talk to me about scholastic book orders - Mothering Forums
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Learning at School > talk to me about scholastic book orders
indigenousmama's Avatar indigenousmama 05:29 PM 10-22-2006
hi there. my dd just started junior kindergarten this year and i am new to the scholastic book orders. we placed our first order this month, we got a ton of books at great prices, but i was wondering if anyone can enlighten me on how the school benefits from this. i know they get supplies for the classroom, but what kind of things? anything else i should know about these book orders?

billie-jo

shelbean91's Avatar shelbean91 07:26 PM 10-22-2006
The classroom gets a point for every dollar spent and then can redeem the points for books/supplies for the classroom. They can be books for kids to read, reference books for the teacher to use, etc.
BlueIrises's Avatar BlueIrises 12:43 AM 10-23-2006
I am a teacher and I love Scholastic book orders. It is a great way to get books dirt cheap. I have built up my personal library at home and my classroom library through using them over my 8 years of teaching.

Schools/classrooms don't get anything but bonus points for the orders. They are kind of like airline miles. For every dollar spent by parents, the teacher earns one point and many of the orders give double and triple points. The points can then be used for orderin more children's books, teaching materials, or supplies or if you save them up over time, teachers can get cameras and stuff.

I personally don't use the points for profit. I tell the parents in the beginning of the year that their investment into the books is two-fold...1, their child gets books to help them grow as readers, and 2, I use all the points I earn to get books my students want in the classroom library (so long as they are not SpongeBob and other junk books).

It really is a great resource...you can get chapter books for $.95 when it is $4.95 at B&N...
karen ann's Avatar karen ann 03:16 PM 10-23-2006
You already got the basics about how the Scholastic orders help the classroom.

My only advice is to pace yourself with them. You'll (most likely) be getting them monthly. I will let my DS buy what he chooses with his own money, but I limit how much I will buy for him, just because he loves books and would probably want one of each from every flier.

They can be a good tool to teach your kid(s) about budgeting, price comparisons, etc. (even math by having them figure put how much they can afford to buy with X dollars, how much each book is in the bundle packs). And they do offer a lot of good values on good books.
Elyra's Avatar Elyra 03:24 PM 10-23-2006
Definately pace yourself. We get the order forms every 4-6 weeks. I generally choose at least one seasonal book, one family book, a book for the younger kids, and then my oldest may pick one. Then like this month, he was able to buy extra goodies with his own money. He loves to get the activity sets. I have been a big fan of Scholastic for a long time.
CarrieMF's Avatar CarrieMF 08:25 PM 10-23-2006
We like them but don't order often, I get 3 different sets of order forms each month because my kids are all in different age ranges. The playschool usually has the youngest and then some of the older ones which i like because then I can order for the older 2 and they won't know because I pick them up out of my dd's mailbox. Whereas at the school they're given to the kids unless you write a note and the teacher reads the note and remembers when the books arrive.

The school here also has a Scholastic bookfair at the beginning of the year(it was last week).
xmysticprincessx's Avatar xmysticprincessx 08:47 PM 10-23-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
The school here also has a Scholastic bookfair at the beginning of the year(it was last week).
our school has a scholastic book fair coming up. however, i think the books at the bookfair are normally full price. (its been a little while since i went.) the school does earn points or free books, but i dont know how many points they get per dollar spent or book sold.
orca's Avatar orca 02:16 AM 10-24-2006
The book fair prices are the same as the catalogues. The only difference with the fair is that the Librarian gets the bonus coupons, not the classroom teacher. The bonus structure is different each month with the catalogue and the fair provides the lowest reward structure of all. The biggest “hassle” months have the greatest rewards. September, December and June usually can get a bonus of 30-50% for the teacher, PLUS free picks. The other months average around 10%. Also, in Canada, if a teacher makes a minimum monthly order each month they get a bonus of $100.00 to spend on products at the end of the year. My favourite Scholastic event ever is the warehouse sale. Talk about crazy!! : I’ve picked up books on tape (with the tape/CD for one dollar etc.) Lots of fun! The ads for the sales usually are posted in staff rooms. If you know a teacher get her/him to photocopy the invite. Usually they are around the end of the year when they want to clear out the unsold stock from the school year. BTW, anyone can go, you just need the invite.
indigenousmama's Avatar indigenousmama 06:52 PM 10-24-2006
thanks everyone for your responses!

i can definitely see that i will have to pace myself with the orders, the prices are just too good to pass up.

cheers! :-)
Thalia the Muse's Avatar Thalia the Muse 06:54 PM 10-24-2006
It is definitely easy to run wild with the Scholastic catalog! There's some junk in there (lots of product tie-in books), but also some wonderful stuff.

