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Mom to Mom Monday: Grouchy Back to School Supply Vent

Posted by Julie Clark on 8/12/2013 to Mom Madness
Back to school time is here and for those of you who send your little ones to school like I do, this time means you rush around looking for clothes that both you and your daughter can agree on (if you're me),school supplies,back to school shoes that don't cost a fortune, lunch boxes, backpacks and the like.

It can seem like you don't need all that much but when you actually get the lists, if you have more than one kid, the cost and aggravation can really add up.

School Supplies, Ugg!

A look at our Back to School Supply List (for three kids combined)

  • (3) Backpacks, but thankfully my sons are still in great shape from last year and they're too young to put up a fuss over having to reuse them.
  • (3) scissors
  • (3) pencil boxes
  • (22) glue sticks! Apparently they use a lot of glue...
  • (96) pre-sharpended pencils. <--This has turned out to be one of the biggest pains to find. They want to charge you five times as much for sharpened pencils than un-sharpened ones and NONE of the small manual sharpeners you buy actually work! *Can someone please invent a pencil sharpener that works?
  • (1500) sheets of paper! Again, WHY so many sheets? Sold in packs of 150, this seems like an in-humane amount of paper to require of a 5th grader.
  • Markers, Colored Pencils, Crayons, Tissues, Plastic Bags, Hand Sanitizer, Baby Wipes, Paper Plates, Forks and on and on. Multiply it all by three and trust me, you start to feel a little overwhelmed.

I truly love and appreciate our teachers. Without school supply lists I know the teachers end up having to purchase even more out of pocket and that many of these supplies are used to help stock their classroom, so I don't complain.

I'm happy to help but each year I realize how HARD it is to do all of this the week before school starts and I vow to never wait this long never works.

Do you have an insane amount of school supplies to buy? Do you buy each and every one, taking the list quite literally or do you buy the necessities as you see fit? Please share!



Jill S
Date: 8/12/2013
I think 22 glue sticks per kid is insane. and who needs 96 pencils? go with an electric sharpener and put your kids to work. They'll love taking turns sharpening and dumping out the shavings!
Sarah R
Date: 8/12/2013
My husband is a teacher and he does not require that much stuff of his high schoolers! 22 glue sticks?!
Julie Clark
Date: 8/12/2013
It's 8 glue sticks per 6yr old and 6 glue sticks for my 10 yr old. We had an electric sharpener and the kids broke it. We need one of those old school sharpeners that attach to the wall and turn with a crank. lol
Ayrielle E
Date: 8/12/2013
I don't understand the amount of paper or pencils, unless the paper and pencils is about having it incase some families can't afford the school supplies, which could be the case in the numbers for everything. On the glue sticks...I totally understand 6-8 per child. We homeschool and just between my 3 and 5 year old we went through at least 15 glue sticks last year and I am pretty sure we will go through at least that many again this year. This is for crafts and school stuff, but my kids can use a glue stick in one sitting, easily.
Date: 8/12/2013
We homeschool...and my list isn't even close to this! I did find (and install in our dining room) a manual, crank pencil sharpener that works fantastic at OfficeMax. Just empty often...if your pencils start sharpening lopsided its because it is too full :).
Wendy J.
Date: 8/12/2013
I remember at one point in my elementary school career I had a teacher that required our supplies to be pooled. Like, each kid brings their 7 glue sticks, they get put into a giant bin, and then the teacher would pass glue out to everyone for art projects. It's really a crappy system, you know? I can see it working for tissues and hand sanitizer, but my mom bought Crayola, and I always found myself stuck using RoseArt.
Date: 8/12/2013
Wow! I have 2 children, ages 5 and 3.5 (4 in October.) Both my kids went to Headstart last year and a special needs pre-school. Neither one of them needed only backpacks last year and since my daughter had hers and was in good shape from her first year at pre-k, it was all good. This year, though is different. My daughter is going into Kindergarten, and she needs the socialization (social butterfly like her mom) and although I keep a clean and fairly tidy place, I am not cut out to be a homeschooling mother, especially to one who needs speech therapy (youngest). So, unfortunately, my hubby and I live on a very limited budget and in public housing, so for my daughter's birthday which happens to fall right in the middle of summer, my two sisters bought her a backpack full of all the school supplies she needed for the year! So, so very grateful for that! I do plan on starting to pick up things for next year a little bit every other week when I go grocery shopping. I know the list will probably be slightly different next year, but if I can get a stock-pile of general supplies, then it's one less stress/worry.
Kim H
Date: 8/12/2013
After working in a elementary school, it is shocking how much teachers have to supply if the kids don't bring it! We were always giving out pencils & paper & such. Mine aren't in school yet, but when they get there I think working in the field will make me a whole lot more willing to spend the money since I know it will help the teachers out!

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