My older son started 1st grade this school year. When I received his school supply list, I was mildly shocked: 4 notebooks, multiple sets of markers, pencils, paints (thick and thin, specific brands), scissors, many many glue sticks, a clipboard, and cleaning supplies. All in all, I figure we spent over $60 on supplies spread out over 4 stores, and that was with a reused backpack and lunch box.
Well thank goodness that hurdle was cleared, let's head back to school!
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But then the other back to school expenses started rolling in.
$5 for a field trip shirt; a Chuck-E-Cheese fundraiser; a Yankee Candle sales fundraiser (thank you, school, for holding a convocation wherin a talking bumblebee makes a Yankee Candle sales pitch to first graders. There was NO confusion as to how and why they would all drive a stretch Hummer limo to a bounce house party after selling a certain amount of Yankee stuff); $9.50 for a field trip; a Scholastic book order; a local BBQ fundraiser; arm bands and tickets for the fall carnival.
I'm all for education, but does anyone else think this is overkill? I remember picking out a new folder and a cardboard pencil box for school, and later in the year selling a few $1 chocolate bars. We are not even four weeks into the school year and I feel bled dry. This doesn't even include the cost of fall sports and music lessons that we choose privately--the above list is just for ordinary public school.
How do other schools roll out these back to school programs, and how do families with tight budgets and/or more kids handle it all?