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My Kids' School Supplies Cost a Fortune!

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Every year, the school supply list gets longer and longer. When will it ever end?

woman with long receipt of expensive school supplies

Momlogic's Amanda: When I got my two kids' elementary school supply list this year, I couldn't believe it. It was a mile long!

I know states are making budget cuts, and I also know that I am lucky I am able to send my kids to public school. But the things they ask you to buy on this school supply list is ridiculous.

Forget pencils and notebooks ... now they have you bring Glade Plug-In refills, reams of copier paper, boxes of Kleenex, and antibacterial soap.

I am NOT suggesting teachers pay for this stuff out of their own pockets ... but can't our tax dollars pay for some of it?

The grand total for my kids' school supplies: $186, or $93 a kid. What about the parents who can't afford that?

Did your kids' school supplies cost a small fortune? Tell us about it!


next: Parents: Preschool's Biggest Problem
20 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous September 9, 2009, 11:39 AM

We are buying so much because of the parents who can’t afford it. I don’t mind but you’re right…every year the list gets longer and longer.

Annie September 9, 2009, 12:57 PM

Almost $150 this year. And that was just for one of my children. I don’t mind the basics but I get frustrated every year when I know I’m buying supplies that the teachers are using for grading and other purposes. These items should be provided by the school. That is why we pay taxes and school fees! I also get angry when they request items that are so specific and so hard to find that I have to travel out of town or pay a small fortune just to find! Every year there has been at least one item on the list like that. This year it was a specific marker that only comes in one brand and every store that carried it sold out of it immediately except large boxes that cost $15. Last year we had to travel 45 minutes to the only office supply store that carried a specific type of pencil! And yes, the year before that there were the specific folders….

Wendi September 9, 2009, 1:21 PM

I don’t mind, I would rather help out then have the teacher pay out of pocket. They are teaching our children things we can not and our kids are there every day. We can at least do this for them. They take work home with them at night and the weekends. Bottom line, this is part of having a child. Providing for their needs, and that includes supplies for school.

Jena September 9, 2009, 2:06 PM

Like it or not, it’s part of having children.

Kristen September 9, 2009, 2:58 PM

Wendi, I have to laugh when you say that teachers are teaching your children things you cannot. We homeschool our children and even though I don’t have a teaching degree I know my children are learning far more from me than being stuck in a classroom with the same aged kids and worksheets.

Anonymous September 10, 2009, 4:35 AM

I understand that they are teaching our children but we all pay taxes that goes to the schools to provide the school with the supplies they need.

Wendi September 10, 2009, 7:32 AM

Kristen, so you are telling me that you have all the sports supplies and science supplies like frogs to disect and chemicals to mix? I know they can learn a lot from homeschool as I did it for a while, however when they get higher in grade level there are things that they need to get from school. Not to mention having another adult that they can go to and friends. My children are happier by far at school than me teaching them at home. Just as an FYI…my kids don’t just get worksheets and their teachers work very hard.

Kristen September 10, 2009, 12:15 PM

Wendi, their are LOTS of resources for homeschool sciences. As a matter of fact I CAN get frogs to dissect for my children……..I can order ALL kinds of science labs for my kids. How do you think people taking college classes online do labs? They send the lab to their house, it’s the same for homeschooled kids. I’m glad that your kids are happier in school, my point when I responded to you was that teachers are NOT the only ones who can teach kids.

kimi September 11, 2009, 3:49 PM

I’m glad to see someone who agrees that teachers aren’t the only ones that can teach their children! I was homeschooled my entire life, my husband was homeschooled for the last few years of highschool, and we hope to homeschool our own children one day.
Honestly, I think we’ve gotten so used to having other people do everything for us that we think it SHOULD be that way.
No matter whether your kids are public, home, or private schooled, YOU are their parents! YOU should be the number one person in their life teaching them!
Not that there is anything wrong with the teachers or having external teachers outside of the home, but aren’t these OUR children whom we should be raising?

aerialla September 11, 2009, 7:11 PM

Glad to see that I’m not the only one who was shocked at my daughter’s lists. We start off with the basics and go from there. If there is no room in the budget for the teachers Dry Erase markers, boxes of Baby Wipes, tissues, red pens and etc, then we don’t buy them. I let the teacher know that if something is needed later then I don’t mind picking something up and to send a note home.

Student January 19, 2010, 2:50 PM

Comming from a students point of view, I’m sorry but homeschooling does not give a child the needs to make it through life on their own. They don’t learn to associate with other kids in the same grade level and share their thoughts and ideas with them on a daily basis. They become too dependent on their parents and become use to having a person to help them everytime they have a problem. They become booksmart not street smart and in the end they are naive the to troubles that the world throws at them. You can teach them all you want but this is just YOUR point of view. When a child go to school, they learn the point of views of different teachers and different children. I have seen it so many times. Homeschooled kids become sheltered and once they begin to grow they will long for that freedom that they were never given. If you feel like you have raised your kids right and trust them with your heart, you will allow them to go to a school where they will learn to do right from wrong and they will learn from their mistakes. Where they will fall and get back on their feet without their parents help. Yeah I understand public education may not be the best but there is some many other options. The number of private schools is just the same and if you are willing to pay to homeschool you kids, why not pay for them to get the education that will best fit their needs? Parents that homeschool their kids are scared that their children will not survive in a regular school or that they may fail. You need to trust your children, and leave education for a person that is qualified to do the job. A teacher will teach them math, english, science. A parent has to teach them love, respect, and honesty. You dont want you child to associate you with school subjects but rather with mother qualities. Let goooo and trust your children!

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