I was given the supply list for my son who will be starting kindergarten. I was shocked! I knew that some of the requests would be absurd, but honestly, what is my 5 year old son going to do with a $5 package of dry erase markers? I know that he won’t be using them because you have to be 18 just to buy duct tape and whiteout. And why does it matter what brand of crayons and markers my kindergartner uses?
I knew that I was going to have problems with school because my son had been in daycare before and I had problems there. I would give them supplies for a month, and they would be gone in a week. I understand that sometimes parents forget to send things with their children, but should I be responsible for supplying everything for everyone? I am a stay at home mom and on top of my 5 year old son, I also have a 1 year old daughter. I do not have the money to be supplying the teacher with his or supplies. I know that some schools don’t have enough funding, but let me tell you, this school is not one of them. Members of the staff bragged about all the awards this school has received and how they have received these awards repeatedly, year after year. Honestly, in my head I was hearing yada-yada-yada. It seemed impressive, but I only needed to hear it once. I mean the mother sitting next to me was in Versace! But I am not a Versace mom. I am a Wal-Mart mom and not embarrassed to say so. My son always looks clean and his daddy likes to buy big label clothes every once in awhile, so he looks just as good as the other kids. Actually, he looks better if you ask me…..
I get my list and prepare myself for the rush of parents buying school supplies. Four unlabeled, two-pocket folders. Okay, easy enough. Here’s a purple one, a spider man one, neon green…Wow! There are a lot of folders. Oh wait, don’t forget to read the fine print. One blue, one red, one green, and one yellow. Well, there are about 500 blue folders, but no red, no green, and one ripped orange one. So basically, my son will be in trouble the first day because he won’t have the appropriately colored folders. Great! I went to 3 Wal-Mart Super-centers before I found the appropriate colored folders. But at least I got them checked off the list. Next, 12 yellow, number 2 pencils. Well, I guess the spider man pencils my son got from Grandma won’t do him any good. And of course, there are no 12 packs of pencils. They do have the recycled all natural wooden ones that are not yellow and they cost around $4. Okay, so I’ll get a 24 pack and he’ll have extra. Two boxes of Crayola crayons, 24. Why can’t I get Rose art? They are cheaper. But no, it distinctly says Crayola in bold letters. Same with the markers that can only be classic colors and washable. Oh and they have to be fat markers, not thin markers. Okay. let’s see, what else does he need? Kleenex. That one was easy, I had some travel ones at home. Two packages of unscented refillable baby wipes. Well, too bad. I buy my diaper wipes in bulk and they have aloe in them, and that is what my son will use. Next on the list is ziploc freezer bags. Hmmm, not sure what that is for but the generic brand will be fine. One ream of copy paper. What the heck is a ream? And what does my 5 year old need copy paper for, his book reports? I’m thinking that a nice roll of butcher paper will get the job done. 10 glue sticks (to last all year). Well, they have two packs for 10 cents, so I’ll just get a handful of those. Elmer’s school glue, 4 ounces. I guess they don’t want you sending your child with the heavy duty glue from the hardware department. What’s next? Two black and white lined primary composition books. What?! I needed those in college, what the heck does my son need them for? Luckily for his teacher, they are only 50 cents. And last but not least, one pair of ear buds or headphones. Right…. I’m sure my son will have plenty of time to listen to music at school. Those will have to wait.
I go and talk to the assistant principal to find out why my son needs headphones, and she actually makes sense. They don’t want the kids sharing in case of lice or some other illness. That makes sense, but what does he need them for? Apparently, schools now have computers in every classroom for learning centers. Wow! Where were those when I was in school? I went back to the store and of course, the only available headphones were $10 or I could buy a disc-man and just use those headphones. Disc-man it is. It makes more sense price wise.
The “pre” first day of school arrives, and I only send half the supplies with my son. If it supposed to last all year then I will make sure that it lasts all year.
My son’s teacher informs me to bring the rest of the supplies on the real first day of school. With a smile.