Why I Don’t Resent the School Supply List Anymore

(originally published on The Huffington Post)

It’s almost that time of year when I’ll have to fork over at least $300 (but probably much more), on the annual school supply list for my three children. That’s not including the new clothes and shoes they will each need because they’re growing faster than I can keep up with. And $100 per child is actually on the very, very low side.

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a shift from the teacher’s classroom wish list, to the school issued, mandated grade level supply list. We’ve gone from having classroom wish lists, each item neatly written on a cute paper apple, on a cute giving tree display outside the classroom, to a non-optional, typed, photo copied, and mass-distributed grade level supply list. We’ve gone from teachers politely requesting a few classroom-enhancing gifts, to the school commanding parents to send their children on the first day with more Target and Wal-Mart bags than they can possibly carry. Bags full of items such as tubs of sanitizing wipes (which often have to be a specific kind), large bottles of hand sanitizer, boxes of Kleenex, reams of notebook paper, printer paper, all sizes of plastic storage bags, batteries, glue sticks, packs of pencils and pens, 3-ring binders, and dozens of color-coded folders and spiral bound notebooks.

Ah, the notebooks- Continue reading