School Supply WOES! - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-05-2010, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are moving and till I can find another job money is tight. 3 of our 5 children go to school and the 2 youngest homeschool. So since we just decided to move, I started to look up the school supply lists for the 3 oldest. I am BLOWN AWAY with all the stuff they are asking for. I know that if I plan well, I might be able to get it all on sale, but it is going to take very careful planning and I will have to be on top of the store sales. I am not good watching for sales. I usually happen upon a good deal.

What annoys me most is all these supplies are either: a. Not really needed and so at the end of the year my child will come home with a notebook with only like 10 pages written on. Usually the teacher has all these great ideas, but they quickly fizzle out. or b. My child will have so much to keep track of that he will always be leaving things at school that he needs at home and finally he will just loose it all and I will be asked to buy more.

In many ways homeschooling is so much easier and can cost so much less. If I don't have the money we just make due with what we have and the internet is FULL of free stuff.

Ok I just need to vent. School supplies are the last think I want to be buying right now.
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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There's been a thread every week on slickdeals.net with a list of school supply sales by store and which are the best deals. Don't forget that WalMart, Target, Staples, and most other office supply stores price match.
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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It is shocking the amount of things students are expected to bring to school. DS is starting K this year and I have been told his teacher has no list

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Old 08-05-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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The list of school supplies needed in a lot of USA schools is very shocking. In Belgium everything is provided. Good luck finding supplies for cheap.

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Old 08-05-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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Last year at DD's school the parents were asked to send $40 for supplies. I think it was $50 for grades 4 to 6.

I don't know why more schools don't do this. Bulk purchasing allows the school to get the stuff cheap. It's saves parents a lot of time and hassle. The teachers can make sure all of the kids have exactly what they want them to have.

As far as I'm concerned, the system where everybody outfits their own kids only benefits Walmart and Office Max.

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:29 AM
 
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I know its not something the schools particularly like but around here parents just dont 'do it', They dont send school supplies. Yes their kids have pencils, pens but most else can be provided by the school/classroom. Need paper, oh ya- there is a whole box in the front of the room. Crayons, there are community bins in the class anyway. So bring your own pencil, lunchbox, bookbag and let the school deal with the rest.

In about 2 wks the fundraisers will start since school is starting this week here and most of those fundraiser packs will go back empty as well. parents are getting a backbone out here - its easier to say no when everyone is unemployed and there is just no money.

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Old 08-06-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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I know its not something the schools particularly like but around here parents just dont 'do it', They dont send school supplies. Yes their kids have pencils, pens but most else can be provided by the school/classroom. Need paper, oh ya- there is a whole box in the front of the room. Crayons, there are community bins in the class anyway. So bring your own pencil, lunchbox, bookbag and let the school deal with the rest.

In about 2 wks the fundraisers will start since school is starting this week here and most of those fundraiser packs will go back empty as well. parents are getting a backbone out here - its easier to say no when everyone is unemployed and there is just no money.
Sorry, but the school system doesn't have money, either. Even when students DO bring the supplies requested, most of the teachers end up spending a fair bit of out of pocket money on their own part to outfit the classroom and to provide supplies for anything beyond the most basic activities.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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Sorry, but the school system doesn't have money, either. Even when students DO bring the supplies requested, most of the teachers end up spending a fair bit of out of pocket money on their own part to outfit the classroom and to provide supplies for anything beyond the most basic activities.
absolutely. i get irked at the lists too and I get angry that I have to provide things like tissues and hand sanitizer and countless amts of notebooks, binders, folders, etc when I can't afford it. But the truth is, teachers spend hundreds of their own dollars on their classroom just for supplies, much less decorations for bulletin boards and curriculum and such. My mom was a teacher for 30years and we were SO poor growing up because she worked in a low income district and if the kids didn't bring it in, she would provide it for them so that everyone would get equal and get education and have supplies. So we went without so that her students could have supplies too. And it's no different today. Due to budget cuts and lack of desire to fund schools from the state and federal level, teachers are going without or providing it themselves. They are EXPECTED to chip in money for supplies, even when they really don't get paid what they deserve in the first place. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent correcting papers with my mother over the years or spending the last month before school started putting up bulletin boards or washing desks. My sister and I grew up in that school spending weeks of our vacation following my mom around waiting for the other teachers to bring their kids to play manhunt in the dark school while our parents set up classrooms for FREE essentially. So I do get it. I can't afford school supplies either and they ARE pricey and can get ridiculous, but teachers have to provide what you don't and it's not fair that they should provide the supplies for our children. The school district should provide more, absolutely. But they don't. So it is what it is.

