Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Ah, the children are off to school today. I have one child in 4th and another in 5th grade. Before school starts, we have an extensive back to school list of supplies that we are to provide for our children. Can we afford the supplies? yes. Do I feel they are necessary to my children's education? some yes, most no. I won't even get into the need for ziploc bags (of which I completed 9 years of primary, 4 years of high school and 4 years of college without ever using one in the classroom.) Okay fine, so I did get into the ziploc bag issue.

I have a larger issue - 108 pencils. Between my 2 children we were asked to provide 72 pencils for 4th grade and 36 for 5th grade. Does this not seem like a waste? Each year my mom would buy me a 12 pack of pencils of which I was solely responsible for sharpening and taking care of them, for the year. I cherished my pencils and they were always best when they were sharpened as far as they could go and still be usable. So what is the goal of having so many pencils per child? It can't be taking responsibility for your property. It can't be environmental responsibility. What could we possibly teach our children by requiring that they provide a wasteful amount of consumable goods in the classroom? I would love to know.

I say teach your children to use goods wisely and take responsibility for your supplies. A pencil is a wonderful tool for learning, art and conversation and should be valued not wasted.