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Old 08-14-2013, 12:53 PM
 
3,084 posts, read 6,471,128 times
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Since my oldest is 31 and my youngest is 10, I've had kids in school since 1987 and have found only a couple of instances where they pooled supplies in the classroom. The vast majority of the time the kids provide a pencil box and keep their own pencils, scissors, crayons, glue stick and erasers in there.
They do pool the construction paper and manilla paper and that is probably the best way to make sure everyone has that when they need it.

Folders I've found to be assigned to subjects and used in the classroom without being sent home. The teachers provide a crate for each color like - blue folders for writing, yellow for spelling, purple for reading, red for math, green for science and orange for social studies. Or substitute composition books in place of folders. Some use binders instead. Whichever they choose is their means of organization for the class. In helping in classes over the years I've seen where there is one or two folder in a crate that isn't the same as the rest and it really is no big deal, but it also tells me the specified color were readily available.

As far as specific brands, my experience is that there are a couple of common reasons those are printed on the lists. First, the company who is providing prepackaged bulk school supplies that the parent can buy is likely using those specific brands and it just transfers over to the one sent out to parents. Second, the teachers know that a specific brand is of better quality and will last longer, like Crayola crayons vs Rose Art colors, and really would prefer those. When the teachers make the list, again in my experience, any brand specification is just a suggestion and they will happily receive any that are brought in.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:05 PM
 
1,025 posts, read 964,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
Do you buy all of the school supplies that are required by the school? Or, do you just buy the school supplies that you believe that your child will actually use?

Does it concern you that they generally get thrown into a community pot and shared by all of the students?

Do you find the amount you have to spend to get your kid ready for school to be "excessive"? How much of this is caused by school supplies and how much is attributed to clothes, shoes, etc?
1. Yes. I have never experienced something on the school's list that my child did not personally use. I also buy extras when the back-to-school sales offer 1 cent pencils and 25 cent packages of paper. I donate the extras to the teachers, and I try to help replenish those throughout the year when there are sales. It is such a small amount of money in the grand scheme of things.

2. My child has never had to put supplies in a community pot. Well, except for tissues.

3. No, I shop sales and keep within a budget.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:10 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,362,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
Do you buy all of the school supplies that are required by the school? Or, do you just buy the school supplies that you believe that your child will actually use?

Does it concern you that they generally get thrown into a community pot and shared by all of the students?

Do you find the amount you have to spend to get your kid ready for school to be "excessive"? How much of this is caused by school supplies and how much is attributed to clothes, shoes, etc?
Yes. We bought everything. Didn't concern me in the least that things got thrown into a community pot. In fact I often bought extras of some items for just that purpose. And we made a family project of that.

Not every kid comes from a family that afford the extras. Right now single subject notebooks are available for a penny each at Staples. When I saw something like that we bought as many as we could budget for.

Warning, lecture: I believe education is one of the greatest gifts we can give a child. I want a nation of strong, smart kids who have what they need to learn. I can't stand the thought of children being under-equipped because Mom and Dad are broke or Mom and Dad don't care and I believe it takes a village. I LOVE the dollar bins at Target. Dictionaries for a buck! Woo hoo. (Broke Mom may be in a position to do something else for my child. It all works out. )
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:11 PM
 
1,193 posts, read 1,469,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Neighbor was once again ranting about the school supply list. Some things are easily understandable like only blue or black ink, number 2 pencil for example. But some specify they want only blue ink or only black ink.
Some kids will try to write in like sparkly gold glitter pen or whatever. Or they'll write in red pen and complain they can't tell which markings are theirs and which are the teacher's on a graded, returned paper. Hence, blue or black ink is required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Some go so far as to specify a particular brand name (most expensive brand found in department stores) notebook.
This seems silly to me, but who knows. Maybe there's a good reason, or maybe they're just listing an example of what they're looking for and a generic of that would work fine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
've seen things on the list that wasn't on the list when I was in school like paper towels, hand sanitizer gel, and a huge amount of pens, pencils, and paper.
Trouble is, the school no longer provides these things for teachers. You can say, "Well, they should!" and most teachers would agree with you. However, the teacher has no control in this matter. That's up to lawmakers, principals, school boards, etc, all the people who control the budget. So, teachers can either ask parents to contribute by sending in these things for the classroom, or the classroom can go without them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Was more surprised when she told me the teacher collects all the supplies and keeps them for everyone in the class and that if minority students don't bring supplies, teachers say nothing. But if non-minority students don't bring supplies, they're ridiculed by the teacher for the student's parents not buying the supplies for the class (even though non-minority parents are just as likely to not be able to afford such huge amounts of supplies).
I'm guessing your daughter's version of events has been "enhanced" a little in order to make the story better. However, it is certainly true that you're always going to have a few kids who don't bring in or can't afford supplies. And really, what is the teacher supposed to do? Say that this kid can't have a kleenex out of the communal box because his mom didn't send in any? So the result is they have booger-y hands from wiping their nose with their finger and then go around touching all the doorknobs, getting your kid sick.

