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SuperMouse's avatar

Would you ever consider sending your kid to school with last year's school supplies?

Asked by SuperMouse (30809points) June 4th, 2010

The boys brought home their book bags this week, and they were full of pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, etc, and of course all of these things are on their supply list for next year. I am incredibly tempted to send them on the first day with this year’s pencil bag full of hardly used stuff, rather than spending the money for new supplies. Would you do it? Do you see the ritual of shopping for school supplies as too important to miss? Might sending used supplies be dooming your child to a year of teasing because they don’t have brand new stuff?

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31 Answers

zenele's avatar

Just the backpack if it’s in great condition. The rest will resort to unnecessary peer pressure shit.

shego's avatar

No, my mom did that to me every year. There was no teasing what so ever. Save your money these are tight times.

dpworkin's avatar

Why on earth would anyone notice, let alone care?

cookieman's avatar

Sure – as long as they’re in good shape and still functional.

We sort through them (pens, pencils, markers, erasers, etc.) at the end of the year and divide into piles (keep at home, donate to goodwill, and keep for next school year).

We always get a new backpack though because A) it’s usually in rough shape and B) my daughter looks forward to getting a new one.

filmfann's avatar

My kids backpacks were always ruined by the end of the year, and needed replacement.
For school supplies, get a small amount of new stuff, then slowly backfill with the old stuff. No one will notice.
I do remember the simple joy of having a new lunch pail every year

reverie's avatar

Oh my gosh… maybe it’s been too long since I was at school, but I wouldn’t dream of replacing objects that were in perfectly good condition. Sorry, but I think replacing stuff for the sake of it is just ridiculous, and exactly what advertisers and marketers of these sorts of products want you to do.

I’m pretty sure no-one I went to school with replaced everything year on year just for the sake of it, and of course, if things got worn out (like bags), they were replaced, but this wasn’t necessary for everything. Maybe the schools we refer to are very different, or times have changed, but I really don’t remember anyone being teased about this at all.

In any case, I really wouldn’t feel right doing something wasteful on behalf of my child, just to avoid the bad opinion of someone stupid enough to tease another person because they didn’t re-purchase items unecessarily. I think it would send a really good message to your kids to replace what is worn out and keep what is perfectly fine, rather than sending the message that you will play into the hands of children who want to tease them by replacing all of their things. To me, that seems to avoid the issue rather than address it, and whilst I appreciate you don’t want your children to run the risk of being given a hard time, I think only replacing what needs to be replaced sends a far better message.

That’s just my view though, and it may not be appropriate for you or your children to do that, for whatever reason.

SuperMouse's avatar

What’s interesting is that unless the backpack is falling apart or full of holes they keep it! After buying inexpensive ones that don’t even last a full school year I decided to spend more in hopes of getting better quality. It worked, the oldest – who is going into sixth grade – has had the same backpack since first grade.

talljasperman's avatar

you can always keep the old stuff for homework and house use…Items that are dated would lead to teasing…I always got teased for using my fathers old college binders and supplies with the schools logo on them…at least until I hit 6“1’ and learned how to bully back…I remember having an outdated mickey mouse pencil holder…I was embarrased…but normal paper and pencils don’t get noticed…buy stuff that doesn’t have them and your set for life…I’m still using paper from 20 years ago (their was a sale $0.34 for 200 pages)

wilma's avatar

I agree with everything @reverie said.
I can’t imagine throwing away good stuff and buying new.
There are always things that need to be gotten new at the beginning of the school year. Shoes, underwear and some clothing, as well as something new and shiny to add to the pencil box supply list.
Save your money for those things.

Trillian's avatar

Lord yes! The list of stuff I have to buy gets longer and more ridiculous every year. Hand sanitizer and tissues indeed. A new pack is usually necessary, but a new pencil case? Pencils? Ruler? Glue stick? Forget it.

casheroo's avatar

I remember loving buying school supplies. It’s funny, now that I’m in college, I reuse my folders and try to continue to use my notebooks, and binders.
I think at that age, new folders and notebooks are necessary, but pens and other things are fine to reuse.

