I complained about it last year, and I’ll complain about it again.
Perhaps I’ll start by transcribing the school supply list for the Grade Twos this year.
1 200 Page Plain Looseleaf
1 200 Page Ruled Looseleaf
1 120 ml White School Glue
1 Hilroy 1/2 Blank 1/2 Lined Exercise Book
2 Hilroy Lined Exercise Books
1 Hilroy 1/2 Blank 1/2 Interlined Exercise Book
3 Hilroy Interlined Exercise Books
6 White Erasers
4 Large Glue Sticks (40g)
24 HB Pencils (sharpened)
5 Large Ziploc Bags
1 Crayola 12 Pencil Crayons (Pre-sharpened)
1 Crayola 16 Wax Crayons
2 Crayola 8 Washable Markers (Wide Tipped)
1 Facial Tissue (250 Sheets)
1 Dry Erase Pens (Chisel Tip – 4 Pack)
2 Highlighters (Yellow)
2 Post it Notes (2 x 1½)
1 Plastic Pencil Box
1 1” Commercial Quality Binder
1 30 cm Clear Plastic Ruler (mm & cm)
1 Pencil Sharpener with Lid
1 Fiskars Childrens Scissors (Pointed)
1 Black Sharpie Pen
Headphone for computer use
HAVE A GREAT SUMMER
Ok. The paper, I get. No worries. Paper paper, all you want. But ok.
Now look. SIX WHITE ERASERS. Six??? I went through ONE all year long
back in the day. Maybe two. How on EARTH will any child use six, unless
they’re cutting them up and using them as pea-shooter ammo? Lord. If
you require your students to have six white erasers in their pencil
boxes, I would question your teaching.
Second and third: four glue sticks. TWENTY FOUR pencils. Do I even need
to say anything here? Twenty-four pencils. When I went to school I did
a whole lot more writing than my kids do now, and I went through maybe
three. I remember getting down to the end of a pencil and it being an
amazing, celebratory experience. Are there more kids who chew their
pencils beyond recognition nowadays? Are they making log cabins out of
pencils in art class? Are they donating some to Africa? And the four
glue sticks thing. I never got to the bottom of a glue stick. Well
maybe I did. Once. FOUR?
Oh, and why they require TWO packages of the same 8 markers is beyond me. If they run out I’ll go buy more later.
I could go on, but you get the picture. I’m returning a bunch of the
stuff I got, and my kids are going to school with probably half of the
pencil-case requirements. It wiped me out. I’m broke. Twins to buy
school supplies for. Indoor shoes, music lessons, sports, lunches…
And then. The public schools like to think they’re private nowadays.
Teachers out there, feel free to flame me for this part if you feel
like it, but why on EARTH am I paying fees at a public school? For each
child, it’s $150.00. Not too bad, compared to university tuition or
private school. Add to that, however, fees for an agenda that the kids
REQUIRE as part of their curriculum. Should I be buying them textbooks
in grade two as well? After the agenda fees, there are the lunch lady
fees. I have to pay the lunch lady, too. Once a month there’s a "hot
lunch day" where local fast food joints nourish our babies’ bellies
with 100% pure ground beef on sesame seed buns, special sauce and nice
big swigs of milkshakes to wash it all down. SO order that on the order
form and pay no later than Tuesday for all three boys now in school.
Oh, and volunteer your time to help distribute it. After that, about
once or twice amonth, there are hot dog days and cupcake crazes where
the kids get to eat meat-packing plant floor scrapings, white bread and
sugar. Pack some Twonies in the kids pockets for that. Sometime at the
beginning of the year too, expect to get a nice invoice for field trip
fees. You’ll probably buy some skates to go along with that. So after
all of that, your happy child marches home with Scholastic book order
forms once a month. Once a month!!! I think I remember twice a year.
Then there’s the UNicef Halloween penny carnival, the Christmas
fundraising campaignSSS (yes, three of them: wreaths,
gifts/chocolates/wrapping paper, and whatever else.) As well as the
charity drive for the Kinsmen club where you buy extra toiletries and
presents for all the less fortunate ones who can’t afford deodorant
because they were too busy paying the public schools on top of their
tax money. Tired yet? It doesn’t end. They sponsor a child in Africa,
ask for change every single week of the year, and by the time school is
over, hand you a big fat list of what you’ll need next year, along with
all the school supplies that miraculously didn’t get used. There’s also
a teacher appreciation WEEK where every single day you’re to bring
something else to flesh out the staff room, volunteer to help with the
festivities, and donate money. I found out last year that the parents’
generosity helped to fund a cappuccino machine for the staff room! Oh
BLISS! Then there’s a spellathon and a math-a-thon. Sponsor your kids
and run around begging for money from your extended family and co
workers that they pledge to give if your kid can spell "the".
Thank goodness the kids don’t ride the bus. I’m so bloody broke.
Tell you what. I know our schools aren’t getting funded adquately. I
know our poor teachers can’t make ends meet so they need to strike once
every four years or so. Let’s just quit pretending we even have a
public school system, call the whole thing private, charge me tuition
at the beginning of the year, all-inclusive, and leave me the hell
alone. It’ll probably save me a bundle.