Back to School Shopping

How much do two kids need?

I’ve been provisioning for Back to School this week.

Good grief, but it is complicated.

When I was in high school, I went down to the drug store and bought me a package of Bic pens and a couple of spiral bound notebooks.

You should see the list of supplies the kids need.

In addition to the textbooks I have to buy at the French textbook store. This year the French textbook store kindly offered a Book Cover Option, which I elected. This means that for a small fee, they will cover the kids’ textbooks with clear plastic. To help make my textbook euro go that much farther.

But the other stuff. For this we went to the Big Grocery Store. And I just turned them lose with their respective lists. Because while I can’t tell my corbeilles from my F8 feuilles simples, the kids seem to know what all this means.

The German teacher wants un classeur souple grand format avec 6 intercalaires et des pochettes plastifiées. Feuilles grands carreaux. In case you didn’t quite get it, and I didn’t, that’s a flexible large format workbook with six dividers and plastic sleeves. Pages with LARGE squares, please. Not lines.

Oh, but wait. Only one kid has German this year. The other kid has Spanish. And the Spanish teacher wants des copies simples et des copies doubles à grands carreaux. Un grand cahier, 200 pages, à grands carreaux, avec spirale. That’s loose leaf-paper (single and double) with LARGE squares. And a big notebook, 200 pages please, with LARGE squares. Oh, and make that spiral bound.

Math? Deux grands cahiers à petits carreaux, sans spirale, 100 pages. Des copies simples et des copies doubles à petits carreaux perforées, avec marges si possible. Une calculatrice scientifique TI ou CASIO Collège, 1 règle, 1 équerre, 1 compas, 1 rapporteur, 1 criterium (0.5 mm, mines HB), des stylos (bleu, noir, rouge & vert), 1 stylo encre bleue et 1 effaceur. For that we need two big notebooks, but with SMALL squares, NO spiral binding, and 100 pages. Loose-leaf paper (single and double), perforated, with SMALL squares, AND margins, if possible. A scientific calculator (Texas Instruments or CASIO College), a ruler, a square, a compass, a protractor, a mechanical pencil (0.5 mm, HB), pens (blue, black, red, AND green), a fountain pen (blue ink), and an eraser. For erasing the fountain pen ink.

Chemistry/Physics? Un grand cahier 21 x 29.7, petits carreaux, 100 pages, sans spirales; des copies simples et des copies doubles à grands carreaux. Une machine à calculer. A big notebook (21 x 29.7) with SMALL squares, 100 pages, NO spiral binding. Loose-leaf paper, but this time with the BIG squares. And any old calculator will do.

Are you exhausted yet? I am. And school doesn’t even start until Monday.

 

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  1. andrea says:

    I know! Older daughter’s school also gave us a list of books to buy on amazon.

  2. Tina says:

    Holy crap!

  3. Anita says:

    Will, while reading this over my shoulder this morning, actually came up with reasons why the teachers might be requesting certain things.

    I think he has been corrupted by his tutoring. This list makes sense to him!

    The one item that I cannot understand is the fountain pen. Why on earth would they need a fountain pen for math? And I love that they are specific about the lead for the pencil. Would I get marked down because I prefer the 0.9 mm?

  4. The Expatresse says:

    Anita: I have no idea why one needs a fountain pen for math. Or why my teacher cares what type of pen I use. Okay, the colors I get because the students mark work in various colors. But some of this other stuff . . . like you need a notebook with 100 pages. of course you need more than one for the year. And sometimes the specific combo just doesn’t exist. I have gone totally rogue before and purchased–are you sitting–TWO notebooks of 50 pages each. Or something like that.

    Last year Skittles was not allowed to have some form of white-out because the teacher thought the students might eat it. I was forever coming back from the store with the wrong form.

  5. Tina says:

    Sounds like these teachers are tooooo anal!

  6. Beet, you are the funniest thing out there in cyber-space! I laughed so hard reading this! You are a great story-teller: from someone else this could have been a moan, a rant, or a whine, but not you!
    We are undergoing the same drama, but with Target (always pronounced Tar-ZHAY) and Staples to help out!

  7. Potty Mummy says:

    I know all that is coming my way eventually but – Christ. My two are lucky if I remember to pack their trainers on the days they have PE…

    • The Expatresse says:

      Yesterday I forgot to pick one up! Kid that is.

      In my defense, she and I both thought she was finished an hour later. Turns out neither of us can read a schedule.

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