Thursday, August 16, 2012
My kids are trying a pseudo school this year, a one day a week "enrichment" program. They each have 6 classes, each class with it's own supply list. Most of it is basic school stuff, but some of the classes (like art, music, and cooking) have extra supplies that go above and beyond normal expenses. It turns out that's a lot of stuff.
We spent $200+ on school supplies.
How do families do this every year? It's a pain, it's expensive, and it's so wasteful.
Now, we have a good supply of basic school stuff stashed in our closet. Usually I shop the clearance sales at the end of August/beginning of September and get plenty of whatever we might use, and I get it for pennies. Because the kids (justifiably) wanted their supplies when school started, and because school starts 6 weeks (!) before summer is over, I had to buy the things on their lists now. Before the sales.
Man, it kills me to pay full price for things.
Oh, and they each need their own stuff. 3 x 6 x EVERYTHING. Homeschooling we, you know, SHARE. So one set of water color crayon$ is enough for everyone. Also, we make do. If we don't have the exact thing we thought we wanted in our supplies, we look at what we do have and make it work. The teachers had very specific items on their class lists. By specific I mean down to the band name of the proper type of crayons. Not kidding - no off brands for these teachers. All that adds up.
Did I mention that this is an enrichment program? So all this expense is on top of our usual costs. The program itself is funded through the local school district, which is desperate to see if they can recoup some of the losses they've had from all us homeschoolers not putting out kids in school. I get that as a public school they are underfunded. I get that. I wonder if they get that most homeschoolers are underfunded too, as most of us are living on one income. (or less in some cases)
Hmm.. I think this is yet another example of why/how homeschooling is easier and cheaper than most non-homeschoolers realize.