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#1 airforcefamily

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 09:43 PM

We're getting back into homeschooling after a couple years with the kids in school. This upcoming year six of the kids will be school age with another who will want to participate here and there plus a baby. I'm trying to decide if I want to give each kid a pencil box of personal supplies or keep everything communal. We've only done communal supplies in the past but the kids were all pretty young.

On one hand things will stay neat and tidy if I keep track of it all plus we won't need duplicates of the same items all in use at the same time. On the other hand it won't do anything towards teaching the kids personal responsibility for their things. It also means the kids who tend to care for their stuff will have to use things that the other kids were careless with but this peer pressure might make everyone more likely to take of things on the whole.

Personal supplies seems like it might be a good idea but am I going to be constantly dealing with someone missing something and my needing to keep extras on hand anyway? There would also be no motivation for the kids who don't care for their things to do so since it's theirs anyway. I also don't want to have to keep checking all those pencil boxes to take inventory and replace things as needed.

So, what do you do? Personal supplies for everyone? Everything communal? Some mix of the two?

Edited by airforcefamily, 14 May 2017 - 09:44 PM.

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#2 Margaret in CO

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 09:50 PM

Communal here, with the exception of good colored pencils, etc. that were for only the older kids. 



#3 Desert Strawberry

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 09:50 PM

communal supplies. i replenish the pens every month or so. sharpen all the pencils every two months and replenish those as well. 

 

for us, at least one of my kids is always leaving pens and pencils just wherever. individual supplies would be a guaranteed fight every day. 



#4 Calming Tea

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 09:54 PM

Communal

But - if you have a child that is actually CAREFUL and cherishes her school supplies or particular art supplies then you can make a special gift of that items or items to that child. If that child or children has a birthday between now and then that would be very convenient. :) if not it can just be a gift for that child's art projects or something.

My kids have never compared gifts and purchases but I only have two :)

It's NOT fair to those careful artists to have broken and mismatched stuff all the time :)
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#5 Elizabeth 2

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 09:57 PM

I have communal art supplies, but pencils and paper are a daily personal responsibility.  Part of their morning habits/checklist is to sharpen two pencils for the day for their use.  If they put them back in their top drawer, as they are regularly reminded, they have less to do.  If not, they go on a pencil hunt.  One has learned keeping track of a pencil or two is much easier than hunting down the pencils he used the day before.  The other, not so much. 



#6 Hunter

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:00 PM

I would have communal supplies as a fall back and give each child the opportunity to have things of their own. Use of the communal supplies would be by children who had failed or did not want to have their own supplies.

I don't have much of a worldview. I realized this is one of the few things I have an opinion about. I think humans need to own property to be healthy.

One thing abusers do, and when prisoners of war are kept, is to take away all their stuff. It breaks people. It makes them view themselves as different from those that do own stuff.

I don't think I fully understand this thing about ownership.

I have even noticed it among dogs. The need to have things of their own, so show those things off, and to have the boundaries of ownership respected.

Like I said, I don't understand it.

One thing I have done is to simplify what is needed. I constantly look for lessons that need the cheapest and fewest supplies possible. I adore the New Augsburg Drawing "Crayon Paintings" lessons in books 1-3.

It also doesn't need to be black and white. You could have some supplies be personal like crayons and pencils and just a few other things, but have paints and other less used items be communal. You could allow older children that had earned the privilege to have more personal items than younger students.


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#7 airforcefamily

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:44 PM

I would have communal supplies as a fall back and give each child the opportunity to have things of their own. Use of the communal supplies would be by children who had failed or did not want to have their own supplies.

I don't have much of a worldview. I realized this is one of the few things I have an opinion about. I think humans need to own property to be healthy.

One thing abusers do, and when prisoners of war are kept, is to take away all their stuff. It breaks people. It makes them view themselves as different from those that do own stuff.

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I see what you're saying here but at the same time they own all sorts of other things, it's not like a school where nothing belongs to them. At home they have clothes and toys and books and their bikes and all sorts of random stuff that belongs to them so I'm not sure ownership for the sake of ownership necessarily needs to be factored in.

