Monday, August 31, 2009

school supplies...really?

Once upon a time mom took us shopping for back to school stuff. We got the basics. Pencils, paper, brown lunch bags, shoes and a few new jeans. Those days are over. Now the kids have a list of MUST HAVES that include things like book covers, thumb drives, calculators, and lots LOTS more.

First, let's talk about book covers. That's really a must have?? We went to two stores yesterday and couldn't locate a single book cover. The one store didn't carry them at all, the other was sold out. Lucky for us the girls both had their old ones from last year (in the pile of junk under their beds, of course). The thing is, they were both told that they'd get points taken off if they didn't have the covers. Um, that pisses me off. They're going to punish the kids because the stores didn't carry the damn book covers? Second, they might be cheap, but once you add them to the other million things they NEED, the bill for buying back to school supplies is just ridiculous. I have two kids so back to school, while annoying, IS managable. I can't imagine families w/ 4 or more kids to buy for!

By the time we had the cart filled, everything on their list checked off, I just shook my head as I remembered my own high school days. Things are so different now!

However, it's not as if it's a shock that times have changed. I HAVE seen the differences over the past few years. Kids have classes now like info tech where they learn how to use various software on the computer--this is one of the good changes! They are assigned reports in which they have to use power point--another good change. Prepares them for the future. But even gym class has changed. They have written tests in gym now, did you know that? Hell, it used to be the fun period! You played ball or learned to square dance. My youngest used to love gym...until she got into junior high and the fun was sucked right out of it. Now she hates it. They've turned the ONE active, healthy class into just another thing to dread.

Am I the only one who misses the days of sack lunches??

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23 comments:

C. A. R. said...

I don't mind the thumb drives. I stock up on them on them when they are on sale. Someone in the house will use them. Book covers I buy the year before when they are on sale. Same with pencils, pens, etc. What kills me is when the kid comes home and they have to have a certain graphing calculator and it isn't the same one I had to get the older one just last year.
$80.00 for a calculator!

Cornelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cornelia said...

I love the article. So funny. My son is 28 now, but I have a five year old granddaughter, I can't believe the supply list for a five year old. Back in the 60's when I was in elementary school - the teacher gave us stacks of book covers free and we covered our books right there in class on the first day of school each year. I went on line and know nothing about these sites, but thought I'd pass it on: here is a link to free Harry Potter book covers http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1990108/free_back_to_school_harry_potter_printable.html?cat=4
and this article says students can visit their area CC's piza the first two weeks of school and get free book covers from CC's Piza http://www.pizzamarketplace.com/article.php?id=4239
here is a site for free downloadable book covers
http://www.curbly.com/Chrisjob/posts/2060-free-book-covers-by-kate-spade
Here is a crayola project on making bookcovers - http://www.crayola.com/crafts/detail/chameleon-book-covers-craft/

Laurann Dohner said...

I do have 4 kids. LOL. I went to walmart and just spent almost $65 on pencils, reems of paper (they requested 4-6 PER child for 2 of my kids at $2.50 a reem, crayons, glue sticks, and folders. I feel bad for the kids who don't have computers at home and internet access. I can't tell you how often I got a knock on my door last year from neighborhood kids asking me to use my computer because they were required to do something on line... and had no internet or computers. It cost me a fortune on computer ink but... I wasn't going to say no. They fail these kids if they don't turn it in. I went to the school and asked them if they had computers the kids could use because it alarmed me for poorer families who don't have cars to drive a few miles to a public library. Their answer... during class yes. After school for personal homework use... no. They did change that after I started talking to other parents. It really riled me that they'd do this to kids. What if we couldn't afford a computer or internet access? Would my kids fail their classes if I couldn't find them a computer??? The answer... Yes. So to a lot of families these days... add in the cost of a cheap computer, internet access, and a pile of printer ink. LOL. When I was in high school... it was bring your pencils and put your butt in a seat. LOL.

Anne Rainey said...

C. A. R.--An $80 calculator...yep, I feel your pain there. This crap is NOT cheap! How do they expect people to afford this stuff??

Anne Rainey said...

Cornella--Thanks for the links! I'll check them out. :)

Regina Carlysle said...

I SWEAR this crap gets more expensive every year. This year around our place we shelled out over $1,000 for college textbooks. Ummm. Awful

Anne Rainey said...

Laurann--I hear you about the computer delimma. We've had kids come and use ours too. So many parents simply cannot afford computers. And parents work these days, when are they even supposed to get them to the library?

