School book fair...

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by mandysbus, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. mandysbus

    mandysbus Mouseketeer

    Jun 5, 2006
    Well, it is book fair time at school...our DS is in K and today his class went to visit the bookfair set up at the school. When we had first gotten the notice the other week I was planning on going with DS on family night and let him pick out a book or two (you know, let him spend about $10). he came home with a list of "books I'd like to add to my home collection". I guess they have helpers that help each child write down what books they like and DS list comes to about $60 worth of stuff (not just books either, I guess the book fair now sells toys, games and posters). And he had it in his head that he was going to be able to buy this list of stuff. Now he is upset with us because we are trying to explain to him that he will only be able to get a few things.

    His B-day is in a month, X-mas is in 2 months...not to mention that he has tons of books and most we are able to pick up at yardsales, flea markets and auctions for next to nothing and now the school is shoving this down our throats. I hate to sound cheap but most of the books he likes (The Berenstain Bears...stuff like that) we find all the time at yardsales for a quarter (rather than $5 a pop).

    I'm new at this but I guess this is all part of having a child in school. This is always just a bad time of the year for us cash wise and now we have all the school stuff they expect us to buy and sell. I guess I just don't like how they do this one, letting the kids make these bigs lists of things and getting their hopes up that they will get all that is on the list. I guess I'm finished, just had to vent to someone.
  2. momm2four

    momm2four <font color=CC0066>We all have those little "skele

    Jan 17, 2002
    Book fairs sound like a great thing, but what I HATE is something that you mentioned....the toys, gadgets, erasers, computer games, etc that they sell. This year I gave each of my kids $11, to cover $10 in books, plus tax. They ALL came home with junk. No books, just posters, toys, and mini-flashlights.

    I know it helps raise money for the school, but it's hard for me to pay full price when another local school holds a 1/2 price Scholastic book fair twice a year. Same books, just 1/2 the price.

    I agree that it's hard to get a kindergartener to understand that he can't have everything he wanted on his list. I almost disagree on letting all the kids go through the fair during the school day. I have volunteered at these, and it's heartbreaking watching children look at things that they will never have the money to buy, and some kids won't be given ANY money at all.

    Lori P. :)
  3. Avatar


  4. DawnM

    DawnM DIS Veteran

    Oct 4, 2005
    Scholastic Book Fairs have their close out (Warehouse) sales in May, after all the shcools have had their Fairs. Most books are over 50% off and they have a whole room of $1-$2 items (retail for up to $15).

    I go every year and get birthday gifts, birthday party favours, books, etc....

    Take a look at their website and if you need help I can locate it for you. They are called Scholastic Warehouse Sales.

    My opinion is that retail is NOT worth it.

  5. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

    Jul 13, 2003

    We're doing the book fair at our school starting tomorrow. I'm working at it in fact!

    I've already told my DS5 that I will get him one book (that I will pick out) IF he gets a good report from his teacher at his parent/teacher conference.

    If I were you, I would tell your DS that it's great he found so many things he likes at the book fair, but he can only get one book (no toys, posters, games, etc.) and he should pick his favorite book. After all, he can't get everything he wants, right? (Really, that's exactly the way I explain it to my DS.)

    I do let DS5 pick out one book from Scholastic each month. I go through the choices and circle 5 or 6 that have reasonable prices (under $4) and look like they'd be of interest to DS. Then I let DS pick one from the books I've circled. That seems to be working so far. Did you notice that the book fair offerings seem to be priced roughly twice as much as the books from the monthly circular?

    I don't mind the book fair so much as the toy catalogs that come in the mail this time of year. DS5 is pretty content with his lot in life until the toy catalogs come and then it's, "I need this... and I need this... and I need this..." (Most of which is either inappropriate for his age or complete junk. And none of which he's going to get!)
  6. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2002
    My kids own LOTS of books, and I don't mind spending on books -- Christmas is coming, and each girl will get at least $100 worth of books -- books are always a major part of their wish lists. However, I quit buying from the school book fair because I just don't like the greedy fundraising atmosphere.

    I don't like to be pressured to buy; regardless of the circumstances, it almost always results in me digging in my heels and refusing to spend a penny.
  7. TaraPA

    TaraPA Can't live without a ticker!!!!

    Sep 6, 2000
    Oh I've been on both ends of this before! I have 2 DSs, ages 6 & 9. Last year I worked the book fair, and we were told never to let the kids assume it was a free-for-all. We were supposed to explain that "maybe your parents would like to buy 1 or 2 things for you from this entire list" but really, how does a small child understand this? I helped write the lists on the days the class "browsed" and rang up the purchases on "buying" day. There were tears in almost every class - the ones who either forgot their money, weren't allowed to buy anything, or couldn't get all that they wanted. I run a tight ship moneywise in our household & told my boys they could each buy one item (yes they have posters, toys, games, etc. along with the books) up to $5. I actually had another mom tell me that was mean & being cheap! There were kids in line spending $100 on the books. Now don't get me wrong, they were wonderful books & the school was getting something out of this, but like the OP said - we have a million books that lay around, and we can get the cheaper through book orders, yard sales, etc. It made me angry that she said I was being mean & cheap - in front of my kids - and I was the one volunteering my time for 4 days helping at the book fair. She had the easy job of swiping her credit card & being done with it. Ok done venting! To the OP - you were not wrong to offer your child 1 or 2 things - you have to set limits with things like this!
  8. Kellyscrapbooks

    Kellyscrapbooks DIS Veteran

    Feb 26, 2006
    Our book fair was last week, I worked it, and the parent volunteers at mine actually took a lot of the "junk" and put it back in the boxes. We did put out the little .35 pencils, .45 erasers, $1 pencils, that kind of stuff.. .along with the bookmarks near the register, but we insisted that they couldnt' just buy that stuff that they had to get books too.
  9. lisabarr

    lisabarr <font color=blue>Caused an uproar over Tag Fairy v

    Mar 20, 2005
    As a bookfair volunteer, it's the saddest thing seeing these kids come in with bags of change that total maybe $.67 and they couldn't possibly afford to buy while others have $20-30 to spend. I said I would never volunteer again.

