So we started doing the school supply shopping this week. A daunting task even as the kids get older and the lists get shorter. Gone in my house are the days when the most expensive item on the list was the ever-elusive “just this size” binder. Now, we’re talking calculators that rival my electricity bill. But I sigh, watch the ads, and get out there and do it.
I put on my thickest armor because nothing will be just right for my kids. The kitty folders are too childish; the more mature ones are $200 a piece. Add to that the hysterical mobs crowding the $1 pencils like they were the last chance to win tickets to a 21 Pilots concert, and we have a joyfest that keeps on giving. (Insert sarcastic eye roll here).
Yes, I’m frustrated.
And let’s talk about that list, shall we? I mean, who in their right mind thinks it’s a good idea to request that our kids purchase Expo markers in bulk or boxes of Kleenex that should be supplied already? ESPECIALLY when those might not get used by my kids? Who thinks it should be my job to bring Ziploc bags to school?
Well, I’ll tell you who.
I’m not going to buy just the one extra box of tissues because (let’s all be honest here) I can afford more than that. And *gasp* what if someone other than my precious Timmy uses them? Well, then, haven’t I done a good deed for the year for less than the cost of a coffee?
We should all be interested in what will create the best learning environment for all these kids, for all these little people who will be making big decisions some day like what to do with YOUR Social Security or how to fix YOUR city infrastructure or how best to treat that cancerous mass in YOUR body.
If you don’t agree with something on the list and think it’s excessive, have a conversation with the teacher. I guarantee if it is something that will actually get used to educate your children, the teacher will be able to explain how.
Yes, Expo markers are expensive. Get in a classroom and watch children solve problems at their desks (sometimes ON them) with them and really engage in the process because it all of a sudden became colorful and perhaps a little bit taboo.
You think you have to buy too many glue sticks? I invite you to join a class when they do a simple sorting and gluing project that gives the kids one more opportunity to understand all the “-augh” words and their various pronunciations and watch multiple children go through half a stick just for that one project.
More is more, right? And yes, the theory is that you teach them to use less. But let’s be honest: some just use what they use. Watch kids “clean” the floor at the end of the day and, in a rush to get home, throw away all the “trash” they found, which includes half used pencils and crayons that would take too long to find a home for.