All I can say is, "Thank goodness for the "back to school tax-free week" in Florida!"
I got the school's supply list and my Staples back-to-school sale circular and headed out this afternoon. I thought the list was a little shorter this year, but it was more expensive. That blue thing under the boxes of pencils? That's a "zipper binder" and the cheapest one I could find was $13.00. It's actually a pretty cool thing (so much so that I got one for myself), but to REQUIRE it on a school supply list? For elementary school?! I miss the days when you just got the stuff you THOUGHT you needed and if you needed something else later, you went and got it. I don't remember supply lists when I was in school.
This year's list: 1 heavy duty pencil bag, 3 boxes of twelve Ticonderoga #2 pencils (please sharpen), 1 yellow highlighter, 1 box of Crayola Classic markers, 1 spiral 70-page notebook, 6 pocket folders (2 each of three specified colors), 1 package of notebook paper, that zipper binder, 1 pair of scissors, 4 medium-point green ballpoint pens, 2 boxes of Kleenex, 1 bottle of liquid soap, 1 roll of paper towels, 1 black and white composition book.
Throw in a backpack to replace the one from last year which is in tatters and has a broken zipper now, and the grand total was (drumroll, please) $42.00! That was JUST for the list above, minus the highlighter, which I took from my own personal stash. That doesn't include the extras of certain things that I keep at home because I know he's going to leave stuff at school and not have what he needs for his homework. No tax. Big sale. $42.00.
I'm kind of glad I only have one kid. Just think, if my parents had faced the same requirements - they had SIX kids. That would have been $252.00 for a bag of stuff you drop off at the school and never see again. And you don't put your name on it... it goes into a big communal pile for your classroom. I keep thinking that there has to be a better way, but this probably IS the better way from the school's point of view.
That's something you don't know when you have a kid - how expensive it is. Even for stuff you never thought about, like school supplies. I suppose that if some parents knew that ahead of time, they'd only have one - if any.