Having kids earn the privilege of getting to have their own stuff might work ok but, honestly, the last thing I want to add to my plate is coming up with a system in which the kids earn the privilege of their own school supplies. I'd like to at least start with something that is the same across the board, if that's everyone has everything to themselves or if it's I keep some stuff while they keep track of other items that's to be determined.
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#8 Arcadia

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:55 PM

My kids have always had personal school supplies since preschool age. They have their own roller bags for doing school work at the library, own binders, pencil cases, compass sets, pens, pencils, erasers. They have their own musical instruments and art supplies too.

The communal things are my piano which everyone can use, and miscellaneous lab supplies.
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#9 J-rap

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:07 AM

My kids mostly had their own supplies, really just because they thought it was fun.  They were excited to have their own zipper bags, with their own pencils and colored pencils and erasers and glue and scissors.  They probably worked a little harder to keep it all organized when they each had their own, too.  Sometimes it's just the little things that make something seem more exciting, and they all really enjoyed shopping for their own supplies at the end of the summer.  It was something they looked forward to.

 

 


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#10 Tanaqui

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:15 AM

Do your kids have any strong feelings on this subject?


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#11 airforcefamily

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:37 AM

Do your kids have any strong feelings on this subject?


The youngest kids want their own supplies. I think because after a couple years in school where their supplies are taken and redistributed the first day they just want to have their own. The problem is those are the ones who are least likely to keep track of things and keep stuff in good shape. The older kids don't seem to care. They've experienced getting to have their own supplies at school and know it can be a hassle to keep up with things and would be fine with not having to deal with it. However, those are the kids who are old enough to take care of things and keep up with it all.

It's not that I want to deny the kids the experience of having their own box of supplies (something I liked as a kid) it's that I don't really have the time or energy to pick up the slack and ask 'who does this crayon belong to' a dozen times a day and be constantly asking about and taking inventory of half a dozen supply boxes and coming up with consequences for not caring for things then needing to spend time and energy enforcing those consequences. Yet I still feel weird denying the kids their own supplies.
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#12 Tanaqui

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 01:15 AM

So get a set of supplies for each of the younger kids and a communal pool, and the consequence for losing their whatever is they have to share from the communal pool.


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#13 airforcefamily

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 02:00 AM

[quote name="Tanaqui" post="7594502" timestamp="1494828943"]

So get a set of supplies for each of the younger kids and a communal pool, and the consequence for losing their whatever is they have to share from the communal pool.[/quote

It's a one or the other proposition. We will be traveling for a significant part of the year and space will be limited. I can have one big set of supplies to share or individual boxes but there won't be a place to keep both.

#14 fralala

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:22 AM

[quote name="Tanaqui" post="7594502" timestamp="1494828943"]

So get a set of supplies for each of the younger kids and a communal pool, and the consequence for losing their whatever is they have to share from the communal pool.[/quote

It's a one or the other proposition. We will be traveling for a significant part of the year and space will be limited. I can have one big set of supplies to share or individual boxes but there won't be a place to keep both.

 

This is actually a blessing in a way: I have found that when we have a huge school supplies box with my good old bulk boxes of pens, pencils, paper, erasers, and miniature pencil sharpeners, everything goes missing and nobody takes care of it and I am always muttering about where this or that could have gone, I just BOUGHT a new set.

 

When each kid gets her own supplies and knows for certain that those are hers for, say, the next three months, and my next "purchase more school supplies" date is on the calendar and firm, things get taken care of a lot better. (Well, after some crying and wailing and lesson learning.) There's one for me, too, and I'm always happy to lend a kid a pencil or eraser for schoolwork or working on art at the kitchen table-- but it's not going to be their Favorite Pen or their Favorite Pencil, and I do make every effort to make their supply kits contain their favorite implements so that they will take good care of them. (They are especially particular about pens.)

