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School Supplies: HELP?!?

So my oldest is set to start Kindergarten in just a couple of weeks. We have been given the following school supply list:


First, I have already pre-purchased some of these supplies that were not the brands specified. I have heard two different things – some of my friends feel it is imperative to purchase the exact item listed and others buy what is available, on sale or already in their possession regardless of brand.

What’s your take on that?

And second, my husband strongly objects to the community approach of combining everyone’s property and handing it out each time it is used. He would rather our boys have to learn to take care of their things and have to deal with their own consequences if they break their crayons or leave the caps off their own markers rather than dealing with the aftermath of the last child’s use.

I have read recommendations that say to label everything with your child’s name to alleviate this. What do you do?


  1. Well, I kinda disagree with it, too...but I see why it's done and I don't have a problem helping out...I know if they run out, the teacher's usually have to replace the items from their own pocket book...and that's not right either. I think really if you don't want to contribute, you don't have to. I mean...they aren't going to keep your kid out of school because you haven't brought all your crayons or glue.

    Anyway. What I do is this. If it asks for a specific brand then I consider it. I happen to have an opinion on different school supplies and when someone asks for Crayola for instance, I probably will get it, but when it comes to Elmer's glue sticks...probably not...unless they end up the same price.

    As far as labeling, I don't label unless it's an expensive item that will come home w/them. Like a backpack, or like the 3" binders that I just bought my boys. I got those for a deal at Target for a little over $12. They are the zip up kind and I'd be more than annoyed if they came home with a big white 3" folder... you know. When it comes to the plain old folders...I don't label, why bother? They are mostly for classroom use and there are required colors because it helps the teachers keep them organized.

    Oh, and I have been known to label scissors...but only if I buy something I think is better than average or if I'm replacing them at some point during the year. AND I don't send the labeled items with them at meet the teacher. These items go to school the first day. Also, also, I usually let my kids pick out a couple of 'special' items...fancy pencils, or a great school box. Those things also get labeled and brought at a different time.

    :) Have fun!

  2. I am a little surprised they specified the brand of glue but maybe that's what the teacher has experienced is best and with the great back to school sales it's usually pretty cheap.

    I say your husband has to get over that a little bit :) because that's just the way public schools do it. Our list actually breaks it down for what you should write your name on and what you shouldn't write your name on because they are community items. In my daughter's kindergarten class they had their own baskets with their stuff that had their names on it and they were responsible for taking care of their own stuff. Now I wouldn't go as far to say they have to deal with the consequences of leaving their lids off their markers because I've had teachers email home telling me that I need to buy them new ones so it was me who had to pay for it. I mean I understand the concept and we use it at home - they are responsible for their things but it just doesn't really work at school.

    Oh and another point on labeling I actually had a teacher write on the outside of my child's lunchbox with a big black marker after the first day because I hadn't labeled it- um yeah not cool.


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