’s why each kid is asked to bring 3 boxes of crayons and 10 glue sticks.
- Does the school not provide anything for teachers? We all know their pay sucks and they spend a lot of their own hard earned money on our kids, but each kid being required to bring 2 reams of paper means the teacher would start with 40 reams of paper. If that runs out do they not get any more? And I’m providing Lysol wipes and Kleenex? Is that not in a school budget? Who is taking care of our teachers?
- What happens to the leftovers? I’m providing 24 pencils and IF every child brought the required list that’s 480 pencils in a class. Do they really go through that many in a year? And if there are 200 leftovers does the teachers really want 480 more the next year? Is she hoarding pencils so she can sell them and try to make up for her crappy salary?
- Why must we be brand specific? If I’m having to buy 3 packs of crayons, can’t I save some money by buying the cheapo brand instead of Crayola?
I really don’t mean to rant or sound like a know-it-all-parent that likes to reminisce about the good ole days when we had to walk to school 5 miles in the snow. I’ve never been a teacher or worked in a school so I don’t pretend to know the challenges they face. I’m very grateful for my child’s school and her teachers. I mainly just noticed the hilarity in the comparison between mine and my daughter’s amount of school supplies, and it made me wonder a few things. I know many schools have a policy to just pay the teacher $20 and they provide the supplies for each child. I think at this point I would gladly prefer that method!