And lets not forget that all this stuff has to be printed out. So, not only do they need access to a computer, but a printer as well.

Our school has computers, but they're ALWAYS being used because they simply don't have enough of them!

I could go on...lol

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--Oh, lordy, I don't even want to know how much my niece has paid for textbooks so far!

Regina Carlysle said...

Laurann! I just read your comment. That just STEAMS me. Schools should and must provide equal opportunity and failing a child because he/she doesn't have a home computer is MEAN. They need to at least give the child extra time to do the work on a schoo computer.

Kelley Nyrae said...

It's so crazy how different school is. From the crazy amount of school supplies to the way and things they are teaching. It's crazy to me. My daughter started K this year so I'm lucky with no school supplies but that won't last long. I dread to think about everything I will have to get, and you're right, what about the kids who don't have the money?

Stephen said...

I always just made my book covers from brown paper grocery bags. It costs next to nothing and lasts the whole year.

Writer and Cat said...

In our school system you can't just get "paper" or "pencils". You actually have to get a CERTAIN BRAND or even color of the things. Markers have to have certain kinds of tips, etc. But the schools will order all the stuff for you if you pay up front (it's cheaper that way too, and less hassle).

MJFredrick said...

I really wish our school would just gather the supplies for the kids, too. My son's school did it and we always had exactly what we needed, and without the back to school shopping hassle.

Connie Northrop said...

My son's schools have never required book covers. I guess I can be grateful for that. I'm hoping more of the schools here will go to eTextbooks. They're a great idea and easily up-datable. A lot of colleges are switching to them and so have a bunch of the alternative high schools here.

I did have to buy kleenex, pencils, markers (color and white-board). They also asked for 'healthy snacks'. Clothes were another matter. I know it will get more expensive as he gets older (he's in 7th grade now). A new backpack was also necessary.

Thumb drives are easy. We have several. He hasn't had any mandatory computer work yet but I know it's coming.

School is so much more expensive now than it was way back when.

Molly Daniels said...

I was surprised when I found out there's even a final test in STUDY HALL...over the rules. Go figure...

Yes,Laurann...what happens when the kids will be required to carry a laptop to school? I saw an article in a local paper that even cursive writing will no longer be taught. The kids will learn to print, then type. Crazy, huh?

Anne Rainey said...

Stephen--I used to make my own covers too. I could have the girls do that. I don't know why I didn't think about it. LOL

Writercat--Grr, I'm NOT cool with the 'it has to be this brand' thing the schools are doing now. We buy a lot of unbrand products ourselves. They're usually cheaper and JUST as good!

Anne Rainey said...

Connie--I SOOOO wish they'd go with etextbooks too! I was chatting w/ my niece last night and she was telling me how expensive one of her psych textbooks cost (she's in college) $208!!! Isn't that insane??

Anne Rainey said...

Molly--a study hall TEST?!?! That's beyond ridiculous!

Connie Northrop said...

They put in a graduation test here. You can Ace your classes and still not graduate if you don't pass all of the test. The teachers hate it because now all teaching is to pass the test, which leaves a lot of stuff out.

Anne - The eBooks are spreading quickly in popularity, but just like with novels, there is a lot of resistance from the older teaching staff and school boards. One of the good things about the eTextbooks is the kid's backpacks don't weight a ton. It's amazing how many kids have back problems before they get to high school.

My son is in special classes due to his problems and they've actually set things up where he, and a few others, can do his work in class on a laptop type machine. He loves computers/gadgets so is a lot better now about doing his work in class. :0)

Liz said...

Even though I'm late commenting I'll throw in my 2cents. I always shop the clearance aisle and stock up on at the end of season for the next year. I get my bookcovers for 5 or 10 cents etc. And some stuff I get at Dollar Tree our $1 store. My best friend and I had 9 kids between us and it was the only way to get everything. In fact the last 2 or 3 years I only had to buy 2 or 3 things, since I was so stockpiled. And our friends have come shopping at my house.

Liz said...

And as to the calculators the graphing ones with 3 in high school they all had to have them. So end of season and new batteries

Liz said...

One last comment we used to make our own book covers out of brown paper bags and they worked just fine. And the computer stuff I have several people who come over to do they're homework on mine and the ink cost is breaking me. But you do what you have too. Our public library only allows you on the computer for 1 hour and you have to buy their disks and pay for every copy you make.