Before the start of every new school year, most schools or your child's teacher will issue a master school supply list with general recommendations for school shopping.
Some teachers will develop their curriculum during the summer and then develop a more specific supply list just for their class. The list includes everything a student may need for learning throughout the year.
Depending on the grade your child is in and their respective subjects, different supplies may be needed for the upcoming school year. That’s why many schools have an open house the week before school begins, so students can meet their individual teachers, get a supply list, shop for accessories like a convertible backpack, and gather the necessary items before the first day of school begins.
Importance of School Supplies
Education is an inherent right and an important learning tool for everyone, regardless of age, status, gender identity, or ethnicity. For a parent, part of providing for their child means offering them the best education available and supporting them throughout their learning. They can support their child by providing supplies, transportation, and whatever else is needed to help keep the student focused on their studies.
There is an excitement to be found in purchasing and using new pens, notebooks, and backpacks. New supplies motivate and encourage students to take more interest in their studies.
Additionally, school supplies help teach your kids the importance of being prepared for their work beforehand. This can help them in whatever future career they choose to pursue.
Being prepared means a student is better able to:
- Manage their time
- Complete their school work
- Alleviate fear and anxiety
- Plan and prioritize their tasks properly
One of the biggest benefits to have a school-issued supply list is that every kid will have similar items. This can significantly reduce competition, jealousy, and bullying among peers.
When every child is presented with the same opportunities and the same supportive tools, it levels the playing field and makes it possible for everyone to achieve success, without being hampered by feelings of inferiority.
Problems with School Supply Lists
For children belonging to low-income families, it can be difficult to gather all the necessary supplies and stick to a budget. It may help children to inform their teachers of the difficulties they face. Most schools and teachers have resources to help provide the needed supplies to a small number of students. You could also consider buying supplies in bulk, as it can make a significant difference to your budget.
General Supplies and When to Buy
Regardless if your child is starting kindergarten or even high school, most students will need a few basics throughout the school year. These items can be bought before the start of a semester. If you have multiple school-age children, we recommend buying them in bulk.
Basic school supplies include:
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Pencil Pouch/Box
- Lunch Box
- Note Cards
- Small Locks for Lockers
Reference your school’s guidelines to make sure you comply with all regulations, especially in the case of backpacks. Some schools have a size or weight limit, whereas others may only allow clear backpacks.
Specific School Supplies
Every child has different requirements and needs for school supplies in order to succeed or overcome the challenges posed by a new and advanced grade each year. 3rd graders, for example, will not need the same supplies that high schoolers need.
School Supply Examples
For kindergarten through 3rd grade, besides snack ideas for kids, you may need:
- Colored Pencils
- Washable Markers
- Colored Paper
- Glue sticks
- Tissues and Wipes
- Blunt-Tipped Scissors
For 4th and 5th grade, alongside other elementary school supplies you may need:
- Personal Organizers
- Spiral Notebooks with Dividers
For middle and high schoolers, along with previously mentioned basic supplies:
- Scientific/Graphing Calculators
- Post-its/Sticky Notes
- Permanent Markers
- Ballpoint Pens
- Protractors, Compass, and Other Graphing Supplies
Depending on their selected courses, high schoolers may need some lab supplies too, like lab coats, goggles, and other materials. If they are wondering how to look cute in a school uniform, we also have you covered!
The Best Back-to-School Sales
As the start of the new school year rolls around, most retailers start to offer back-to-school sales in an effort to lure in customers. Some of the biggest retailers that always offer some kind of deal on school supplies include the ones we’ve listed below.
- Amazon (All Supplies)
- Walmart (All Supplies)
- Target (Stationery Items)
- Staples (Crayola, Elmer’s, etc.)
- Dollar Tree (Notebooks, Pencils, Ballpoints)
- Office Depot (All Supplies)
- Walgreens (Inexpensive Backpacks)
Remember, it’s essential to provide young, hungry minds with a strong education. The right tools can help set them up for success and ensure that they go far later in life.
However, even more important than the right back to school supply list, especially given the current worldwide uncertainty, is to start this upcoming 2020 school year off right by offering empathy, compassion, and understanding to our children. Anxieties loom large, and it’s up to us as parents to lead them well.