Peanut is entering Ellicott Mills Middle School this fall. As with every year since she began kindergarten, I dutifully picked up the list of supplies she expected to have on the first day of school. The shopping tally through elementary school usually wound up just shy of a hundred bucks if you included a new book bag. This year it topped $225.00.
By far the biggest line item for an incoming middle schooler in Howard County is the TI-84 Graphing Calculator. It should be noted that this is presented to parents as an optional purchase.
“The TI 84 Plus Silver Edition Graphing Calculator will be used regularly in your child’s class. Although students will be provided with a graphing calculator for use in school, students are best served by having a personal calculator and becoming very familiar with how it is used to address a number of different types of mathematics problems.”
That doesn’t sound very optional to this dad.
The price for this little item was $102.49 at Target in Columbia. This turns out to be a pretty good deal. The cheapest I could find one online was $129.88 (plus shipping) from Buy.com.
The kicker is that I think I’ll need to take a middle school class myself to figure out how to work the dam thing!