My only gripe about Scholastic is that it takes SO LONG to get the books. We just did our first kindergarten order, and it took about three weeks. Amazon has spoiled me; I want my stuff NOW!
meowee's Avatar meowee 09:45 PM 10-24-2006
We just spent nearly $50 this month, but I ordered a roald dahl set, a science set, and a history set... and that was just the stuff I chose!
Flor's Avatar Flor 12:30 AM 10-25-2006
They also have great deals for teachers like last month my order was $20 and this thing popped up saying "Now you qualify for $20 in free books" I just had to chose what ever I wanted from the catalogue. They also have a 95 cent book every month and I buy a couple for my class each month. For the rest of the year, I have a coupon for free $10 worth of books for each month of the year that I place orders. Also, for Chirstmas, they have gift books that the kids don't see on their order form, but there were 4 to choose from at 95 cents each so the teacher can buy a present for each kid in the class. I did it.
hopefulfaith's Avatar hopefulfaith 09:00 AM 10-26-2006
I wish they had Scholastic book orders for adults! I wouldn't mind getting the latest and greatest Patricia Cornwall or James Patterson for $1.95 ...!!

That was how my mother did "rewards" -- good grades? good week? Here, you've got $5 to spend on the book order. Go at it.

I loved book orders.
flyingspaghettimama's Avatar flyingspaghettimama 03:26 AM 10-28-2006
I like them - but you do get what you pay for. The binding isn't usually of a high quality (whether hard or paperback), and the books don't last as long as a normally-purchased book. I've particularly noticed this with the picture books.
Liz's Avatar Liz 01:22 PM 10-28-2006
I have two problems with Scholastic:

1. They have a monopoly and I don't think the schools get enough back for giving them that monopoly. They would not be in business were it not for the deal they have with the schools (and it seems to be North America wide). That is worth millions of dollars and teachers are getting what, $10 a month? This is only my gut feeling and I'd love to be proven wrong, so please enlighten me if possible.
2. Licensed products. When I was a kid (insert old biddy sniff here), there was no TV show licensed stuff in the Scholastic catalogue. It was all really high quality content. Now it is difficult to tempt my son away from the Spiderman crap.
cumulus's Avatar cumulus 03:42 PM 10-28-2006
Scholastic's monopoly and other practices got are covered in from Born to Buy (author is JB Schor):

"While it enjoys a reputation as a benign, educationally based company, Scholatic is a $2 billion giant that has been one of the leading and most aggressive forces for introducing corporate influence into schools through its sponsored curricula, licensed products at fairs, and sales of toys and other products on its book order forms... A recent order form includes four different Nickelodean sections selling Sponge Bob figurines, cars and stickers."

A "sponsored curricula" entails a corporation's development of educational programs. "Kellogg's breakfast curriculum presents fat content as the only thing to worry about when choosing breakfast food." Scholastic has a staff of "forty professionals dedicated to in-school marketing" and tells corporate clients it can do brand building through "marketing programs."
CarrieMF's Avatar CarrieMF 08:09 PM 10-28-2006
We haven't had any problems with the books falling apart from Scholastic and I've been buying them for 5 years.
Elyra's Avatar Elyra 08:25 PM 10-28-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
We haven't had any problems with the books falling apart from Scholastic and I've been buying them for 5 years.
Me either. I mean our favorites are well loved and falling apart, but so are the ones from the big book stores too. Actually my Shel Silverstien series has held up better than I expected since we read from those almost daily.
flyingspaghettimama's Avatar flyingspaghettimama 10:52 PM 10-28-2006
Hmm. I noticed the fall-apart-book problem as a school librarian, so perhaps it's different as a home user? I hated it when people donated scholastic books, because they'd just fall apart with heavy use within 6 months, so it was frustrating to do all the cataloging, etc...only to have them trashed.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 10:53 PM 10-28-2006
I've bought lots of them through my hsing coop and they are fine as far as quality goes. Good prices and they offer lots of great specials on hard covers. I've never once bought a character book, we are just not into that sort of thing, but I have bought some nice history and Kingfisher books (which my local indie often does not have).

Plus, they have so many books-- their catologs are like amazon.com but wthout the shipping $. They have so many titles-- just everything. I buy a lot of books used and many from my local indie place, but I have found scholastic offers some very obsure titles that my local indie store just doesn't even carry. Book stores tend to have large slections of adult books, but a much more modest collection of books for children.

I think Amazon is like the Walmart of books (and pretty much everything else lol) and Scholastic is sort of like the Target. Bad, but not as bad.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 12:03 AM 10-29-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
Hmm. I noticed the fall-apart-book problem as a school librarian, so perhaps it's different as a home user? I hated it when people donated scholastic books, because they'd just fall apart with heavy use within 6 months, so it was frustrating to do all the cataloging, etc...only to have them trashed.
Oh, for sure libraries need library bindings! No question.

Scholastic is for the home- user. Although I have found their hardcover slections to be top quality.

Maybe you can donate the scholastics to children who don't have access to many books? Or maybe save some for story hour use by adults?

Some children have no books at all, and I would encourage people to donate these sorts of books to individual children rather than libraries or groups. How many children would love to own a book of their own?

