What’s On Your Child’s School Supply List?

Well folks, we are almost one week into August already and as much as some of us are in denial, it is that time again.  It’s time to start getting our little ones (and not so little ones) ready for the new school year.  And in some areas across the country, school is already in session.  I remember growing up as a kid in elementary school, and the school supply list being pretty short and standard.  You know, a back pack, a couple of number two pencils and a binder.  Paper towels and reams of copy paper were definitely NOT on the list…and especially not in kindergarten.  But boy have times changed!  Instead of solely focusing on saving for a college tuition, it seems that parents nowadays need to set aside a “Grade School Fund” for supplies, field trips, school activities and all of the birthday parties they get invited to in between.

I don’t know about you, but my kids aren’t even out of pre-school yet, and we’ve already spent what feels like a college tuition on birthday parties (theirs and others), school related events, pre-school tuition, etc.  This is one time I’m truly thankful that we’ve never had to send our kids to daycare because that is a whole other fund in and of itself.

But seriously, maybe there are some teachers out there that can fill me in because I really have no clue.  What is up with these massive school supply lists?  I understand there being budget cuts, but are they going to be asking students to bring in their own desks and chairs next?  Here is one list I found through a google search (although I won’t need to worry about it until next year thanks to Maryland’s loser law about turning five by September 1st): Kindergarten packing supply list.

A fourth grader’s school supply list (2011-2011): www.momsncharge.com

A good friend of mine also posted on her Facebook page last year what her then fourth grader needed:  Disinfecting wipes? A kitchen sponge?  It’s one thing to ask for cleaning supplies, and yet another to actually command the brand you want parents to buy.  What if the parents can only afford the off-brand?!  At this rate, homeschooling is starting to become a more appealing alternative.  At least then, I’ll already have the cleaning supplies checked off the list.

For some folks, there is still time to take advantage of state-wide, tax-free shopping days.  And if you have school supply lists anywhere near what’s been mentioned, you can definitely use all of the breaks you can get.  The following states still have a chance to shop  tax free for a few days: Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico* (last day), Texas.  If your state is not listed, you may check here to find out more info: Tax free shopping days by state.

If you’re a parent, what are some of the oddest things you’ve seen on your child’s school supply list?  If you’re a teacher, I would love to hear your take on the modern day school supply list.  

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  • T. Espi
    August 7, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    That’s hilarious. They seriously specified the brands… Whoa. I pulled up the kindergarten supply list earlier this year and I thought the request for 10 glue sticks was a bit odd. I mean in addition to regular Elmers glue I thought it might be a bit much.

  • Drea
    August 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I wholeheartedly agree that the lists of school supplies have gotten out of control. What’s sad is that school education boards have cut funding for these basic items which is why the teachers are now forced to ask parents to bear the burden of these costs. I know many school teachers who spend hundreds on basic supplies for their classrooms. I feel for those who are unemployed or underemployed and also for people with multiple school age children.
    Anyone looking to save a bit of money, STAPLES is having a sale this week (at least in the NY area). Get ’em while their hot!

    • Christine St.Vil
      August 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Thanks Drea, it definitely is really sad that the money is not being spent in the school systems as it needs to be. And I definitely feel for teachers everywhere having to deal with this. But at the same time, there are a lot of families going through hard times, so being specific about which brands of items they need just may be a little much 🙂

  • Julian
    August 31, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Funny! I said the same thing about desks and chairs. And what’s even worse is that the government is set to cut $4 Billion (with a “B”) dollars from education in the coming months. And then we wonder why the U.S. is so far behind in Math, Science, Engineering and Technology. At this rate, we’ll have to not only outsource jobs that we don’t have the skills to compete, but I wouldn’t be surprised if outsourcing public education is next. Private school, here I come!

    • Christine St.Vil
      August 31, 2012 at 4:45 AM

      I completely agree. This is definitely scary, scary stuff. They are spending money on things they need to cut back on and cutting back on things they need to spend money on. Private school is definitely what the future of education will be. I mean, they currently have funding/student aid for it now so that should tell us something.

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