Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
Here 'down under' we are in the middle of the school year so the tips will have to be kept for January. LOL
Just a point here - so many of these tips seem to refer to clothing. In Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and I know other countries the school children wear uniforms. This is so much easier for everyone - the mums when shopping, the dads when dressing the children (as per one hint today), and especially the children as they know what to wear each day and there is no peer pressure to wear a particular type of clothing. The big plus is that the children always look tidy (well mostly, LOL), and if they are misbehaving out of school then people know which school they go to because of the colour, etc. of the uniform. We find it amazing that your children don't wear uniforms. Is there a reason for that? This applies to infants, primary and high school. Of course, once they leave school and go to university, they do not wear uniforms.
Problems with uniforms:
1. Uniforms discourage fashion-related creativity and individuality.
2. Uniforms that are bought from schools or school-contracted tailors are expensive.
Answers to problems with uniforms:
1. Kids have evenings and weekends to wear anything they like. Individuality and creativity come from the mind, the words and ideas, and have MANY outlets other than fashion. Writing, singing, dancing, speaking, acting, drawing, sculpting, painting, designing their own clothing (for weekends and evenings), arranging furniture, decorating their rooms, cooking and baking, poetry, and finding creative solutions to problems -- let the kids focus on those pursuits.
2. Uniforms based on khaki trousers/skirts and white shirts (or school-colors shirts) are less expensive than uniforms bought from contracted tailors or directly from schools. To those who are used to buying clothing for a dollar or two at garage sales or Goodwill, hey, I'm right there with you. But if the older kids are wearing uniforms, they'll be passing those down to your younger and smaller kids, so eventually those, too, will be cheaper. I found a pair of boy's khaki trousers at Aldi for $3 the other day, and it wasn't even on sale. Voila, Chanukah present for my nephew.
Problems with non-uniform attire:
1. Too much time taken up in choosing outfits.
2. Too much money taken up in paying for outfits (if one can't find what one wants or needs at a garage sale or thrift/secondhand store).
3. The ease of wearing gang colors/signs.
4. Social exclusion/ridicule based on wearing the "wrong" thing (as opposed to merely not wearing the "right" thing).
5. A closet full of clothes and "nothing" to wear -- one preppy outfit, one rocker outfit, one surfer outfit, a dozen personalities and only one thing for each of them to wear, instead of ten items that can mix-and-match in several dozen ways.
6. Individual identity. I know that's supposed to be an asset, and it is, in a lot of ways. However, feeling like one is a part of a group is also a positive thing.
7. Immodesty and inappropriateness. How many times do people get write-ups or suspensions for violating the (notoriously lax) dress codes at non-uniform schools? Short skirts, baggy pants revealing equally baggy boxer shorts, low-cut shirts, bare bellies thanks to belly shirts and low-rise or zero-rise pants, piercings no one really needed to know about being visible, obscene language on shirts, immodest and blatant commercialism/spending for brand names just to make other people look cheap and poor by comparison, offensive slogans and symbols (I can't be the only one who went to school with people who actually wore Aryan Nation slogans on their shirts, can I?), people tarted up to look like pimps and whores as if school were a place to network for "job opportunities" instead of a place to learn in the hope of gaining a better profession later...
Answers for problems with non-uniform dress codes or no dress code:
1. School uniforms.
Our kids go to a private school. At least 3 times a year, the school hosts a used uniform sale. It can take some digging but we always find items that still have life in them. We buy the rest new, but do our best to find sales.
By Laurel from Port Orchard, WA
One thing you could do to get uniforms, jackets and such is to put a post up on Freecycle or a Yahoo group. We have one here in Jefferson Parish, which is like a county. Maybe you can check to see if you have one in your town or area. You can just post on there asking for what your looking for and hope that somebody has it.