We give the books we have outgrown to the local boys and girls club. We ask that they be given to the children to take home, and so far, it's been a really nice experience.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 12:05 AM 10-29-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by xmysticprincessx View Post
our school has a scholastic book fair coming up. however, i think the books at the bookfair are normally full price. (its been a little while since i went.) the school does earn points or free books, but i dont know how many points they get per dollar spent or book sold.
They are 50% off here.
Flor's Avatar Flor 09:29 PM 10-29-2006
I spend 10-20 minutes a month dealing with Scholastic (hand out forms, collect, place order on website), and in exchange I get 10 dollars-20 dollars a month in free books, plus lots of 95 cent books, so I don't feel like they are exploiting me, even if they are a monopoloy.
1xmom's Avatar 1xmom 09:35 PM 10-29-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
I spend 10-20 minutes a month dealing with Scholastic (hand out forms, collect, place order on website), and in exchange I get 10 dollars-20 dollars a month in free books, plus lots of 95 cent books, so I don't feel like they are exploiting me, even if they are a monopoloy.
:

Usually when our school has the Book Fair I volunteer a day and I get 20% off my order which is really nice. Especially at the spring one where it is buy one, get one free.
mommiesjunk's Avatar mommiesjunk 12:37 PM 10-30-2006
I think that for home use the books are a great bargain. My son gets $10 to spent. He bookmarks what he would like then we go over it together. After having some books for 6 years they still look great! He rotates what he reads before bed. They seem to work great for that since they are mostly shorter stories.
As for them falling apart in library use - hubby was a librarian for 5 years in college - he says that he would rather have a book that is used and loved and fall apart then have one never leave the shelf.
1xmom's Avatar 1xmom 12:55 PM 10-30-2006
Quote:
As for them falling apart in library use - hubby was a librarian for 5 years in college - he says that he would rather have a book that is used and loved and fall apart then have one never leave the shelf.
My dd has a book called "The Pigeon Find a Hot Dog" and she LOVED it so much she took it to school to share. She asked me if she could leave it there for the other kids to enjoy. I told her it's her book, and that is alright w/me. Her teacher told me all the kids love it so I can only imagine how it will look at the end of the year. She thought it was nice that my dd was generous enough to want to share the book w/the whole class.
Llyra's Avatar Llyra 01:10 PM 10-30-2006
Something else to think about with Scholastic:
When I was teaching, a lot of the kids in my classes came from very low-income families. Their parents would tell me quite clearly that they didn't have books in the house because books were a luxury they couldn't afford. The beauty of Scholastic for these families was that for a dollar or two, their kids could own a book of their own. My kids loved it-- they'd scrounge nickels and pennies from wherever they could, and at the end of the month they'd have enough to buy a book.

I do wish they'd leave out the non-book crap like stickers and cheap toys and stuff, especially the TV-tie-in stuff. Oh well.
Flor's Avatar Flor 03:52 AM 11-02-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
Something else to think about with Scholastic:
When I was teaching, a lot of the kids in my classes came from very low-income families. Their parents would tell me quite clearly that they didn't have books in the house because books were a luxury they couldn't afford. The beauty of Scholastic for these families was that for a dollar or two, their kids could own a book of their own. My kids loved it-- they'd scrounge nickels and pennies from wherever they could, and at the end of the month they'd have enough to buy a book.

I do wish they'd leave out the non-book crap like stickers and cheap toys and stuff, especially the TV-tie-in stuff. Oh well.
Same here. I almost tear up when one of my students brings in a baggie of nickles and dimes and their order form! Plus, if I see a student longingly looking through the pages too much, I sneak them a book.
Katie Bugs Mama's Avatar Katie Bugs Mama 10:55 AM 11-02-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz View Post
I have two problems with Scholastic:

1. They have a monopoly and I don't think the schools get enough back for giving them that monopoly. They would not be in business were it not for the deal they have with the schools (and it seems to be North America wide). That is worth millions of dollars and teachers are getting what, $10 a month? This is only my gut feeling and I'd love to be proven wrong, so please enlighten me if possible.
2. Licensed products. When I was a kid (insert old biddy sniff here), there was no TV show licensed stuff in the Scholastic catalogue. It was all really high quality content. Now it is difficult to tempt my son away from the Spiderman crap.
1)That's a good point about the monopoly. I hadn't really thought about it before.

2) I would prefer if there were no licensed products or movie/tv tie-ins. However, I never have trouble tempting dd away from them. I just flat-out tell her that I will not buy a book that features Barbie, My Little Pony, Dora, et al. And I tell her why. It's a good teaching opportunity.
Kate'smommy's Avatar Kate'smommy 11:12 PM 11-03-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1xmom View Post
:

Usually when our school has the Book Fair I volunteer a day and I get 20% off my order which is really nice. Especially at the spring one where it is buy one, get one free.
I volunteered this fall and was told that Scholastic was not offering any deals for volunteers, at least not at our school. The school gets some benefits, but I'm not sure it's enough for all the profits Scholastic made. The prices were not as good this year also.
I let each child choose one inexpensive book each month from the order forms, just because I want to encourage their excitement about books.
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