Back to School – Part 1

September 1, 2006 at 9:19 pm 17 comments

Time sure flies.  School starts next week.  Summer fun is over.   

One of the things I do to get ready for school is to shop for school supplies.  The kids get their supplies list on the last day of school.  Stores usually display the school supplies at the beginning of August.  As I went through their list a few weeks ago, I told my boys that we’ll have to reuse some of their old school supplies.  Like for example their pencil crayons.  Every June, when school ends, they bring home their used crayons, pencils, markers and we dump them in this 3-drawer container.  This is what they use at home when they do their homework.  But as years go by, they just accumulate.  Their pencil crayons and markers from last year were still in good condition.  I was able to convince them to reuse some of their supplies if they wanted to buy new backpacks. 

And did you know that back-to-school shopping is the considered the second biggest holiday next to Christmas?  It’s the second busiest and more expensive, that is. 

Kids here have a full page of lists.  When I was still in school, I only needed a few supplies aside from the books.  Notebooks, a few pads of paper, pens, pencils, erasers, paste, pencil case and a school bag. 


Here’s a typical list of school supplies that a 3rd grader here will need.  And they have to bring all of these on the first day of school.  I have highlighted the ones that my son is reusing. 

1 – 3 inch, ring binder                         1 – 1 inch, ring binder

20 pencils, sharpened HB                    1 red pen

8 erasers – white                                1 ruler, 30 cm

1 pair scissors                                      8 glue sticks – large

1 bottle Bondfast glue – Large             10 Duotangs (different colours) 

1 calculator (simple function)                1 package of dividers

2 Ziploc Freezer bags                           1 deck playing cards

1 pencil case                                       2 boxes Kleenex, 200s

1 sharpener (enclosed for shavings)      

1 – 12 pack watercolour paints 

1 school bag or backpack

1 package Crayola crayons – 8 pack or more

1 package felt markers – Laurentian or Crayola

1 package of oil pastels (8-16) – Crayola

1 package pencil crayons, sharpened

10 scribblers – Hilroy (3 hole) (not coil bound)

1 Hilroy studio scrapbook (35.6 x 27.9 cm) (coil binding)

1 Hilroy project book (72 pages)

1 package loose-leaf paper (100 sheets)

1 pair indoor running shoes, clearly marked with child’s name

Gym shorts and a T-shirt for Phys. Ed.

1 drawstring cloth bag to hold Phys. Ed. Clothing

1 Webster’s English dictionary (simple paperback)

$15.00 for the purchase of various crafts and cooking supplies

$7.00 for the purchase of a student school agenda 


Which reminds me that I still have to label these supplies.


Entry filed under: Detour, Special Occasions.

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ladybug  |  September 1, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    wahh….that’s a long list you have there. And quite expensive too. I remember my grade school days. I would always request for new supplies. But my needs were simpler than…a new set of notebooks and pencils and erasers and pencil case, and I was all set. 🙂 And of course, books too.

  • 2. ipanema  |  September 1, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    aaaw…reminds me of my children’s lists as well. I have to agree that it is expensive! When my children were in primary school, they love new school bags each year. Now that they’re in secondary, they’re the ones who tell me that their bags are still ok, so there’s no need to buy a new one. Much to my relief. 🙂

  • 3. bugsybee  |  September 1, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Wooow, this brings me back to my grade school days (centuries ago ;)). We’d go to school and come back with long, long lists of things to buy. As soon as we get home, I’d always flip the pages of my new notebooks and smell them … I’d always close my eyes and inhale deeply. I just loved the smell of new books and notebooks.

  • 4. Karen  |  September 2, 2006 at 3:38 am

    i got my “school supplies:” loose leaf and a pen ;).
    it annoys me to see advertisements of cellphones. laptops, cameras and other electronics that says “back to school basics.” i know it’s their job to sell, but they’re just making school more expensive. plus, i think it makes students want way more than they actually need.

