School supplies

on Aug 20, 2010 @ 08:03 am

I was just wondering how many of you have to buy back to school supplies for your kids this year and if you do, do you know what really happens to the supplies when those supplies get to school?
I found this out about three years ago when my youngest son came to me in Oct. asking me to buy him more pens, pencils and color pencils? I said there is no way you used all that I sent you to school with already, who are you trying to kid. I was thinking one of his friend had some cool looking pen and he just wanted to have the same thing. Well that's when the truth about these lists of supplies our kids bring home came out.
He said I don't get to keep the stuff I bring in. I said what do you mean you don't get to keep it, I bought it all for you so you would have what you need. Where does it all go if you don't get to keep it? He said when the kids that DO bring stuff from the list to school, the teacher takes it all from us and pass it out to everyone in the class.
Now I know teachers have a hard time keeping they're class rooms filled with what the kids need and some family's have bin having a very hard time these last few years. I get that and I don't mind helping out. What I do mind is that we're not being told this!
We're handed a list every year that says this is what YOUR son, or daughter is going to need for this school year and please have them bring these supplies in by such an such a date. It makes it sound like every kid has to do this so they will have what they need for that year.
No where does it say so his, or her teacher can pass every thing out to all of his, or her class.
 I also found out that there are a lot of parents that just aren't bothering to send there kids to school with anything because they know the teachers are doing this, not because they just don't have the money to do it!
 I don't think it's right that we're not told about this right up front. What do you think and how does it make you feel??

7 Replies

Ohh no! on Aug 20, 2010 @ 03:28 pm

Definitely does not happen in our school. Yes, we get the list and are asked to write the childs name on everything. Sometimes multiple sof items are requested like 2 boxes of crayons. In that situation you can send them all or wait till After Christmas break to send the second pack in. Supplies are not shared. If there is a child that cannot afford supplies then he/shes parent is to sign up for a community program where they get a donated back pack and supplies.

I would be furious if I found our familys hardearned money was given away without our permission. But really our school is great - free breakfast and lunch programs, subsided fieldtrips etc.

I wasn't happy but... on Aug 20, 2010 @ 09:28 pm

I thought about it after he told me this and thought you know the little bugger still just might be handing me a line. So I came right out and asked my son's teacher that year if this really was true and she told me it was. That no one has to buy anything if they don't want to, but the majority of what is brought into each class is shared with everyone. I couldn't believe it and still can't believe that they could do this at his school and not tell the parents about it. Like I said I don't mind helping out our school, I bring in new book for any of the kids that want to read them every chance I get. When they have bake sales to raze money for this and that, I'm right in there helping out even if it has nothing to do with my kids class. It's just that fact that this had been going on for all those years and not one of us parents were told, that's what burnt my butt, and still does. My youngest is starting High school this year, so I won't have to be concerned about it, but I thought everyone else should know this does go on. Maybe not in every school, but in some. So when a list comes home this school year think about asking just what happens to every thing you buy.

We were told... on Aug 21, 2010 @ 10:49 am

Our school made a point of asking us to not personalize their stuff (write name on folders, etc) because they would be shared. They also asked for classroom supplies - ziploc bags, kleenex, hand sanitizer, etc. so it was clear that everything would be shared. The teachers said it helps kids, especially those who do not have siblings or are not as well socially acclimatized, to learn how to share and cooperate, which I think is good.

I can understand how frustrating it must be though, to learn about the sharing after the fact, especially parents who purposely don't buy because they know there will be plenty to go around. I try to buy supplies as I find them on sale or clearance and then stash them. This year, with this method, my back-to-school expenses (including backpacks/lunchbags but not shoes/clothes) for 3 kids was around $30. When a box of crayons only costs 9 cents (doorcrasher deal), I can buy 10 boxes and be set for all year plus home craft time!

Wow, that's not right. on Aug 21, 2010 @ 03:00 pm

I don't have any kids so I don't really know how the schools operate but this sounds kind of odd to me. I like the idea of a communal collection of supplies that the teacher could hand out discretely to under-priviledged children but taking supplies that you purchased and were intended for your child and then handing them out to others (without asking or telling you this beforehand), that doesn't sound right at all. I would be ticked off too! If budget restraits are leading schools to do this type of thing, they need to find a lower-budget way to buy supplies without putting the money burden on unsuspecting parents. As mamaluv says, you can buy when you see stuff on sale and stash it for later or shop somewhere like Dollarama where the stuff is very cheap and you can get a lot of nice stuff. I just think they should be very clear beforehand so that parents know exactly what's going on.

Wow! on Aug 21, 2010 @ 08:45 pm

mamaluv - where did you find supplies so cheap? We go to Staples and just the basic list was $30. (Still need the indoor runners they request.)

deals do abound... when you look for them! on Aug 22, 2010 @ 10:30 pm

Guppy, I live in the US and there are many deals to be had during the 4 weeks before school starts - Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Walgreens, CVS, Toys 'R Us, and many more have weekly specials that if you're patient, you can collect everything on your list over that time period for pennies a piece! A big highlight is always Staples backpack deals (Office Max did that this year too) - 100% of your purchase price back in store vouchers, and I can always use that on printer ink and such. Staples also did a big push around Christmas with TV remotes, batteries, and more, so I could use my backpack vouchers to pay for the batteries/etc and then get 100% cash back on that!

If you're in Canada, there are fewer deals and not as spectacular. When we lived there, I looked for the height of the sale at Walmart/Zellers and searched for bigger ticket items on closeout.

Yes Im Canadian, on Aug 23, 2010 @ 08:22 am

Its about an hour drive for me to get to the States so although its tempting to come check out those great deals ...Im sure it would cost me more just to get there :(
Good for you though!


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