 

So what works best for us is to have individual supplies, labelled with each child's name (which they have written with Sharpie, because writing their name with Sharpie on things that don't have to share with their siblings is a BIG thing in my house), but a communal storage shelf, one that is high enough that the toddler can't climb to it and destroy everything and in my bedroom, and I promise that if they always return their supplies to that shelf, I will make sure they do not end up in a baby or toddler's hands or other sibling's hands.


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#15 Desert Strawberry

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 07:00 AM

Communal

But - if you have a child that is actually CAREFUL and cherishes her school supplies or particular art supplies then you can make a special gift of that items or items to that child. If that child or children has a birthday between now and then that would be very convenient. :) if not it can just be a gift for that child's art projects or something.

My kids have never compared gifts and purchases but I only have two :)

It's NOT fair to those careful artists to have broken and mismatched stuff all the time :)

yes. gem got his own art set for his birthday last year. it is his treasure and he takes great care of it. it looks new, and it's almost a year old. 

 

the communal art stuff is all tossed in a box willy nilly, uncapped markers, crayons are broken, there are always pieces left on the floor. no one cares. 


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#16 SKL

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 07:04 AM

Well, for one of my kids, her own supply is best.  For the other one, communal is be best.  :p  So we do both, with one kid taking decent care of her 10 personal items while the other somehow manages to lose her 10 items and the 100 communal items as well.  :p


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#17 Kinsa

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 07:44 AM

Communal in our home. The exception is my special-needs son. He has some supplies that are specific to him and his needs, so he gets a pencil box to keep those items in.

#18 Julie of KY

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 07:59 AM

Mostly communal. Once they got to the age of a graphing calculator for AP classes, they got there own. My one boy has his specific pens due to his sensory issues. My artist has a fair amount of personal art supplies in her room.

 

If I had a teen that wanted certain specific school supplies for himself, then I'd have no problem getting them just for him, but it hasn't really happened at my home.



#19 RenaInTexas

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:00 AM

We do personal. It probably is more work than communal, but it teaches responsibility for keeping up with your stuff and staying organized. We have a supply shelf that makes restocking easy, but they have to pay a nickel for lost pencils and that goes towards new supplies.


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#20 perkybunch

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:20 AM

Won't each child have his own notebooks, folders, and binders?  Those can be personal.  Things like pencils can be communal.



#21 Hunter

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:22 AM

I think maybe the answer to this is in CONTEXT of the way you run your home, what you expect from your children, and what you personally believe about ownership in general, etc.

 

When space is limited and travel is involved, with me and mine, I have seen the need for ownership and the willingness to take care of things increase dramatically. Every item become precious. Using the personal items feels grounding.

 

Schools that confiscate belongings and redistribute make me very angry. Who would dare to do that to an adult? It doesn't matter what I would do. You are not me. My gut reaction to something like this is rooted in my own experiences. Those kids would have personal supplies. At least to start. But that is because of MY experiences, not because it is the "right" way. Hell, I mostly don't even believe in "right".

 

Good luck! About this and the move. Parenting is hard. Not just in volume of work, but in all the choices like this one.


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#22 Calming Tea

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:33 AM

yes. gem got his own art set for his birthday last year. it is his treasure and he takes great care of it. it looks new, and it's almost a year old. 

 

the communal art stuff is all tossed in a box willy nilly, uncapped markers, crayons are broken, there are always pieces left on the floor. no one cares. 

 

Exactly.  My son never cared too much as as long as there was a good Ticonderoga to be had.  Now he does have his own little box of supplies in  his room but that's more because he doesn't want to trek downstairs.

 

My dd, on the other hand, from the time she was about 5, started to get really concerned about the art supplies.  She is an artist, (now 13 and possibly going to be an Art minor in college) and I noticed her cherishing her markers, organizing colored pencils and even crayons as early as about 6 years old...and her little fat eyebrows would really wrinkle every time she opened up the communal art-anything!!  