BoBo1946's avatar

Would not give it a second thought…sounds like good commonsense!

marinelife's avatar

No, because then I would not be able to buy any new school supplies, which I am addicted to.

cookieman's avatar

Mmmm…new pencil smell.

chyna's avatar

Mmm.. new bottle of elmer’s glue to eat.

MissAusten's avatar

I wouldn’t even hesitate to save them for fall. I highly doubt anyone will even notice. In fact, you’ve inspired me to make sure to set aside the extra supplies my kids bring home at the end of this year so I can find them easily when we need to take stock of what they need in the fall. Usually they put the things away themselves, and by the end of summer stuff is so spread out (or just lost).

@SuperMouse I hear you on the backpack, too. We got our daughter a decent backpack in second grade, and she’s still using it in fifth. It looks hideous, but is holding together well. No tears, holes, or broken zippers, and she is not gentle with it. I offered to get her a new one at the beginning of this school year, but she turned me down flat. She loves that thing.

BoBo1946's avatar

@chyna lmao…or sniff!

jfos's avatar

I remember from when I was in grade school that I would much rather re-use folders/binders/pencils/pens if it meant getting new shoes.

zenele's avatar

You don’t wait until your shoes are completely finished til you buy new ones, right? Same for school supplies – kids get teased about that.

JLeslie's avatar

Of course if the items are still good I would use them again next year. The question almost makes no sense to me. When I went shopping for school it was for whatever I needed for the school year. That is, what I did not have already that I needed. I don’t get it. Why would you buy something if you already have it? You will still participate in the ritual because they will need something. New clothes, a new notebook, or paper. And part of the ritual can be pulling out what you have and going through it, deciding what you can use and making a list of what you will need to buy.

@zenele If it is a Batman backpack and they are getting too old for that I can see gettng a new one even if the backpack is in good condition. But new pens and pencils??

lilikoi's avatar

I most certainly would let them use stuff from last year. A new school year does not justify tossing out perfectly good stuff and going on a shopping spree. Real life isn’t punctuated by school years. They might as well learn that now.

Cupcake's avatar

Whatever your kid is comfortable with… they’re the one going back to school.

If they don’t want used stuff at the beginning of the year, I like @filmfann‘s idea of backfilling with the older items.

SmashTheState's avatar

This is why I will never inflict a sprog on the world. Who needs another vapid, selfish, materialistic little conformist with a runny nose? There’s absolutely no way you can possibly protect a child from the capitalist brainwashing of consume consume consume, which can only be sated by obey obey obey. Any rebellious or self-reliant spirit will be mocked out of them by the other children repeating the noxious propaganda they get forced on them at home and in the media.

SuperMouse's avatar

@SmashTheState you make raising children sound so pleasant! So my two choices are to raise vapid, selfish materialistic little runny nosed conformists, or have my children mocked? Judging by the point of view you espouse here, it is definitely a good thing that you do not plan on having children.

I ask this question mostly because of the ritual of shopping for school supplies. I think a lot of kids had memories of going to the store with their parents and picking out folders etc. in preparation for the first day of school. Rather than seeing it as a way to train them to be mindless consumers, I see it as a way to get them excited about something that kids tend to be less than enthusiastic about: the first day of school.

cookieman's avatar

@SmashTheState: I’m offended! My materialistic little conformist never has a runny nose.

Val123's avatar

Of course I would!

casheroo's avatar

sprog? I’ve only ever heard that term from lol

perspicacious's avatar

You must live in my neighborhood.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Eliminate badly worn items and supplement serviceable supplies with new required items. Teach your kids to take pride in avoiding wastefulness. The money you save should go to benefit them.

zenele's avatar

Okay okay I didn’t say replace pens and pencils. Genug shoyn – we’re all on the same recycled page already.

jerv's avatar

I see no problem there, but make sure that they have the latest model iPhone or they will be razzed mercilessly :P

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