  • 5. Major Tom  |  September 2, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    Oh how things have changed as I always thought of everytime this time of the year comes. My kids does a lot of shopping with their mom during these times when I remember that when I was their age, I only had to buy some basic things like paper and pencils. In those days, we didn’t even used much crayon…

  • 6. niceheart  |  September 2, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    Ladybug, this is only for one child. I have another one who have a long list too. My oldest one doesn’t need that much supplies, only the basics.

    Ipanema, I also used to buy new bags every year. But now their bags last to about 2-3 years. But it was time to buy them new ones. Hopefully these ones last a couple more years. 🙂

  • 7. niceheart  |  September 2, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Bugsybee, I also love the smell of new books. I still love notebooks and stock up on them, for my personal use. 🙂

    Karen, I’m just glad that my kids are not into that kind of electronic gadgets yet. But if you need cellphones, cameras, etc., I think this is the best time to buy them while they’re on sale.

    Major Tom, things have really changed a lot, much simpler back then, eh?

  • 8. Eric  |  September 3, 2006 at 12:52 am

    This a long list!

    Can’t they just buy as needed?

  • 9. ann  |  September 3, 2006 at 1:23 am

    I can relate with your long list of school supplies. We did the shopping for 2 or 3 days. My youngest doesn’t want to use old supplies.

  • 10. haze  |  September 3, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    You are a good negotiator 😉 and you are right to impose!!! Practicality is needed & important now a days ! I’ve already bought my son’s school supplies 3 weeks ago to avoid cramming & the crowd and to have more choices ! You are definitely right, I also have a long long list of them and **ALL SUPPLIES SHOULD BE CLEARLY MARKED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME** he he he parehong pareho. Even the glass I bought to be used during lunchbreak should be obligatory labelled with his name on it.

    They are more organize and yet more expensive too ! Hay buhay 🙂

  • 11. phil  |  September 3, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    All those supplies are cool to a kid, makes ’em feel like they are doing something important. They need more stuff than a college student these days, since all we really need are some notebooks, a calculator, a few pens, and a computer. Of course, the cost of the pc or laptop would buy a whole lot of school supplies for a gradeschooler.

  • 12. niceheart  |  September 3, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    Eric, this is actually in favour to the parents because school supplies are on sale this time of the year. Besides, the children will need the supplies right away, like for example they need a duotang (folder) and a scribbler for each of their subjects.

    Ann, my kids didn’t want old supplies too when they were a lot younger. But now, it’s alright with them. 🙂

  • 13. niceheart  |  September 3, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    Haze, it’s really important to be practical. And it’s also a good idea to shop early. I used to be early, but this time I had been quite busy with activities and procrastinated. So I was cramming these past two weeks. 🙂

    Phil, that’s true. College students need less, but the things they need are more expensive. And you forgot the books. I’ve heard university students here complaining about the high prices of books.

  • 14. aurea  |  September 4, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    The best part of back-to-school for me was shopping for school supplies 🙂 . I really looked forward to starting a new grade.

    Now, as a grad student, I dread the start of the semester. Bills to pay, meetings with academic adviser “Why haven’t you submitted you thesis proposal?”


  • 15. Eric  |  September 4, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    Oh, I see 🙂

    BTW, just thought about a grade/middle school in Florida who requires their students a laptop — no more notebooks. Read about it five years ago.

  • 16. niceheart  |  September 4, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    Aurea, school is always exciting for young kids. But when we get older and are reminded of our responsibilities, it becomes a drag.

    Thanks for dropping by, btw.

    Wow, Eric. Laptop? We could not even afford a second PC, much more a laptop. But I won’t be surprised if that happens here too.

  • 17. Teacher  |  May 4, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Seems like you guys need to buy a heck of a lot of equipment for the new school year. Over here children manage to get by with a pen, pencil, eraser and ruler most of the time. If they need to use anything else we supply it to them. Keeps the costs in proportion for low earning families!


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