 

So I started buying her the really big packages of markers, crayons and prismacolors and my son would get a little package.  He would invariably lose his, and ask to borrow hers and she would stand over him worried about (the black one especially) the entire time. LOL....and I would buy him new cheap ones to replace the lost ones.  And she has had the same Prismacolor set, in order, unbroken, for 5 years now.  wow.


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#23 Dramorellis

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:48 AM

We do both. I fill a communal caddy with new pencils, markers, crayons, scissors etc. at the beginning of each new "school year". We have two art carts as well, one with nicer quality supplies and one with basic crayola stuff for the youngers. They also all get some nicer personal things and new pencils and erasers once a year. I was getting really frustrated with the missing supplies but now I know whose things went missing. The communal pencils are a different color and if you have misplaced your entire personal stash and have to take from the communal they have to pay me 5 cents per pencil. It just helps keep them more accountable with their own things. I do like the communal caddy for quick uses since it's all right there in the middle of the table. Sometimes the getting up repeatedly to get their own supplies takes an extra hour! Having some nice personal things like Prismacolor pencils that his little brother can't mess up motivates my 10 year old to put a bit more care into his work.


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#24 Cadam

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 10:32 AM

We had issues with careful kids vs. careless kids and at one point I was teaching a non-family member as well.  Each child had a color and I got all of their supplies in that color and it all fit in a good sized pencil box.  All binders and notebooks and crates of school books were color coded too. Even I got a color! It was immediately obvious who left stuff out etc. It worked very well for those couple of years.

 

I wasn't thinking deeply about responsibility or anything, this just made my life easier and prevented the more responsible kids from suffering due to the carelessness of others.


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#25 vonfirmath

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:11 PM

We have personal supplies, with each child having their own pencil box... But they get freely shared. IF you are sitting at the dinner table, then you open the nearest pencil box and grab what you need.  Neither child is heavily possessive of their belongings. If something was of special value, I'd expect them to keep it in their rooms and not freely available in the common areas.

 

I, also, freely share my supplies. (though some are only available when I am right there, coloring with them to make sure they are kept in good conditions.

 

In the schools -- I notice it varies by classroom. Some have communal supplies and some have personal. (And often it varies. Some of the supplies brought in are shared and others are kept and owned by a particular child). I figure each teacher does what works best for them in an environment where they need to balance the needs of 18-ish kids at once.  None of the supplies on the list are so expensive that I am upset at them being shared. Even folders, etc. are color-coded so it is not encouraged to "pick out" a favorite pattern and expect to use it.  If my kids want something like that -- we get it extra not to turn into the school.



#26 airforcefamily

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:28 PM

I think maybe the answer to this is in CONTEXT of the way you run your home, what you expect from your children, and what you personally believe about ownership in general, etc.

When space is limited and travel is involved, with me and mine, I have seen the need for ownership and the willingness to take care of things increase dramatically. Every item become precious. Using the personal items feels grounding.

Schools that confiscate belongings and redistribute make me very angry. Who would dare to do that to an adult? It doesn't matter what I would do. You are not me. My gut reaction to something like this is rooted in my own experiences. Those kids would have personal supplies. At least to start. But that is because of MY experiences, not because it is the "right" way. Hell, I mostly don't even believe in "right".

Good luck! About this and the move. Parenting is hard. Not just in volume of work, but in all the choices like this one.


This is a really interesting comment.

I totally agree that supplies should not be confiscated in a classroom environment. I do make an exception for kleenex since it would be silly for each kid to have an entire box in their desk.

I'll never forget a couple years ago when the supply list had an orange folder with brads. The green folder was no problem but I had to go to two more stores with six kids in tow while pregnant on a day that topped 100 degrees to find that nearly $5 orange folder. I labeled everything with my child's name then at orientation the folders were pulled from the bag and his name was scribbled out from the orange folder and another child's name was written in. Turns out the orange folders were for the girls but they felt it was easier to give the same list to everyone, that way they would get enough to cover the kids who didn't bring a folder.

