Back to School Shopping Tips, 2010

colored pencils We’re less than a month away from the start of school. I have no idea whether my first-grader’s class will remain intact. I lost the book lists, which mysteriously disappeared after I put them in a folder marked “school.” A neighbor is holding on to a batch of books for my 11th grader, and I passed off another batch from my 9th grader. I told my kids that they’ll have to clean up their rooms before I buy more books and supplies. Wish me luck with that one.

Here are my tips for buying school supplies. Please share yours in the comments.

  • Uniforms: All schools now require children to wear a shirt with the school logo. Our elementary school asks for specific colors, and you buy t-shirts at a local store that carries the iron-on logo.The teens’ schools are more particular about style, and asked parents to buy or order them at one particular store. Quantity: I suggest one white and three to four short-sleeved colored t-shirts, depending on how often you do laundry. Buy one each of the light-weight long-sleeved t-shirts, because cool days hit suddenly. I don’t ever buy sweatshirts with a logo, since on very cold days (may we have many rainy ones) the classrooms are overheated. The kids can wear a warm jacket, or an undershirt underneath (not recommended). In a pinch, kids wear warm undershirts under their short-sleeved t-shirts.
  • Covers. You can get pre-made covers for standard-sized books, workbooks and notebooks.
  • Plastic folders. Keep a supply of klasserim shekufim and nylonim. The klasserim have a colored back and clear front. You can put looseleaf paper in them, but usually you use nylonim, clear plastic envelopes for inserting worksheets. These are also used for handing in school reports.They can all be reused, and it pays to empty out the older pages after a few months even if the teacher objects.
  • Pencils. Watch out for cheap pencils that can’t be sharpened. I saw a recommendation for Parnat-Zafir, 5 stars.
  • Zehavi. If you have four kids or more, you can join the organization Zehavi and get a new book-bag for your first grader. At least that’s how it works in my branch. It is probably too late for this year.  Zehavi also offers discounts for local stores and attractions.

Looking forward to hearing more tips, including stores and brands that you like.

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  1. Chaya Tova says

    What is the Zehavi Organization?

  2. This year I swear (well not really) I’m going to buy the 11 shekel “Yoman” (calendar/diary) and NOT the 40 shekel one. DID YOU HEAR THAT KIDS????

  3. Even just the title of your post strikes fear in my heart!

  4. This is a brilliantly useful blog – thank you for your advice, another really interesting site I found is funinjerusalem, my children are getting bored this Summer and I managed to find a whole directory of activities to keep them occupied – I never knew there was so much to do here

  5. I am a bit late commenting as I was away for a couple of days but I thought this post was quite thorough.

  6. Thank you so much for this posting!
    I just went to check the prices for the shirts for the kids.
    To print the logo cost 50 shekel if you bring your own shirt….!!!
    If you buy also the shirt at the shop (at Rechov Yafo in Jerusalem) it will cost you 63 shekel, this sounds so expensive!

    • Shavit, that is outrageous. Simple t-shirts here cost 12-20 shekel and the logo is thrown in for free. If the shirt has a collar or something, the price is higher. Call the school and ask where to do it, or ask other parents.

  7. Even 12.99 for a t-shirt with the logo is expensive, in my opinion. It’s not as if we only need to buy one! I have two children in school this year, and of course, there are six days of school. That is ridiculous, that I am expected to spend 156 NIS on crappy t-shirts, when we have perfectly good t-shirts at home!
    I went to Selection (the ONLY store in our area that carries the t-shirts) and was told that they will NOT put on the iron-on logo on one of my shirts.

    So, I am sending my boys to school tomorrow withe school shirts and they are very upset.

    I told them I will write them each notes, explaining to their teachers that we were not able to get them. I will write a separate note to the principal telling him that the store needs to allow us to get the logo and use our own shirts, because I simply cannot afford all these shirts.

    Plus, I am NOT going to be a slave to my kids t-shirts where the laundry is concerned. I have three other children who also need clean clothes.

    And, we have lots of nice, quality, shirts (Old Navy, Hanes) so why should I spend my hard-earned money on junky shirts?

    • Natalie, I feel your pain. The school should provide you with the logos for a couple of shekels each. All you need to attach them is a hot iron. Please let us know what happens!!