Dear, dear friends.
I’m sure you’ll understand if I take five minutes of your precious time to rant about the Going Back To School Supply List.
Why, why, why do they do this to us parents each year?
I am a seasoned back to school shopping mom.
I can traipse up and down every one of those overly crowded aisles in Super Target without batting an eye.
I can flip through my 4 page typed list of necessary school supplies for my 7th grader, checking off each item as I toss it into my buggy without bumping into a single person in those overly crowded aisles:
Pencils — 2 boxes (minimum) ( That’s just for one teacher. So really, should I send in 8 boxes total???)
2 inch binders
3 inch binders
cap erasers (pack)
white out (tape kind)
colored pens (“No yellow please!” WTH??? Who even knew they made yellow pens!)
dictionary and thesaurus
personal pencil sharpener
folders to go in the 3 ring binders
tab divide folders
loose leaf paper
personal reading books (daily)
required reading books (there’s 4!)
Oh and by the way, honor students can’t use that calculator you just purchased, but thanks for buying it anyway.
Here’s the Homeroom “Minimum” Supply List for the 7th grader:
Tissue- minimum 2 boxes
Wet wipes – minimum 2 containers
Paper Towels – minimum 2 rolls
Gallon sized baggies – minimum 1 box
Hand sanitizer – minimum 1 container
Pencils – minimum 2 packs (WHAT is up with these pencil requirements???)
And the “Optional Wish List” for the 7th grader:
colored copy paper
Post-It easel chart paper
project paper – the requirements: heavy weight, white or beige only, 12×18″ but would love to have larger sizes, but “I can be flexible”…in which part are you going to be flexible, may I ask???
glue sticks (extra)
extra pack of pencils!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (<—14 exclamation points. They do love their pencils and their exclamation points!)
snack size candy
No worries my dear friends.
I hired a sherpa to help Grey schlepp all of this in on the first day, especially since he had to walk a mile… uphill… in a blizzard… to get there.
As Grey was getting out of the car on the first day with his bulging backpack and 2 Target bags: “Mom, why did you buy all of this optional stuff?”
Me: “Honey, that’s just the required stuff. I haven’t even made it to the optional list yet!”
Sisters, let me tell you, I have this back to school shopping thing down. D-O-W-N. But I hate every single thing about it.
I hate what it stands for…
Do our kids really need this much crap in order to succeed in school? Oh hell no.
I remember when my mom bought me a Trapper Keeper, a couple of notebooks, pencils, and crayons and sent me on my merry way. My mom did not spend several hundred dollars on necessary back to school supplies.
And the money I’ve tallied up so far doesn’t include lunch boxes, water bottles, backpacks, clothes, shoes, eye glasses, and lunch fixings.
Nope, that’s how much I’ve spent on two kids’ school supplies.
I hate how it separates the ones who can afford it and the ones who can’t (or won’t)…
Don’t you know some kids are embarrassed because their parents can’t (or won’t) buy the $18 zipper 3 ring binders that the teachers are “suggesting”?
Don’t you know that some kids are lucky to have clothes that fit and food in their bellies?
Don’t you think this is teaching our kids to be consumers instead of learning to make do with the basics?
Here we go again…
Today I went back to Office Depot one more time.
Once again I traipsed up and down the aisles looking for those “things that don’t exist” on the 5th grader’s supply list.
This list was handed out on Monday, our first day of school. And since Reid had most of the stuff on the list, I didn’t feel the need to rush out to buy the remainder. But last night, the poor fella told me that all of his classmates (and everyone in school) already had their zippered 3 ring binders.
And guess what? He was right.
How do I know this?
Because Office Depot, just like Super Target, only had a few left to choose from. And most of those were $26 or more!!!
OMG. Are you kidding me???
I finally found one for $18 on sale. In the right color. That met all of the requirements. Whew!
Six plastic folders, a pencil pouch, and an extra long art box finished off the list. And this shopping spree? $49.
School fees… Can’t forget those! $25 for the 5th grader and $35 for the 7th grader with possible additional fees if he is in chorus, band, or art– which is required by the way!
Let’s not argue about this…
Before you start arguing about teachers having to pay for this stuff out of their own pockets, let’s get one thing straight….
A few weeks ago, the state of Tennessee approved a $60 MILLION, two year contract with a company for standardized testing.
SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS.
Our tax money hard at work. My kids can ace these tests, yet I still feel they are a waste of time. That says a lot in my opinion.
Why can’t the state reroute some of that money to provide classrooms with what they need??? To give teachers the raises they deserve? To add more buses and drivers so our kids don’t have to get picked up and dropped off so late when we live 4 miles from the school because the same bus drivers are doing multiple routes in this small area?
So friends and teachers, instead of explaining why it’s our responsibility as parents to send enough school supplies for a third world country, why don’t you write your local school board, your state’s governor, and the POTUS, and tell them enough is enough. They need to supply your freaking classrooms like they should be doing in the first place instead of wasting on money on standardized testing.
Then we can all be friends again. And the school year can start off on a happier note. With more money in all our pockets. And a whole lot less stress. Amen.