Sunday, August 05, 2007

Now a yearly rant

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.


nikki said...

What are they, pencil snobs?!?!? What's wrong with plain old store brand #2 pencils for a $1 a pack!! We stocked up when Office Depot had Crayola Crayons 24 pack for 9 cents.

Anonymous said...

Actually, back then schools were funded. The schools actually provided some of that stuff,like soap,in the bathrooms and towels. And there were actually school supplies, like pencils. And then along came the "less-is-more" folks who saw schools as a waste of money and cut the funding so that investment bankers might have bigger better paychecks and tax-breaks and guess what? They gave you a tax-free holiday. Pretty slick huuh?


Sayre said...

Yes... it's always so gratifying to elect people whose number one priority is education - and yet, the schools are falling farther and farther behind in making sure our kids GET that education everyone is so concerned about. Some days I feel like we will have to homeschool if we want our kids to be properly educated.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day we didn't have to carry 50 pound backpacks around either. Maybe one binder and a book at the most. It was easy to get some pimply faced bone rack to carry your books home from school. What boy nowadays could carry a girl's backpack home for her along with his own? Romance is dead.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

You guys got a week of Tax Free?!
We got 3 days. woohooo..

you also learn to go through end the year stuff for what is savable for next year. usually not too much but every little bit helps. I understand your rants. I used to get on my soapbox every year. After they get older soap, towels, air freshner and trash bags tend to fall off the list.

Dakota had a teacher that told us not to bring anything to class as she still had closets full and then opened a door to show us (the parents). Just made me wonder about how much went home over the summer with the teachers.


Christina_the_wench said...

I always hated the dreaded 'list' from the schools. As they get older, the list disappears. But it is replaced with 'mall clothing', not Kmart or Wal-mart anymore. ~sighs~
Kids are expensive but worth it they tell me.

swamp witch said...

I have never heard of a Tax Free day or week. Where do I sign up?

As a retired teacher who was in the classroom for 25+ years, I can assure you that I spent more than one pay check a year to stock my classroom with supplies for my kiddos to use. I do agree that it is atrocious how much parents have to spend on supplies for their children these days.
I won't get on my soap box here, but if the schools had the "choice" of not having to purchase ALL the textbooks that are "state mandated" that the "publishers" have a bit of control over, there would be ample amounts of money to buy a more creative way of teaching our young people. Neither the parents or the teachers would have to foot the bill.

Janet said...

I was always under the impression that teachers made up those lists based on what they chose. In other words, it was a whim. I could be wrong though. I haven't had the privilege of making up a must have list. Everything is given to us since our kids can't afford to buy most of the must haves and even if they can, they won't.:(

HoosierGirl5 said...

I feel your pain, hon. My shopping was not as bad this year, as the high school kids don't need much to start, except for Rachael's $100 graphing calculator (required). The two younger boys need all of what you had. Ugh.

For me, the pain starts when we go SHOE shopping!


Jeff said...

Nope, tax free eludes me here, too. Missing out in Indiana.

Stephanie said...

Dang!! I wish our tax-free event was a week long!!

Just so's ya know: I am now officially afraid of the expense of Bethany starting school. AND SHE'S ONLY 14 MONTHS OLD.

*deep breaths* *deep breaths* happy place...

Liane Michel said...

I feel your pain!

Here's a tip I discovered that you may find useful! However, it may not be so until he begins middle school and will be going to multiple classes..... Wait until AFTER orientation to buy your supplies. I have found that most teachers give out supply lists for their classes during orientation and often they require much less than what is on the "standard" school supply list.

Jessie's new school puts together a supply kit that you can purchase $32. I loved that idea so I bought it online last June and all I have to do is pick it up at orientation!

ablondeblogger said...

Ugh! Don't remind me about school!!!! I got my son's DVDs in the mail today for homeschooling and I don't even want to think about it.

Why can't they have that tax free later in the month? It's just too soon for me!

It's funny though...I was shopping the other day and found a bunch of summer clothes on sale so I bought a few pairs of shorts and t-shirts for Matthew.

While I'm in line, I see the cashier pull out the tax-free days flyer and I'm like, "Oh yeah! I forgot about that!"

It was late at night...about 8 p.m. and she reminds me that the tax-free shopping doesn't start until the next morning.


Stepping Over the Junk said...

wow. a WEEK of tax free! We have a day this weekend.

OneFullHouse said...

We don't even have a tax free HOUR!

How'd you guys get so lucky?