Another Question About School Supplies (For a Kindergartener)

Updated on August 09, 2011
S.G. asks from Fort Eustis, VA
16 answers

We got the supply list the school provided, and have no problem kicking in for some ziploc bags, glue sticks, etc. BUT what I'm confused about is that the list they gave us seems to be ONLY the communal stuff. There wasn't really a list of what kind of paper, pencils, etc., we should be sending in our son's backback on day #1. So do we just wait until the open house and ask then? Provide him with a few basics to take on his first day? This is all new to me. Thanks!

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answers from San Francisco on

In kindergarten they usually use very specific, school provided paper and pencils, that's probably why they are not on the list :)

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answers from Washington DC on

I would guess if it's not on the list, don't send it. Maybe the school provides some, or maybe a second list will come home from school with him. Call the school and ask.

For us, we send in large amounts of everything that is communal -tissues, ziplocs, pencils, glue, etc. The only thing my daughter (2nd grade) gets of her own is crayons (24), colored pencils, pencil box, 4 folders, and 5 composition books. From experience, I know I will need a few specific homework items too.

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answers from Sacramento on

The supply list should cover it. If they need more, they will definitely let you know. I'd just send your son with the requested items.

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answers from New York on

Each classroom teacher or grade level gets a budget for school supplies for the year. Some teachers elect to use that money for "communal items", some use them for "teacher or grade specific items". It sounds like your child's teacher has decided that she would like for families to provide "communal"and the school will provide day-to-day items.

Send in only what is requested! Most Kindergarten classrooms do not have desks, they have centers. Each center has a "supply caddy" with the items the teacher needs for that center- pencils, crayons, scissors, glue stick, etc. No one has their "own" anything until they are old enough to have a desk to store them!

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answers from Washington DC on

Kindergarteners don't use the standard lined paper you get in stores and may not even use the standard pencils. They likely will use the special extra-wide-lined little-kid paper with the dotted line in the center to help them position letters--remember? I would not even expect a K student to have anything like the list older kids (even first graders) would have. Don't stress about the list. There have been so many posts on here in the past week or so with stress about school lists. I'd just get what's on it and ask the teacher if he or she needs anything more -- teachers love it when parents do that and a good teacher will really let you know.

For kindergarten, you might even donate without being asked: Antibacterial wipes (for desks etc.), boxes of Kleenex, and boxes of fun Band-Aids (kids this age love them for boo-boos when they are feeling insecure -- after all, they're new to this like you are). The teacher will like your thoughtfulness!

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answers from Denver on

Not at all uncommon to buy communal stuff. There should be no need to purchase anything for his personal use. If you did, it would probably just stay in his backpack or get absorbed into the classroom supplies.

Often they have a certain kind of paper, notebooks, pencils etc that the school can purchase in bulk to save money. I'm all for that. This also provides consistency in materials as the kids are learning to write, use a pencil etc. Also at this age, they just usually have communal supplies at every table ie: scissors, glue sticks, markers, crayons, pencils. I can imagine it would be pretty difficult for a kinder to keep track of their own school supplies. Our kinder classrooms just have tables, so there isnt a place to store personal supplies anyway.

I think a few important things to ask at the open house (among many other questions) would be things like:
- Is there anything you need for your classroom?
- how can I help you?
- can I volunteer in the classroom?
- do you have an aide or educational assistant?
- should I send in a snack for my child? any nut restrictions?
- should they have their own water bottle?
-is there a potty in the classroom or is it in the hallway? Are they escorted, etc.
- how do you send home information, is it always in the backpack?
- do you have a website, is it okay to email you?
-how do you observe birthdays? Am I allowed to bring in a special treat?

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answers from Daytona Beach on

wait unti you meet the teacher. they usually (from what i have found) have an additional list or request for you to bring in something also. i'd also wait to get a backpack. i was told this year at our new school that some teachers don't want backpacks either.