And really, the kids whose parents can't/won't send paper with them, I feel sorry for. No one gets to choose which family they're born into. Do you really think anyone would choose to be grow up in a household where they didn't have enough to eat or choose to have uninvolved parents? Either the parents are too poor to afford paper and can probably barely scrape by even getting food on the table, or if it isn't a financial issue, usually they just don't care much about their child's education and put little value in anything associated with school. Either is a sad, sad scenario and no fault of the child's. Is making sure they've got a piece of paper, a pen to borrow and a kleenex really that huge a deal? Or, on the flip side, would you rather the teacher not have a piece of paper and a pen to give them, so that they can go along with the lesson, and instead the result is they're bored and embarrassed, so they start acting like the class clown and prevent everyone else from learning? There is no perfect solution when a parent can't/won't provide basic supplies. Teachers are picking the best of the bad options.

Last edited by kitkatbar; 08-14-2013 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:35 PM
 
9,056 posts, read 6,731,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
Do you buy all of the school supplies that are required by the school? Or, do you just buy the school supplies that you believe that your child will actually use?

Does it concern you that they generally get thrown into a community pot and shared by all of the students?

Do you find the amount you have to spend to get your kid ready for school to be "excessive"? How much of this is caused by school supplies and how much is attributed to clothes, shoes, etc?
All of our supplies go into a pot. They are supplies for the teacher, so they can have the appropriate tools in the classroom.

Our school may not open if our district doesn't get 50 mil by Friday. I'm not concerned about buying a few communal packs of Clorox Wipes and a couple of boxes of tissues. If I could afford an Assistant Principal and a Counselor, I'd buy those too.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:44 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,866 posts, read 18,930,000 times
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When my kids went to brick and mortar schools (as opposed to the online school they attend now), I bought every school supply on the list.

I bought extras to send in after winter break. I wrote their names on everything, each individual marker, each folder, etc.

I asked the teacher once a month what the classroom needed, and sent in what I could. A lot of times they needed little things like googly eyes, beads or yarn. Another extra that teachers usually really appreciate are dry erase markers. You can buy big packs of them at Sam's for a good price.

About school clothes...I shop thrift stores and sales. The Goodwill stores here have kids clothes for $2 each, so for $100 I can buy enough clothes for them to go two months without repeating an outfit, if we feel the need to have that many. I also turn their outgrown jeans and pants into shorts and capris, so that we get another year or two out of them. I buy shoes new, and I used to buy a backpack for each of them each year, because we rode bikes to school and the backpacks get a little more wear that way than they do in the car.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:52 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,241,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
Yes. We bought everything. Didn't concern me in the least that things got thrown into a community pot. In fact I often bought extras of some items for just that purpose. And we made a family project of that.

Not every kid comes from a family that afford the extras. Right now single subject notebooks are available for a penny each at Staples. When I saw something like that we bought as many as we could budget for.

Warning, lecture: I believe education is one of the greatest gifts we can give a child. I want a nation of strong, smart kids who have what they need to learn. I can't stand the thought of children being under-equipped because Mom and Dad are broke or Mom and Dad don't care and I believe it takes a village. I LOVE the dollar bins at Target. Dictionaries for a buck! Woo hoo. (Broke Mom may be in a position to do something else for my child. It all works out. )
Amen, sistah!
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,499 posts, read 15,961,355 times
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I just got back from a major office supply store and their back to school sales were amazing. Each week they have a special 1 cent sale. This week it is buy one subject notebooks (maximum 8) for only 1 cent each. And, they don't notice/care if you stop by again later in the day (or walk right back in the store) and buy more notebooks.

Packs of 20 pencils for $1, glue for 25 cents, folders for 25 cents each, packs of 10 pens for $1, etc.

A few years ago I bought 15 boxes of brand name crayons for only 25 cents each (no limit on those) and still have many, many boxes left. BTW they make great inexpensive mini-gifts with a new coloring book. All kids LOVE a new box of crayons Why wait to buy them mid year when they are $3.50 or $3.75 a box. I was able to buy 15 for the price of just one later on.

I used to use a certain size bound (not spiral) notebook as Daily Communication Notebooks for my special education students. I knew that several different stores would always have them on sale for 50 cents each sometime in August. Why spent $4 or $4.50 each (their regular price) when you can buy them for 50 cents each? So I would just buy enough for my whole class.

Yes, if you have several children school supplies can add up but many parents just complain instead of looking for the sales and stocking up. There are 36 weeks of school. Can you really say that you can not afford 25 cents or 50 cents A WEEK to buy school supplies for your elementary age child?

Now calculators and such can be more expensive for high school students. How about using a piggy bank to collect $1 or $2 a week in loose change throughout the year and you will have it saved up for the next school year.

Sorry, for my vent but it is not a surprise that a new school year starts every August or September. People are not "surprised" that Christmas comes every December 25 why do they act surprised about school starting.

Sometimes, school supplies went into a "community pot" and other times they were for individual use. I also would buy extras during the fall sales to donate to the classroom later in the year.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:00 PM
 
501 posts, read 666,298 times
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I haven't found any school supplies that appear terribly outrageous, nor are the lists more than about $10 which I think should be affordable by most. I think most parents that complain about the cost of school supplies consider designer jeans to be school supplies, and designer jeans (etc) is where the cost lies.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,499 posts, read 15,961,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
I haven't found any school supplies that appear terribly outrageous, nor are the lists more than about $10 which I think should be affordable by most. I think most parents that complain about the cost of school supplies consider designer jeans to be school supplies, and designer jeans (etc) is where the cost lies.
Agree.

And, somehow being "forced to buy designer jeans" by their children as "necessary" school supplies goes back to blaming the schools for needing tissues and extra folders. Sheesh.
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