Back To School. Are You Ready?

05 Aug
Back To School.  Are You Ready?

Though we home school, there is still the need to be ready when school starts.  With the economy such as it is, schools can’t supply everything they once did.  I don’t remember notes home when I was a kid, for my parents to commit to sending a box of crayons this week, let alone a box of kleenex the next.

I’ve heard from so many parents, wanting to know what it is that their child will need, or expected to have when they go back to school.  Schools aren’t sending out the “need” lists like they used to, and the needs that were once a given, are now changing to adapt to the never-ending cutbacks.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of items that will help you and your child be prepared for the first day of school.


  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Ballpoint pens
  • No. 2 pencils (I prefer mechanical pencils – but some schools still require the good ol’ yellow #2)
  • Colored pencils
  • A pencil sharpener 
  • A large pink eraser
  • Water-based markers
  • A 4 oz. bottle of white glue
  • Highlighters
  • Spiral-bound notebook
  • Composition notebook
  • A 3-ring binder
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper
  • Pocket folders
  • Printer paper and ink cartridges (for your home computer)
  • A ruler with English AND metric
  • Scotch tape
  • A stapler
  • A sturdy, supportive backpack (messenger bags too)


  • A box of crayons
  • Watercolor paints
  • Drawing paper (or a sketchbook)
  • Construction paper
  • A box for storing items


  • A calendar for scheduling assignments
  • 2 Combination locks
  • Binder dividers
  • Several 3-ring binders (preferably one per subject)
  • Folders that fit in binders
  • A small notebook to record assignments 
  • A pencil-case that fits in binders
  • Red-ink pens
  • Index cards, ruled and unruled (this is great for elementary students too – makes great flash cards!)
  • A calculator

I’ve used this list as a guideline for the past 24 years.  Yes, that’s a long time to use the same list.  It hasn’t really changed much over the years either.  I have noticed, that as electronic technology increases, the need list applies to almost all students of all age groups, not just middle or high school students.  This list isn’t all-inclusive, as your individual needs may be different.  I’m pretty sure, however, you could omit the paint from your middle or high schooler(s) list, as I don’t think they will be finger painting anytime soon.  😛

Feel free to use any or all of this list.  I’m a major couponer, so I reference it year after year to get the best deals at the best prices, and of course at the cheapest price possible.

So how about it, are you prepared?  I’d love to hear your success stories, or odd requests from your school?
If there is something I’ve missed, or you’d like to see added to the list, please let me know!

Leave a comment, or share your tips, tricks and what works for you.

Picture courtesty of Green Tea Design


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