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24 Aug 2005 - 02:46

let the games begin

I went shopping for middle school supplies today after getting out of work. Here was my list:

4-function calculator (grr...)
ruler with inch and centimer markings (is there any other kind?)
lots of #2 pencils
red or blue or black pens
washable markers and colored pencils (italics mine)
highlighter pens
glue sticks
3 spiral-bound wide-ruled notebooks without perforations
1 wide-ruled 3-subject spiral-bound notebook
loose leaf wide-ruled paper
2 packs of 100 index cards
2 zipper pouches with 3 hole punches (why 2? I don't know)

I know at least one woman who drove herself half crazy earlier this summer trying to find wide-ruled spiral-bound notebooks without perforations. I walked right into Office Max today and found them in heaps on the floor, on sale for 49 cents each. That's what she gets for trying to get her shopping done ahead of time. I also got a great deal on 96 number 2 pencils in a cool box that velcros shut. I want to keep them myself, and I don't even use pencils.

I would estimate that in the end my haul came to about 20 pounds of school supplies. I know that I did not go off to 6th grade with 20 pounds of new school supplies, because I walked to school with them and I would remember that (nor did my parents spend 45 dollars on supplies, like I did). I'm wondering what Ben is supposed to do with them. Is he supposed to keep them all in his locker? Because if that's the case, we're doomed before we even leave the gate. Perhaps the second zipper pouch with 3 hole punches is for a poor kid in India.

I know I didn't get colored pencils and magic markers when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure I got one or the other.

I have so many questions. Is he really going to learn as much this year as 20 pounds of school supplies seem to imply? And what is a 6th-grader going to be highlighting, since the school gives him his textbooks?

And are they still doing the thing where kids keep all their notes on index cards, which inevitably get lost and/or out of order, when regular paper works just as well or better?

Did we ever decide what the very best guide for helping your kid get organized for middle and high school was? Because I need to know, right now.

the bottom line

Tomorrow morning is registration. Thursday morning, school starts.

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What? No boxes of facial tissue or disinfectant wipes? You got off easy.

-- DanK - 24 Aug 2005

At least you have a list. The lists for our schools come home with the kids and then the teacher expects all the materials the next day.

And what does a middle schooler need with colored markers and pencils. As I recall, except for art class, we were all done with drawing things in academic classes.

-- AnneDwyer - 24 Aug 2005

It does sound like they're micromanaging the school supplies. Back in MY day, the only thing we needed were a few marble notebooks and some pencils. The toughest part was trying to find college-ruled marble notebooks - even as a kid, I preferred the narrow lines, because I could cram more information into each page, and my penmanship was good enough that i could get away with it.

Ditto with the grrr! on the calculator, though. If it's any consolation, even though a 4-function calculator was required for me starting in 8th grade, and the TI-82 was required for calculus, but we hardly ever used them. I actually lost my 4-function after a few weeks, and never replaced it; we had a few specialized 'calculator lessons' for the TI-82, which generally consisted of 15 minute presentations promptly ignored and forgotten. It was just barely enough to satisfy the district requirements with the loss of minimal class time; I got the impression that Mr. Rubenfeld (a great, great man if there ever was one) hated those things as much as I did.

Have you talked to the teachers about it? I imagine there are probably more than a few traditionalists among them who would prefer not to use them, either. Rubenfeld was a rather young teacher, so it's not always a generational thing.

-- IndependentGeorge - 24 Aug 2005

You did get off easy. My lists are much longer. Well, not much. Had to go to three different places because no one had exactly what they want.

We also have to get two of those ginormous Kleenex boxes for when they all get sick, starting sometime next week I'm sure.

-- SusanS - 24 Aug 2005

I would be happy if my school would actually give me a list.

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Aug 2005

Of course, once I get the list, I won't be happy.

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Aug 2005

Just be sure to tell Ben not to use his backpack in nonstandard ways.

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Aug 2005

news flash: Apparently Drew, Marc, & Evan got their school supplies list in the mail today.

So I can send in a Staples order before we leave on Saturday, thank heavens.

-- CatherineJohnson - 24 Aug 2005

I forgot to mention the facial tissues (2 packs). I was reciting the list from memory.

We went to register this morning. It was a zoo. Ben is nervous (Bernie says he is catching it from me; perhaps he is).

-- CarolynJohnston - 24 Aug 2005

They took around 100.00 off of me for incidentals at registration, too.

-- CarolynJohnston - 24 Aug 2005

Title: let the games begin
TopicType: WebLog
SubjectArea: FromTheKitchenTable, OffTopic
LogDate: 200508232245