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Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

School is so much different than when I was a youngster attending school in Caddo Parish back in the 1970's.  Back then, school didn't begin until after Labor Day and now, Desoto Parish kids are enjoying their last full week of summer break before they return to school next Wednesday, August 4.

Bossier Parish and Webster Parish students are scheduled to return on August 12. Caddo Parish students will return on August 23.

We've been informed that most school systems will return with no mask mandates for students or faculty in a classroom environment, however mask usage will be advised.

However, if your student rides the bus to school, according to Federal mandates, they'll need to mask up.

Speaking of masks, that's another item to add to your child's school supply list.  Along with hand sanitizer, Kleenex tissues and such. These are items that would have never appeared on a list in 1975.

You might have seen the recent article that highlighted the sticker shock parents are seeing at the cost associated with school supplies, and for a parent with multiple school aged children, it can become a huge expense.

These are expenses that parents of '70's kids never really had to fork over. Or, did they? I mean, is it all relative?

When I researched this year's school supply list for first graders at a local Bossier Parish Elementary School, here's what I found:

  • $20.00 School and Technology Fees
  • 1- Backpack (no wheels)
  • 1- pair of headphones (no earbuds)
  • 1- 1 inch white, clear view 3-ring binder with pockets
  • 1- zippered pencil pouch for 3-ring binder
  • 1- small package of sheet protectors
  • 48- pre sharpened yellow #2 pencils
  • 4- boxes of 24 count Crayola Crayons
  • 1- pack of cap erasers
  • 2- yellow highlighters
  • 1- 10 count classic markers
  • 8- black dry erase markers
  • 1- pair of 5” Fiskars blunt blade scissors
  • 8- Elmer’s glue sticks
  • 1- Mead K-2 Primary Journal (can usually find at Office Depot, Amazon, or Wal-mart)
  • 1- composition notebook
  • 1- pack of construction paper
  • 1- plastic school box
  • 1- large box of Kleenex
  • 1- large roll paper towels
  • 1- container of Play-Doh (any color)
  • 1- watercolors set(Crayola Brand no neon colors)
  • 2- Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
  • 1- Bottle of hand sanitizer
  • 4- PLASTIC folders with brads and pockets (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 blue)
  • BOYS ONLY: 1 Gallon size Ziploc Bags, 1 Quart Size Ziploc Bags
  • GIRLS ONLY: Baby wipes 1 pkg. white card stock 1- Labeled Ziploc bag with a change of uniform clothes in backpack. (including underwear & socks)

I guess I wasn't shocked at what I saw. Everything looked reasonable for the world we live in today, but this list looks so different than the one I brought home in 1975.

My list included things like spiral notebooks, a three-ring binder, Elmer's paste, loose leaf notebook paper, #2 pencils, index cards and as I got older, the list included things like compass and protractor, and a slide rule. (Yeah, I'm that old)

I guess the biggest difference in the past 50 years is the sheer cost of the supplies.  My Mom could get everything we needed at the old Atlantic Spartan for $10 a kid. And looking at today's lists, I'd be surprised if most people don't have to finance what's needed.

Course it's really cyclical. I mean, when my Dad looked at our supply lists he'd shake his head and say, "I still don't know what you need all this stuff for. When I was a kid we only needed a Big Chief notebook and a #2 pencil and we were good to go."

So, the moral to the story is, change is inevitable. Your kids will one day complain about the cost of their kids' supplies, but at the same time, they'll fondly reflect on how "easy" life was when all they needed was hand sanitizer and Clorox disinfecting wipes....and all that other stuff.

MORE: See 30 toys that every '90s kid wanted

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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