    I give my kids $15 each and they can only buy books period.
    Also the school doesn't really make that much from these things for the amount of work involved!
  10. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    ah the book fair.... I have 2 children in the school system right now- and another 2 just waiting to go...
    I generally give $10 to each of the 2 in school and give instructions- books only- and if they do books only I may get something on back to school night when I go. if not-nothing. So far they spend it on books*7th and 4th grade. But I agree that it is unfair to let kids make "wish lists" to take home. The Wish List at our school has space for 20 things!! I wouldn't mind if they had 4 or 5 spaces. Plus book fair means books. Not pencils or bookmarks or puzzles or VIDEO GAMES!! That one really gets me.
  11. mudnuri

    mudnuri <font color=deeppink>I HATE it when I miss somethi

    Oct 21, 2003
    The rule in my house is books, and one poster, ONLY during the B1G1 sale. Other than that- during the fall sale its BOOKS only......DD's are now 4th and 5th grade, so it's a bunch easier than when they were in K.

    However, the kids are not allowed to buy during the day here, only on family book fair night, which makes it a TON easier...

  12. Franne

    Franne DIS Veteran

    Dec 15, 2003
    In my school the PTA asks for donations of gently used books right before the book fair. They then have a table at the book fair where anyone who doesn't have any money, can get a free book. This way everyone walks away with a book. They also put some of the newer used books for sale for 25 cents. It's a great thing and everyone gets something.
  13. Plantlady

    Plantlady <font color=darkorchid>I eat a lot of pringles whi

    Mar 6, 2006
    My kids each get $5 to spend, and it can only be on a book. If they whine, no book.

    Our fair runs along side parent teacher conferences for our 7 year old, so we don't send them with money, we're there with them.
  14. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 <font color=green>I just love those parmesan mashe

    Aug 18, 2005
    We usually give each of our kids $10.00 or $20.00 to spend at the bookfair.

    We also spend about $10.00 from the Teacher's Wish List that is also posted.
  15. Melissa

    Melissa Mouseketeer

    Aug 21, 1999
    They do the same wish list thing here. I just took a survey about scholastic book clubs and I said, sell books! Not crap kids don't need like erasers and posters. My dd just gets a set amount and she can get what she wants as long as it is a book.
  16. ilovejack02

    ilovejack02 <font color=peach>what do you all think?<br><font

    Aug 8, 2006
    My mom always came and got the books at the school fair herself for me. She never sent me to school with the money and I have done the same for my oldest and will do that for my DS4. Im not a fan of paying full price for the books either, but since money goes to the school i do it. Plus id rather books than gift wrap. ;) My youngest is already getting the book catalogs sent home and he is in preschool. I usually spend about 25.00 a month, but i have quit buying books at Walmart. I dont buy him toys except birthday and xmas, but i ALWAYS buy books, so now i have quit doing that and only order when we get the monthly order sheet. I LOVE BOOKS lol! Prob for xmas ill order a bunch and just save them for Santa to give him.
  17. PaulaSue

    PaulaSue <font color=purple>I have a purple car too and lov

    Aug 20, 2004
    OP, that is a shame they didn't explain it better to him.

    For ours we tell each class thesee are eonly wish list ideas for the parents. Our PTO doesn't make any money off of the sales, we pass on he savings to the parents. :thumbsup2
  18. PolyHereWeCome

    PolyHereWeCome DIS Veteran

    Oct 23, 2004
    Our children know that Mommy will buy them each 1 book from their list while I'm at the school for parent-teacher conferences. They don't expect more than that and I don't send them in with money. No tears, seems to work for us.
  19. tfiga

    tfiga Mouseketeer

    Jun 16, 2005
    I agree with the OP, my school does the same thing. My son came home with a wish list of 4 books. I told him we could only spend $15.00 on books which meant he only got three, but I had to deal with tears over it. I am not sure how the procedure works but I think it is unfair to both the child and the parent to raise the child's expectation of their parents buying them the books and probably heartbreaking for the parents that cannot afford to buy any. I realize the school needs money, but I think the way they handle this is horrible.
  20. Mskanga

    Mskanga <font color=navy>Can speak and read 4 languages fl

    Feb 29, 2000
    The way scholastics works with us is the toys and gadgets come with the book cases wether we like it or not , but we do not put anything out other than erasers , bookmarks and pencils ( aside from books ). We do not always get posters but we always try to get the kids to get books. We also have RIF three times a year where every single student in school gets a free book.
  21. ceecee

    ceecee DIS Veteran

    Apr 6, 2001
    That gets me too. I do our book fairs (2 per year) as well as our Holiday Shoppe and it's the same thing there. I always just give DD a set amount of $ to spend and tell her if she really wants something else to let me know and we will go on family night. She never remembers and we don't do wish lists at this school (except for teacher's for the classrooms). The fall fair is a buy one get one free. Last year we did have some sale items so the kids with .50 to $1.00 could actually buy a book (albeit small).

Share This Page