Whether you like it or not it is time to start thinking about getting prepared for the school year. For some, it’s been a long summer and the structure and routine of school can’t come soon enough. For others, it’s hard not get teary-eyed just thinking about it. Wherever you fall, preparing for that first day of school is a necessity and means a trip to the school supply store.
I have always loved choosing school supplies with my children, watching them pack their backpacks many days in advance, preparing for that all important first day. I know this is not the case for everyone. Let me help you and your kids navigate the school supply aisles and get ready for the upcoming academic year.
Schools often provide lists of required supplies. This can lead to a sea of confusion with specific colored folders, required notebooks, precise brand pens, and additional items you wonder if your child will ever really use. For those of you who do not get guidance from your child’s school you wonder, “Is this enough or too much?” “Should we get the one or three subject notebook?” It can be very overwhelming. Keep these considerations in mind when making decisions at the store.
In most elementary schools, certain items will be shared. This can is difficult for children. Some items, like crayons, are placed in a communal bin for the whole class to share. Explain this to your child. Let your children pick a few items that are just for use at home. Helpful items are:
• Notebook for practice writing
• Accordion folder to file papers and projects
• Pens, pencils, colored pencils, markers, glue, and scissors all stored in a container for your child to use for homework.
In middle school, teachers can be very specific in what they would like students to purchase and others who will not recommend a thing. The best thing to do is buy everything on the list and SAVE YOUR RECEIPT. After the first week of school, your child will realize what is truly required for each class and the rest can be returned. Put together a container with your child of supplies to use for homework. The list above will be helpful.
High School and College
Little to no direction will be given by teachers/professors about materials that are needed. It’s assumed that students will arrive knowing what they need and what works best individually. The most important item the students will need is a place to put homework at school (folders or accordion file) and a place at home to store old papers to reference for tests and final examinations. A bin with hanging files works well.
The beginning of the school year can be overwhelming. Shop early and save the receipts. If possible, purchase extra supplies to be prepared, avoiding the last minute hunt for that “specific” notebook the day before school starts. Returns are easier than the search. Most importantly, have fun! Start off this new season organized and ready for success.
By Megan Stone
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.