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Old 08-06-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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In my area they give away school supplies free at the area food shelf. I think you may have to sign up here but not sure. If moneys that tight it may be worth giving them a call or else calling the school to see if they do something similar. One of my ds1's friends when he was little would receive a backpack full of supplies on the first day of school.
If you happen to notice while in local stores a big bin in front for donations, then someone somewhere in your town is distributing them.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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I don't know how widespread across the nation this is so check your own city but here in Dallas they provide free school supplies on the state fair grounds to low income families. People start lining up in the very early morning hours. In addition, for everyone else regardless of income there are dental and eye exams, haircuts and vaccinations. Local businesses provide all the supplies and free exams.
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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you might also want to just get the actual necessities that they need right now
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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Definitely see if there are any school supply giveaways in your area, I run an after school program and I am running the drive in my area. Or call the local food pantry and see if they know where you might be able to locate free supplies.

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Old 08-07-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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If you homeschool you can get "teacher" cards at the office stores, which ups your limit to 20 of the sale items. This makes it a lot cheaper to get the supplies they need and stock up on them for significantly less than you'd spend for even one or two of that item typically. Two years ago I bought enough pencils (one penny per twelve pack), elmer's glue (a quarter per half ounce bottle), notebooks (fifteen cents per book), crayons (a penny for the 24 packs and a dollar for the 64 pack), erasers (a penny for the toppers and a quarter for a four pack of big ones), etc, to last a few years. yes, I had to go with my family every sunday before church and get them while they were still there...but in the end I think I spent thirty dollars on three years of supplies. If you watch the ads, you will get those loss leaders at the office supply stores weekly, and you can just buy what is left at target/walmart/kmart/wherever you shop mostly on better priced than normal sale the week before school starts...but you should be able to get really good prices on most stuff on the list.

I don't like the $40 per kid deal...even not loss leader shopping for half of the stuff this year I spent under forty dollars for BOTH my kids for the stuff on their lists (and I had to buy SPECIFIC colors of folders and notebooks this year, which made it harder--I couldn't just grab a bunch of what was there, I had to look).

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Old 08-08-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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I have yet to spend $40 on school supplies for my soon to be first grade son. I stocked up on 20 cent 24pk Crayolas at Walmart a few yrs ago. This year, I bought extra of the 2pk Elmers Glue sticks so I'll have them for throughout the year rather than pay $2/pk when he runs out at some point during the school year. Just had to add some dry erase markers, 3-prong plastic folders to the cart at Walmart.

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post
Sorry, but the school system doesn't have money, either. Even when students DO bring the supplies requested, most of the teachers end up spending a fair bit of out of pocket money on their own part to outfit the classroom and to provide supplies for anything beyond the most basic activities.
Our school system gets a lot per student. I'm sorry that they aren't able to budget well, or that they waste a bunch of money on administrator's salaries, but parents shouldn't have to do fundraisers to make up for bad planning.

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Old 08-09-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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Yeah, this is a huge pet peeve of mine every year. The lists for my 2nd and 5th graders were HUGE this year, like they are every year- I spent $80+ on just the listed stuff for both girls. My kids attend public school. One thing I'm doing differently this year- I've written notes to their teachers, explaining that I did buy all of the listed supplies, but my girls will NOT be bringing everything on the 1st day. There is no way that my 5th grader needs 60 pencils on the first day of school. The same thing always happens here- the kids who bring all the supplies wind up "donating" them to the community pool and the kids whose parents don't send anything wind up sharing all of my kids' stuff. Then the teacher sends home a letter in January, asking for more supplies. I don't mind helping out, and I hate to see kids doing without when their classmates have all the supplies that they need. But I simply cannot afford to continue to buy supplies for other peoples' kids. And I'm so sick of the parents who send their kids to school sans supplies every.single.year knowing that "someone" will pony up and provide what they should be providing. When my girls run out of stuff, I'll send what they need the next day. But it's not all going that first day to get dumped into the community pile.

I do help our teachers out all year long- I bring in Kleenex, hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes, snacks, etc. often. The teachers know that all they have to do is tell me when they're out of something and I'll run to Costco. I don't want our teachers to spend money they really don't have to buy Kleenex and snacks for kids that aren't theirs. But I'm just not doing it with school supplies anymore.

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Old 08-09-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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Dollar store, sales, and coupons. I still have glue, crayons, pens and paper that I stocked up on last fall with back to school. Right now there are coupons for pens, and then many places have them on sale.

Dollar Tree is loaded with back to school stuff, my DD isn't in school, but I buy her art supplies this time of year.

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Old 08-09-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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. And I'm so sick of the parents who send their kids to school sans supplies every.single.year knowing that "someone" will pony up and provide what they should be providing. When my girls run out of stuff, I'll send what they need the next day. But it's not all going that first day to get dumped into the community pile.

I do help our teachers out all year long- I bring in Kleenex, hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes, snacks, etc. often. The teachers know that all they have to do is tell me when they're out of something and I'll run to Costco. I don't want our teachers to spend money they really don't have to buy Kleenex and snacks for kids that aren't theirs. But I'm just not doing it with school supplies anymore.
I completely agree!! My Kindergartener "needs" 20 glue sticks! 5 will go in his "box" and the other 15 go in a community pile. I would much rather buy what he needs and replenish throughout the year.

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