School Supply List

16 Jul

We just picked up the school supply list for our daughter who will be entering Kindergarten this fall. What a shock!

1 Book bag or backpack/NO wheels
2 Box Crayola Crayons (24 count)
1 Box Crayola Crayons (16 count)
1 Box Crayola Crayons (8 count)
3 Pkgs. Thick washable magic markers (basic colors)
1 Pkg. Thin washable magic markers
2 Pk. #2 yellow pencils (do not put name on)
1 Pkg. Pencil top erasers
1 Small plastic school box
1 Set of watercolor paints (Crayola or Prang)
8 Glue sticks (Do not put name on them)
1 Box of Colored Pencils
1 Dry erase marker (Expo brand/not yellow)
1 Old sock marked w/ name
2 Wide-lined single subj. spiral notebooks
1 Small plastic rest mat
GIRLS – 1 package gallon zip lock bags
BOYS – 1 package 9 inch paper plates
*$4 for B.E.E. folder *$5 for Weekly Reader

Can you believe this! I taught 3 years in public school, one year in elementary grades. I taught art classes. The amount of crayons she is asking for I had budgeted for an entire CLASS in one year, not one STUDENT. Classroom teachers have a budget in order to purchase classroom supplies. The trend is now to force parents to supply the entire class. The argument is that there are students who cannot afford supplies and so the teacher pools all the supplies for the entire classroom to use. Well, I don’t know about you, but we can’t afford to supply an entire classroom. There are more reasonable alternatives to this problem. For example, include on the list the option for parents to donate specific supplies for lower income students. Another argument is that students use up or lose their supplies in the middle of the school year and the parents don’t replace them. Okay. You cannot expect a Kindergartener to remember to replace supplies. But the point is that they will never learn this responsibility if not given the chance. How hard would it be to send a little pre-made note home to inform the parents of the need to replace markers, or pencils, or whatever.

This extensive list is also a sign that the teacher is not using her classroom budget effectively. How much of her budget did she spend on those cute little paper cutouts for the bulletin board or for paper birthday crowns and interactive calendars or other unnecessary stuff? Why can’t parents volunteer to make decorations for the bulletin boards? I know that I spent my time making those items instead of spending the extra money to purchase them.

I remember going to school with one box of crayons, markers, and pencils that would last several YEARS. Now parents are forced to replace these supplies each year only to have them confiscated by the teacher to be shared with the rest of the class. This is an unnecessary and unfair burden on parents. Use your budget wisely and don’t expect parents to stock your cabinet.

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