With the back to school sales in full swing, I had a glance at some handily posted lists from the schools in some of the stores. Here’s a list of what we won’t be buying:
– a backpack ($10- $20 and up)
– a lunch box ($10)
– extra sneakers for gym with non-marking soles (at least $20)
– a binder ($1-$20)
– student and locker fees (average $15)
– looseleaf, notebooks, folders, crayons, math sets, glue, etc.. (lets’ start that at $10 and go up)
– odd items like 100 sheets of cardstock, a box of kleenex, and various sizes of Ziploc bags ( $$ ?)
Estimated total: $70 and up.
Please note, that these items are per child. So in my case, the total would be times three. I didn’t even count expenses you wouldn’t think about, like a peer-acceptable wardrobe for at least five days. Some of the lists also required selected items to be a particular brand, and the vast majority of the lists insisted that the parent DO NOT WRITE THE CHILD’S NAME ON THE ITEMS. Yes, in all caps.
Why no name on the items? Because the teacher collects everything up and hands them out when needed. Need a pencil? Teacher will hand them all out. Too bad Jenny’s mom ignored the list and wrote her name on the shiny pink pencil that Billy has and Jenny is now sobbing over, class has to move on. Coloring a picture for Halloween? Teacher hands out the picture and one orange crayon for each child.So you’ve bought the itmes and the whole class gets to use them.
And to balance that, here’s what we spent instead:
2 notebooks ($3)
mechanical pencils ($5)
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons($20)
Cusinaire Rods book ($10 second-hand)
Quick Business Math ($27)
In this case, my homeschooling costs covers all three school-age children and what we specifically bought them for school this year. Heck, if you like I’ll even toss in the two wooden cabinets we bought to store supplies in. Add thirty bucks.
If you like, I can go back to the stores and ask for specific copies of the lists. I’m even willing to go item-by-item and price check for what I would realistically pay. I’m cheap too, but I’m sure the results would be the same.