Until this week I had no idea that school supplies were such a controversial topic among school mums!
Next week my first born heads off to ‘big school’ and I officially become a school mum. So over the past week I’ve been doing things I haven’t done before in January – copious amounts of labelling of an entire box of school supplies…worth $175!! Being a new school mum with nothing to compare this to I simply placed my online order and waited for it to turn up. I didn’t even consider shopping around to save money. Next year… That figure doesn’t include the cost of uniforms, lunchboxes and other school items.
When I shared this on my Facebook page it attracted quite a lot of attention. Advice from experienced school mums, school teachers and rants about school supplies from other mums.
I was shocked to learn that school supplies vary widely between schools from resource schemes where you contribute money and never see the supplies to old school booklists where everything needs to be purchased and labelled.
My school is the latter and I have to say I’m quite jealous of the ‘schemers’ who don’t have to spend as much time getting organised for the school year. Although some school mums are less than impressed with the costs of their school’s scheme and miss out on the opportunity to save money by shopping where they choose.
When I posted to Facebook, a week before school was due to start, I was unsure about whether I needed to label the school supplies. I asked another mum already at the school and her advice was to label everything in the hope of reusing items in future years. I agreed this seemed advantageous and I quickly became well acquainted with my new labelling machine.
Responses from my Facebook followers ranged from empathy to cynicism about my labelling efforts. Only time will tell whether it was worth the effort and determine my future efforts.
At 3pm on the Friday before school started I received an email from the school (who shall not be named) which clearly stated that school supplies needed to be labelled. I feel for any mums who’ll be spending the weekend frantically labelling everything due to this last minute information. Good luck getting book covers too because when I went to Officeworks on Tuesday they were down to only 2 different patterns in 2 different sizes. Thankfully not too ‘girly’ for my son either.
Now that I know about resource schemes I might suggest our school consider this for future years too. The mental load of parents, particularly mums, is enough without extra work like shopping for school supplies and labelling everything.
Let’s see if all my labelling pays off come the end of the school year. I’ll let you know in December 2018!
Does your school have a resource scheme or old school system? What are your thoughts on school supplies?