For whatever reason, public school teachers seem to need to buy supplies for their classes each year, using money from their own pockets. I won’t comment on that being right or wrong or even why because i simply don’t know. However, we as home educators, really can’t afford to purchase extraneous supplies, so we are careful to collect and use free stuff for educational supplies. When possible, we purchase secondhand textbooks and use them for all the children in the family. Or we share with other families whose children may be similar in age, but offset just a bit. (Currently, Missouri public education is funded by taxpayers at the rate of $10,457 per student per year). Since i have three children – had that been sent to me, i could have managed nicely on $31,371 per year!
Linn County R-I School District
Name: Linn County R-I School District
Average Daily Attendance: 220.8
Expenditure per Pupil: $11,343.44
Local, Percent of Expenditure: 43.89%
Local, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil:$4,978.31
State, Percent of Expenditure: 46.54%
State, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $5,279.22
Federal, Percent of Expenditure: 9.57%
Federal, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $1,085.91
Brookfield R-III School District
Name: Brookfield R-III School District
Average Daily Attendance: 968.3
Expenditure per Pupil: $9,569.70
Local, Percent of Expenditure: 44.99%
Local, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil:$4,305.84
State, Percent of Expenditure: 43.91%
State, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $4,202.25
Federal, Percent of Expenditure: 11.09%
Federal, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $1,061.61
To that end, i have on hand various supplies that have been given to me or sent in the mail (we get a bunch of return addresses from outfits asking for donations and typically there are fun stickers and parts of the address that can be cut for stickers.) Gifts that have been given to us (or i unapologetically collect tissue and paper from bridal showers or birthday parties that would have just been thrown away). Coloured tissue paper is so fun for tearing into shapes (think Eric Carle) and making books. Also, fun to fold and tie to make flowers, etc.
Coloured paper from flyers in the mail can be cut into strips to make decorative chains.
Making books involves math skills (ie: fold paper in half, one fourth), large and small motor skills (folding, tearing, punching holes, gluing, drawing, etc), sharing and helping (work in groups), creativity (develop story telling skills, logical and chronological thinking, and how to express ideas in picture and words), understanding relations (large and small, tall and short, etc), shapes, colours. Goodness, so many skills in just one fun activity. At the end, have each child read and show their creation to encourage public speaking and reading skills.
There are a multitude of craft and art activities that can be expanded to teach nearly all aspects of education.
Time is the most important investment in the education and training of your children.
Ask for, gather, then develop a plan using those free supplies. Wow, you can even then teach the importance of repurposing, recycling, reducing.