Same with crayons, he was allowed to keep one box and the others were doled out to the kids whose parent sent nothing. I didn't mind that so much since crayons are dirt cheap during the back to school sales but it still really bothered me that they didn't come out and say what they were doing. If the list had said exactly what my child needed and mentioned that they expect half the class to not bring supplies I would gladly have bought an entire extra set or two, minus the orange folder.

Travel, however, I've had a different experience with. Maybe it's just my kids but they don't like having to keep track of their stuff. Once they get to 7-8 years old and the novelty of having their own bag or suitcase has worn off they'd rather I keep track of everything. We travel a lot so maybe that's why. We spend a good 6-8 weeks per year on the road, in hotels, staying with family, and so on.
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#27 xixstar

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 01:01 PM

My kids had their own boxes of supplies that were required for lessons (scissors, pencils, markers, glue, etc.) anything I thought we would need for a lesson and those boxes were only to be used for lessons. Never for art projects or anything else - so as not to have items go missing when needed.

And then we also had a mesh of communal supplies used for whatever projects came about. I replenished as needed but not too frequently because these were not cared for are carefully and I was not willing to put out fresh markers just because they'd lost half of the old ones.

#28 meganrussell

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 02:34 PM

MyY kids each have their own box with pencils, scissors, glue stick and crayons or colored pencils (depending on age). I also keep communal boxes of glue sticks, scissors, markers, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, etc. I find it easy for each child to grab their box when it's time for school.

#29 happypamama

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:30 PM

My kids each have a pencil box that holds their own scissors, basic colored pencils, pens, erasers, and glue sticks. The older two also have their own bigger sets of colored pencils in different boxes plus drawing pencils. 5yo also has crayons in his box. 3yo has jumbo crayons. 3yo likes to break crayons for fun, and 5yo is quite an artist, so he gets upset when his crayons are broken. They all need different scissors (big ones, medium ones, lefty ones, and baby ones), so there's no reason to keep them communal. Their boxes live next to their book bins.

Paints, markers, paper, etc. are communal, and I have extra pens and pencils and such in my desk.

#30 scbusf

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:51 PM

We do personal supplies, only because it reduces the arguing.


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#31 maize

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:10 PM

communal, because no way am I going to deal with half a dozen sets of everything and at some point every item in the house is something mom has to deal with.
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#32 TABmom

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 03:48 PM

I have designated supplies for school and different supplies for doing art or whatever outside of school. The stuff for outside of school gets left out, broken, caps left off of markers or whatever but there is always a blue crayon when we need it for school. My kids are 9, 6, and 3. I am planning on setting up an art area in my 6 year old's room, so I guess those will be her personal supplies, but the 9 year old couldn't care less about art and the 3 year old can keep using the non-school supplies.

#33 katilac

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 04:48 PM

So get a set of supplies for each of the younger kids and a communal pool, and the consequence for losing their whatever is they have to share from the communal pool.

 

Yep. School supplies are so cheap on sale that I would want to give them the chance to have their own and keep track of it. 

 

We always had both personal and communal supplies. They each got a box of fresh crayons, markers, and so on each year. Even a backpack and lunch bag if they wanted it, once they went on clearance, lol. 

 

They used the fresh box of crayons with their name on it for careful coloring and school projects. Then we had the shoebox full of eleventy crayons in various conditions, all jumbled together, and that was pulled out when they were playing around or when guests were over. Because they were usually horrified at the way guests used/treated crayons and other supplies!



#34 Alice

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 05:04 PM

Mostly communal. 

 

Years ago, when ds was starting kindergarten I started a first day of school tradition where we do a treasure hunt and the treasure is some kind of cooler supplies (nice colored pencils, fun pencils, markers, etc) and usually a favorite candy. I skipped it this past year thinking they were getting too old and everyone (including the 13 year old) complained and missed it so we'll go back to it. That has been one fun way of giving them each something special. (They still go the special things last year, just not as a treasure hunt....but apparently you don't mess with tradition in this house.) 

 

We have a bookshelf where we keep our supplies. Each of them has a cubby (the shelves are square) and they keep their special things there on in their rooms. Everything else is kept out for anyone to use. 

