It's that time of year in my kids' district. For many parents that time of year was a few weeks ago. Here, we just recently received a general school supply list for my son entering 7th grade. Keep in mind, it states up top that these are only general supplies and that his teachers will request more specific supplies at the start of school.

Before I begin my rant, let me say I understand things aren't like when I was a kid. Property taxes have gone out of control, so the days of the school providing most everything they need are gone. I do understand that. If we went back to that, our property taxes would only be even higher and that would hit those without kids and wouldn't be fair. I get it. Let me also say I don't blame teachers. Not in the slightest. Teachers year in and year out reach into their own pockets, and deep into their own pockets, to buy even more of what the students need so that the impact on parents is a little more bearable. My wife is a teacher and we spend hundred of dollars a year and things she needs for her classroom that districts don't provide. Again, I get it.

That being said, this is always a nerve wracking time of year. The supply lists seem to get longer every year. And I hate when a school sends home a list of general supplies, then the teachers have their own separate list you find out about later. It has happened to me (in other districts) that you go out and buy what they say you need for general supplies only to find out the teachers won't let their kids use half of what's on the list. They want a specific color binder, so the blue ones you bought are now useless. They want folders with pockets, not the ones without. They want fine point markers, not regular point markers.

Below is the general list they say I'll need for my son. What I think of as the 'real' list, the one from specific teachers, is still to come.

Language Arts
Pencils and pens - Black or blue and red
3x5 index cards
3 ring binder
Dividers for notebook
White-out
Ear Buds

Mathematics
Notebook paper
Highlighters (yellow)
Post-its
Graphing calculator, TI 83 Plus/TI 84 Plus for Advanced and Accelerated classes
Scientific calculator, TI 30 asII, for Standard classes
1-2 inch 3-ring loose leaf binder, with paper and folder, dedicated to math
Pencils
Erasers
Highlighters
Pencil case/bag to carry supplies

Science
Pencils
Dividers with pockets or pocket folders for binder Black or blue pens
Notebook paper Red pen 3 ring binder
Social Studies
3-ring binder Pocket folder
Spiral notebook
Red or Green Pen for correcting
Blue or Black Pens
Pencils and colored pencils
Ruler Highlighters Pencils

So that's just to start. The individual teachers' lists to follow. The calculators really caught my eye. I looked up the first one, the TI 83 Plus. The least expensive new one I could find is $90. Wow. Maybe my son can use that calculator to figure out how his dad will afford all this.