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School Supplies for the Elementary Student

Updated on August 28, 2011

School Supplies


Preparing Your Child For Elementary School

As a teacher I would inevitably send a request home with children for their parents to provide supplies but of course this only came after I asked the school to provide the students with supplies and the school refused. It is always a tough spot to be in a as a teacher working with poor inner city at risk kids. The parents can barely afford to keep food on the table let alone buy their children supplies and the schools always seem rather insensitive to this fact.

There should probably be a study on just why is it that educators are so tight with their nickels when it come sot educating children. A sound investment in education means a prosperous nation so why so frugal when it comes to providing the most disadvantaged students with needed school supplies. Inevitably, I ended up spending my paycheck to provide the supplies. And I am glad I did. In a class room of children who were considered mentally handicapped or in laymen’s terms retarded ½ left not retarded. I lost just about everything that year but those children and I see them today and they have good jobs and good lives and this makes me happy.

But it would have been nice if there were an alternative to the impoverished teacher having to pay for the supplies. A charity should be set up for these types of occasions so things get donated and the teacher doesn’t have to spend their pay. But I did because it was may job to and I am my students were successful and I am very proud of all my students.

The purpose of this article is to provide some insight into what might be need for elementary school children returning to school. It differs from school to school and teacher to teacher so this is just a general list for when you do go shopping.

So here goes the list….

1- A note book for each subject with folders in the sides to keep homework.

2- Pencils, pencil sharpener and extra erasers

3- Pens

4- Protractor

5- Ruler

6- Protractor

7- Calculator

8- Washable markers, coloring pencils, crayons

9- Rounded scissors



12-Hand Sanitizer (I buy for my child. You do what you wish.)

13-Back pack

14-Lunch Box

Getting off to a Good Start

But again I would buy prelimarily and then check with the teacher upon orientation. And this of course is not all inclusive but only a good start since inevitably your child will have a project and need supplies or lose a notebook or break pencils. You will buy supplies throughout the year but hopefully this list will get your child off to a good start.


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      Jt Walters 6 years ago

      Hi mdcgradner,

      Thanks for reading and posting. I agree with you that cleaning supplies are the school's responsibility and therefore I have left them off the list with the exceptionof hand sanitzier which I encourage all children to use regularly and the tissues are for your own child's nose.

      In most instances teachers end up paying for these items because of bad administrations misappropraiting educational funds for other ventures. I would take that up with your local school board.

      And right now parents are out of work. Not every parent can afford ad they are struggling to make ends meet to put food on the table. It would be nice if there was a charity or an official ruling that public schools were required to provide these very basic supplies as they are funded by tax dollars so teachers don't have to supply what parents can't afford (in most cases) to provide. I have yet to see a parent not want to provide for their child.

      Thanks again for reading, commenting and providing feedback.


    • mdcgardner profile image

      mdcgardner 6 years ago

      I agree there should be alternatives to teachers having to provide these items. I have always felt that it should be the job of the school to buy a good many of the supplies such as kleenex, soap, and cleaners such as clorox wipes. I have never minded sending supplies that I know my child will use but absolutely hate seeing cleaning supplies on my children's list each year. I was even told to send a bottle of 409 with my oldest son when he started 1st grade. Parents pay taxes and that should supply cleaning supplies for each school. I have just registered my children in a new district and on top of the list of supplies there are registration fees for each child to cover the cost of things like art stuff. Here is a link to their list.