 

Except the G2 1.0 Bold Gel pens. Those are mine and woe to he who takes them. 

 

 


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#35 rjand4more

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:38 AM

We have tried every combination over the years!  I guess I am the one who is in charge of them.  No one but my 6 year old cares to keep his supplies nice.  So, I have plastic drawers for markers, crayons, and scissors.  Glue is kept in a separate drawer.  We tried personal boxes.  All the stuff ended up on the floor to be picked up by me.  So, communal it is for us.



#36 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:35 PM

Another vote for communal.  

 

The big kids have some additional supplies in their bedrooms for their own personal writing or drawing, but if it's needed for school, it's in the "school box" which is set in the center of the school table every morning and put away every afternoon.  

 

However, we do 99% of our work at the table.  If you have older kids who are doing work in their rooms or another location, individual pencil boxes might be better.  I would try to motivate care by telling kids they have to replace items from their pocket money.  


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#37 Ausmumof3

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:07 PM

What happens here is the kids get their own stuff.

When stuff is left out I'm not going to try to figure out who it belongs to so I put it in the shared basket. So there is a mix where they can have their own stuff but I have a back up system so I'm not getting frustrated that we start a project and there's no supplies.

Some things I tend to keep communal because it's not worth buying one each and sometimes I won't buy certain things new if we have masses like coloured pencils.

#38 CadenceSophia

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:41 PM

Like some others, we are mostly communal with certain personal items. Oldest DS has a special pencil case but doesn't always want to get it out and use it. Our basic work is all done with yellow #2 pencils and big pink erasers. I'm super strict about pencil management and not letting the kids use up the eraser on the pencil so they last the full year or more.

I keep communal markers and crayons for the little ones, or anyone who needs something quickly. The big kids have nicer sets of brand name art supplies with their names on them which are kept up high.

We spent two months out of each of the last couple years on the road. Then I did give each child a case for their own things, but I had them share and I liberally restocked as needed. Nothing too fancy came on the trip so they didn't mind sharing if someone fell asleep while coloring and temporarily lost their blue :)

Hunter's comments really resonate with me. I'd let any kid who wanted their own supplies to give it a try. I have had similar experiences and feelings about owning things and having personal space when I was younger in boarding school and later in a dorm in college so I really see that value.

#39 kristin0713

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:27 PM

I always buy them their own stuff when it is all on sale and then by the end of the school year it all ends up communal containers anyway. The crayons in the crayon bucket and the markers in the market bucket etc.

#40 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:48 PM

I've done both. I usually start the year by giving everyone their own bag of pencils, new art supplies, erasers and whatnot. But that doesn't last long. So I have a communal box of of most things too. For instance everyone gets their own new box of markers for the year. As those get lost or left around, they get thrown into the communal box. If you want your own pack that nobody else can touch, then you are responsible for keeping it neat. Same with pencils. I pick them all day long and throw them into the communal box at the end of the day. If this particular mechanical pencil was really that special to you, then you had better keep track of it. :) 

 

One of mine loves arts supplies, so she has special pencil bags for her own colored pencils and gel pens and keeps pencils and sharpeners for that stuff. They get used only by her for school and for personal daily, and she keeps them put up. The other has one or two things she keeps separate, but the rest she pulls from the communal boxes as needed. 

 

Pencils, pens, sharpies, erasers, tape, scissors are all communal



#41 airforcefamily

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:53 AM

I've done both. I usually start the year by giving everyone their own bag of pencils, new art supplies, erasers and whatnot. But that doesn't last long. So I have a communal box of of most things too. For instance everyone gets their own new box of markers for the year. As those get lost or left around, they get thrown into the communal box. If you want your own pack that nobody else can touch, then you are responsible for keeping it neat. Same with pencils. I pick them all day long and throw them into the communal box at the end of the day. If this particular mechanical pencil was really that special to you, then you had better keep track of it. :)

One of mine loves arts supplies, so she has special pencil bags for her own colored pencils and gel pens and keeps pencils and sharpeners for that stuff. They get used only by her for school and for personal daily, and she keeps them put up. The other has one or two things she keeps separate, but the rest she pulls from the communal boxes as needed.

