back to school part one

I updated the large family calendar by the front door today and realized that school is only a few weeks away. I don’t have Amy’s list yet, I won’t have Sarah’s supply lists (yes, plural) until the first week of school and Tommy’s teachers will only want money but I have Noah’s list. The list looks like this:

    1″ white, 3-ring binder (No Trapper Keepers!)
    10 #2 pencils (NO mechanical pencils)
    2 pks 6 dividers each
    1 wire bound composition book (wide ruled)
    1 highlighter
    1 roll paper towels
    2 boxes kleenex
    1 container antibacterial wipes
    1 box crayons (24 count)
    1 box washable magic markers
    1 set colored pencils
    6 pocket folders with prongs
    2 or 3 glue sticks
    1 protractor
    3 packages regular lined wide ruled notebook paper
    12 erasable red ink pens
    1 pair scissors
    1 package cap erasers
    Ruler with metric and standard markings
    12 individually packaged snacks (NO CANDY)
    1 paperback dictionary & thesaurus
    Emergency lunch money
    1 bottle of hand sanitizer
    1 12 pack of juice type drinks for incentive program
    Additional teacher requests

Some thoughts occur to me. First, every list we have ever gotten from every teacher has emphasized that trapper keepers are a no-no. I don’t know if those things are terrible or wonderful, but who gets to use them? Homeschoolers? Second, this is one of those times that I miss working. When I worked, my children had an endless supply of pencils. No, I didn’t steal them. They were all marketing materials from other agencies. As an embarrassment to my children, they advertised for things like, KAPPI (Knox Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiative) or Peninsula Behavioral Health (I’ve still got one of those green and white pencils on my desk). There’s still the hope of some freebies at the First Day Festival but past experience at the festival has not been very productive in the useful trinket department. Third, thanks to Aunt Jeni and Uncle Dean, we have notebook paper and spirals left over from last year. Yay! Fourth, they should just ask for multiple rulers right up front, because those things break constantly. Same with glue sticks. Fifth, erasable red ink pens are IMPOSSIBLE to find once school starts. I already know that I’ll end up going to a dozen stores in search of those dinosaurs. Sixth, the paperback dictionary will be overpriced, get torn up and never be used. I know this because it happens every year with my children and it happened every year when I was a student. Stop asking for it. Seventh, I hate the hand sanitizer. I’m sorry, I know that others love it, but I hate that slimy alcohol-smelling stuff. Eighth, notice that there’s no mention of something to actually store all this stuff. I guarantee that there will be a note the first week of school complaining that we should all be buying a specific type of pencil pack as well as a half dozen other items that the teacher forgot to include in a small effort to spread out the expense and horror of back-to-school. Ninth, I don’t know why I have to send the snack and drink rewards since Noah never, ever earns them. Noah is a wonderful guy, but teachers hate him. He’s reading instead of working. He’s rushing through his worksheets. He’s too wiggly. I do my part and talk to him about appropriate classroom behavior every single day, but just once I’d like him to have a teacher who allows him to be an active learner working at his level instead of a worksheet factory. Finally, what do they do with all those kleenex? I bet the teachers make tissue flowers every spring just to use up the boxes of tissue that are ignored in favor of shirt sleeves.

7 thoughts on “back to school part one

  1. Check your dollar store for paperback dictionaries. Ours always has them.
    My 13yo is starting high school this fall, now that will be interesting. From what I heard, in our district HS kids don’t get the supply list till the first day of school and they have to have all their supplies the next day. Needless to say I will be on call 24×7 on the day school starts… fun fun! I also heard that HS supplies are freakishly expensive… something about a $70 calculator. We already got his schedule in the mail and the classroom fees total $140… WTF?

  2. I will vent about the cost of going back to school very, very soon. Tommy’s high school fees are close to what you are facing and he’s not even an active student. Next year I’ll have two high schoolers, one of whom is very active in school activities. I expect her fees to be HUGE.

  3. School supply lists are annoying. I remember when I had my first Trapper Keeper (before they became contraband, I suppose). I don’t remember if it worked well or not.

  4. Would you really like to know why Trapper-Keepers are disliked by some teachers/schools? Same reason for offering uniforms. The theory is that kids feel bad when they don’t have the coolest Trapper Keeper like their friends, so they ban them for all.

    If you are not already signed up for it, Get a Staples Card and sign up for their e-mails. I got bunches of coupons from them. They also have a HUGE back-to-school sale every year where you can get a majority of your supplies dirt cheap. Combine that with the coupons and you will save a fortune.

    Buy a WOODEN Ruler… much less chance of breakage.

    Then one thing that scares me is Goldie’s suggestion above about using a Dollar Store to get a Dictionary. After all, if a word in the dictionary is mis-spelled, how would you know?

    As for the sanitizer, they are asking for WIPES, not the nasty gel. I like you, dislike the nasty feeling gel, but never travel anywhere without having a box of those wipes in the car.

    Paper Towels? For all the taxes we pay, can the school not afford basic supplies like paper towels? I mean, at least even that absorbent free, falls apart in your hand, sort of looks like craft paper, paper towels?

    What if you objected to giving kids food as a “reward”? Somehow I don’t think that this type of reward system is a good thing for children in the long term. But that could just be me.

    I could go on, but I think I will stop before I make your eyes bleed.

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