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answers from Green Bay on

Our school provides everything. We chip in for communal stuff, like snacks, sanitizer, art supplies and stuff like that. I also buy my kids a folder for homework so that it helps them be organized and a notebook so they can keep their journal stuff organized and bring it home at the end of the year. Other than that, I just buy some supplies for them to use at home. I wouldn't stress about it. In kindergarten they don't expect too much from the kids.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Stock up on crayons and glue while they are 25 cents. You will need to keep replacing them throughout the year and are great for at home as your child will be learning how to do more projects.

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answers from Norfolk on

id ask the teacher on meet the teacher day. although my daughters teacher only asked for baggies, tissue, sanitizer, wipes and snacks throughout the year. she had communal stuff from the previous years and i guess bought the paper and notebooks each year herself. this year she says she only needs glue sticks as she is running low. if you buy stuff keep the receipt just in case your kid comes home the first day saying she didnt need it afterall.



answers from Washington DC on

I would talk to the school. Let them know that not only is it confusing, but what the heck is the parent of a newly minted kindergartener supposed to send with the kid on the FIRST day? FOR THE KID.

I'd send the kid with some paper, a couple of pencils that are theirs only, a folder for any papers handed out, a backpack, and lunch.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Odds are, he won't need a thing on Day O..

He can take a pencil box in his back pack containing crayons, 2 pencils, a glue stick and safety scissors. That seems to be S.O.P. for K!



answers from Honolulu on

Just get what is on the list.
This is what the children will need.... communal or not.
The Teachers/school, has a list for each grade level.
It is not all the same.

As far as 'paper'.... Kindergarten usually uses "Primary Composition" books or those marble type composition tablets.
Pencils, are for your child. Even if they put it in a communal bin.
You LABEL each school supplies item for your child.
Pencils will be #2. This is standard.
And you will need erasers. Is this on the list????
And some kind of glue. Is this on the list?
Or, some schools provide this stuff for the kids.

Is the open house BEFORE the 1st day of school, or after????
If it is before, then you can ask them then.
OR, simply CALL THE SCHOOL ahead of time, and ask them.
So that, you have your child's school supplies ahead of time and not at the last minute.

You don't know, what the 'few basics' are anyway... because for Kindergarten it will vary. Per the curriculum and what this grade level does, per the school's guidelines for each grade level's curriculum and activities.

Also, crayons and markers (thin and thick) are often on a kid's supply list.

The bottom line is: it will vary per school and per grade level. You cannot guess, at what the list 'should' be.
So just get and send in, what IS on the list.
Or he will not have what he needs.
And you do not know, what the school provides or not.



answers from New York on

Don't wait until open house. Give the school a call.

It's posslbe that the school will be supplying him with all the items he'll need. You may want to make sure you have supplies on hand at home. It's always a good idea to have a box or two of crayons and some glue sticks on hand.



answers from Norfolk on

I'm a kindergarten assistant and we don't ask for paper because the school usually provides that so I would not worry about that. Plus at that age most of the writing they do will be in journals that the teachers have either made or have bought with the money they are allotted(sp?) for the year. They will do a lot of glueing and cutting so I agree with another that said to stock up on glue sticks while they are cheap cause you will be asked to send some in at a later date. Right now Target has glue sticks for 20 cents. If you have any other questions I would wait and ask at open house but everything that they want is usually on the supply list. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me if you have any other questions.



answers from Norfolk on

I am in the same general vicinity as you are. My daughter's list includes quite a bit of communal stuff too. (Wipes, paper towels, lysol wipes, etc) without the basics that I thought would/should be on the list (no paper, pencils, etc). We got lots of markers, glue, same as you.

We have to pay a fee for the rental of books and the "consumable" items which I am translating into paper and workbooks. But this is also a private school so things in the public system are probably different.

I know that last year, my sitter's kids had to take sandwich bags to make some art projects which I thought was strange. If they stated which size bags it may be for if the children have an accident and need to change clothes they would have something to put the clothes in???

Talk to the teacher/school. They will be able to answer your questions. I am sending most of it (1 box each of the items they asked for 3+ of on the first day of school and will send the rest throughout). Where is the teacher supposed to store (say 20 kids per class x3) 60 boxes of tissues, 60 boxes of wipes, 60 rolls of paper towels, etc

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