Pencils, pens, sharpies, erasers, tape, scissors are all communal


This is a really good point and I can totally see this happening. The kids will all say they want their own then a couple weeks into the year everything will just be a big pile. The main thing I'm trying to avoid is carting around extra stuff. I'd rather not end up with six pairs of scissors to deal with when we really only need two. I think I'm going to just do communal supplies and if any of the kids truly want separate supplies I'll get a set for them.

#42 EKT

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:12 AM

Both!

 

We have a small homeschool room with a homeschool table. At the table are basic communal supplies for completing actual schoolwork: pencils, erasers, glue sticks, colored pencils, scissors, rulers, and markers. So, these belong to everyone and they're readily available for everyone to use during school time.

 

Beyond that, my girls also each have a personal art basket that contains the specialty art supplies we use for our online art classes: gauche paints, fancy brush pens, Micron markers, gel pens, etc. One of my daughters is extremely neat and treats the brush pens and all her specialty supplies with extreme care; my other daughter also treats her supplies well, but she is a little more of a free spirit who is perhaps likely to crush the marker tips a bit more--that sort of thing. Art is highly valued in our house, so we wanted each of our girls to have and use those special supplies in a way that makes them happy and doesn't suppress their creativity. (In other words, I never want to police their actual use of those supplies.) To keep things easy on my end, I keep an eye on and stock only the basic communal supplies at the table; it is up to the girls to care for and keep track of their speciality supplies. (I order the communal supplies year-round, whenever we happen to need more, but the specialty supplies are purchased as Christmas and birthday gifts.)

 

This works well for us because the kids always have the basic supplies they need to do their schoolwork, since the table supplies don't leave the table. But it's also good because it's teaching them to be responsible for their things. (If daughter A loses her fancy pink brush pen, then...bummer! Looks like you'll have to find it, ask to borrow, or do without.) So far, they take really good care of their supplies. I think having the specialty supplies all in a personal portable basket with a handle makes it easy for them to keep things together and move from place to place around the house with it.   

 



#43 Tracy_Lord

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:01 PM

We are communal in our school room but my older kids both have their own stuff in their rooms.  The funny part is that they each gravitate to different colors of mechanical pencils so I usually know who left them laying out.  I just keep a bin of stuff available to them.  It reduces conflict if I can tell them to go grab another pencil and if I know where all the stuff is.  My oldest could spend an hour walking to her room and back to get colored pencils.  Therefore we have school pencils and her pencils.  If we were traveling a lot, I guarantee I'd keep all supplies communal to reduce the amount we needed and to make sure it didn't go missing or run out unexpectedly.  She has enough things to keep track of and I don't have time or patience to let her look for everything she misplaces.



#44 Rebel Yell

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:47 AM

We had issues with careful kids vs. careless kids and at one point I was teaching a non-family member as well.  Each child had a color and I got all of their supplies in that color and it all fit in a good sized pencil box.  All binders and notebooks and crates of school books were color coded too. Even I got a color! It was immediately obvious who left stuff out etc. It worked very well for those couple of years.
 
I wasn't thinking deeply about responsibility or anything, this just made my life easier and prevented the more responsible kids from suffering due to the carelessness of others.


My kids are color-coded too!

And we do personal supplies. We started that due to a 4.5yr age gap, with the older being super careful and the younger being very free-flowing, plus another 2yrs younger than her. So a 4yo, 6yo, and 11yo had vastly different needs as far as quality of supplies

I did buy binders and filler paper and cheap notebooks for all, anybody wanting something different was free to buy their own with their own money- only one ever did, and not until college

Also, each girl has different preferences for mechanical pencils, pens, and colored pencils. So even if supplies were communal they'd essentially have their own anyway.

There has always been a communal bin for things like markers and paints. But one girl always bought her own Sharpies and kept them with her own things.



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