Christina Vercelletto, senior editor at Scholastic’s Parent & Child Magazine, has something to say about shopping for school supplies.
Has anyone else noticed how specific school supply lists have gotten? I’ve had friends in Florida tell me they have, so I know it’s not just me here in New York.
For the last few years, my daughter’s lists have included items like Fiskar scissors, Pearl pink erasers, a box of 24 Crayola crayons, marble composition books in five different colors, Ticonderoga pencils, and a purple 2- inch binder.
I’m finding school supply shopping harder and pricier. Have you ever tried to find a purple 2-inch binder? I wound up having to order it online, and pay shipping that nearly doubled my cost. This specificity also keeps me from being able to reuse still-serviceable supplies from last year, which seems like a waste.
But what bothers me most is that my daughter is missing out on the fun of picking out her own markers, or the folder with the cute puppy on it. I always enjoyed school supply shopping as a kid. There was something about notebooks so new the pages stuck together that was, as corny as it sounds, magical. And what was more exciting that finding sparkly pencils in your favorite color, or cool erasers in the shape of baseballs and footballs? It makes me a little sad to think that my daughter can’t take that same delight in it.
I’ve discussed this phenomenon with other moms, and two theories on why it exists have emerged: some of us think it is simply because the brand name, presumably higher quality, goods will work better and last longer, resulting in fewer requests sent home for replacement supplies. The rest imagine it springs from the modern urge to make sure all kids are equal. In other words, maybe the old way resulted in some kids being unhappy that classmates had fancier supplies than they did.
Teachers: which camp is right? Maybe neither? Maybe both?
And parents: do you love uber-detailed supply lists, or hate them?
image via MomMaven