It is almost that time again – time to start shopping for school supplies. How do you know what your child really needs for the start of the school year? One good way to take out a lot of the guesswork is to talk with your child’s teacher and get a list from them ahead of time. Or you can wait until school actually starts to see what your child will really need for the year.
Your child’s teacher may have specific brands, quantities, or sizes that they prefer or recommend. However even if this type of list is not available, you can still take advantage of back-to-school sales or the tax-free days or weekends that some states offer by buying the basics that most school-age children will always use.
These are the tools that children can use to get them organized and which will help them stay organized and that will help them all year.
The essentials are just that and teachers recommend not wasting your money on light-up pencil sharpeners, fancy pencils, or pretty erasers that won’t work. Also, keep in mind that many organizers with multiple pockets and zippers are too large or bulky to fit into desks. It is better to buy the more streamlined, and often less expensive models.
- Glue sticks – at least three for the year
- Ballpoint pens for older children
- Scissors – pointed for older children and blunted ends for the younger ones
- Colored pencils
- Large pink eraser – these old-fashioned pink ones do the best erasing
- No. 2 pencils in classic yellow to avoid classroom competition over whose pencil is the coolest
- Pencil sharpener – hand-held which also collects its shavings
- 4 oz. bottle of white glue
- Water-based markers
- Highlighters for children in grades third grade and higher
- Three-ring binder
- Composition or spiral notebooks
- Loose-leaf notebook paper (See your child’s teacher about their preference for wide or narrow ruled)
- Ruler with English and Metric measurements
- Pocket folders, at least four
- Scotch tape
- Printer paper and ink cartridges for home computer printer
- Sturdy backpack
- Stapler and staples
- Extras for Elementary Students
- Watercolor paints
- Box of crayons – 16 pack for younger
- children, more for older
- Construction paper
- Drawing paper
- Storage box that is at least 8” x 5” x 2” to hold crayons, pencils, scissors, and erasers
Extras for Middle School Students
- 2 combination locks – one for the hallway locker and one for the gym locker room
- Calendar for scheduling assignments
- Small notebook to record assignments
- Several 3-ring binders – may require a separate 3-ring binder for each class
- Binder dividers with pockets
- Folders for 3-ring binders
- Pencil case for 3-ring binders
- Flash cards, both lined and unlined
- Red-ink pens for peer editing
Calculator – recommend checking with math teacher before investing in an expensive calculator. There may be specific requirements for certain types of calculators.
These basic supplies will get your children started and can always be added to as the school year gets started and things start to settle down. With these supplies in hand your children will be ready to start off the school year on the right note.
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