Had open house for our kids' school last night. Open house should instead be called "supplies drop off" night. When I was in school, Open House happened after the school year started and was done to allow the students to show off things they'd been doing in school - special assignments, art projects, etc. I don't even know where the art room IS in our kids' school, but my parents knew b/c we went from classroom to classroom looking at our stuff.
Speaking of school supplies though... I have a serious issue with the way they do school supplies at our school. They make you buy 5 boxes of crayons, 32 pencils, 8 expo markers, 3 folders, a binder, etc, etc, etc, and so you do. You let your kids pick out what they like and spend the bucks to get them quality stuff they will want to use. Then you get to the open house and everything is tossed into a communal box. WTF? NO! I bought that stuff for MY kid. I bought that Hello Kitty folder for MAKENNA, not Josie or Natalie or Katie or whomever else might be in her class.
I understand that some kids' parents can't afford to buy them the necessary school supplies and the extras we buy are used for those kids. I understand that and I agree that they probably need them and it's a good idea for us who can afford it to buy the extras to help out... HOWEVER, I do NOT like being FORCED to buy them. ASK me to buy an extra box of crayons, or an extra folder or two to provide to a needy student. DO NOT FORCE me to supply things for other people's kids. For all you know, *I* could be broke as hell and needed to use a credit card to buy school supplies this year. (I didn't, but they don't know that). For all they know, we could be in foreclosure and about to lose our house, and here we're buying extra school supplies for someone else's kid. (we're not, but that's beside the point - maybe another family is). I *DID* get stuck on furlough and lost 20% of my take home income, and as a result, school supplies were a hardship (I hadn't figured them into the budget). Brad ended up working overtime to pay for them. And as such, our kids did not get new clothes or shoes for school this year. They are in dire need of new clothes, but there's no budget for it yet. Nope... had to pay $150 for school supplies...
I am all about charity. Charity is a necessary thing in our world. I support charities. I donate to charities, I fundraise for charities. I just received a receipt on Friday claiming I'd given $800 worth of clothing to the battered women's shelter. I'm currently raising funds for St. Jude. I have raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I donate cash to fundraisers when I can afford to (recently gave $25 to Fisher House - a Ronald McDonald type organization for wounded soldiers, and gave $25 to the LLS). I am 100% pro charity... but when I have to buy 5 boxes of Crayola crayons (not Rose Art, Crayola b/c the sheet says so), 3 folders, 32 pencils, and 2 notebooks to be thrown in a box at Open House b/c Jimmy's parents can't afford to buy him what he needs and the extras will be given to him, I get a little upset. I work for my money (notice I didn't say hard... lol). Brad works for his money. We earn it to spend how we see fit. When we are forced to buy supplies for students that are not our own, it becomes a tax. And 17% of my $3,500 property tax bill already goes to the school. 1% of the sales tax in our county goes to the school. I pay registration for my kid to go to school. Surely a small chunk of that money could be used for poor Jimmy's school supplies.
Obviously, I would make a piss poor democrat... lol
Anyhow, that's my complaint... please don't force me to buy school supplies that go beyond what my kid will need for school. In fact, let me buy what he needs to START school and replace as needed as the school year goes on. It's less of a financial burden that way - for both our family and Little Jimmy's family. I could have easily cut our school bill in half and gotten my kids a pair of jeans or something for school with the extra money not spent on supplies.