A new school year is a big event for the whole family – especially if you’ve been waking up late all summer! To make it easier, check out our tips for getting everyone back into term time routines, and use this handy checklist to ensure your kids are making the best possible start to their new school year.
Before you head for the nearest school supplies store, these simple steps could save you money:
1. Get the kids to empty their school bags on the kitchen table – if rulers, compasses and pencils are still in good shape, they can be crossed off your shopping list.
2. Go online and find out who’s got ‘back to school’ deals running. Stocking up now can save you cash for uniform essentials.
3. Check the school website for information on what your child will be working on in the coming year – there’s no need to buy expensive kit (like a scientific calculator) until it’s really needed.
School bag shopping list
Start with a long list then cut it down to the things your child really needs, after checking what they’ve already got and what they really need (see above).
- Backpack – many schools don’t offer locked storage for children so they have to carry what they need to and from school every day. Make sure the backpack you choose is durable, has thick padded straps to protect shoulders, weighs no more than 10 percent of your child’s body weight, and is in a style your child likes and will use!
- Note paper and files – ask your child what kinds of paper they need for school, do they use lined and graph paper, for example? Then check off the relevant essentials from this list: notebooks with subject dividers, 2-ring binder with lined or graph paper, drawing paper, calendar for assignments, printer paper.
- Writing must-haves – check if the school has any regulations about using biros, ball point or ink pens then tick off what’s needed from this list: pencil case, pens, pencils and erasers, pencil sharpener, markers and highlighters, colouring tools.
- Computer and electronic extras – it’s important to make sure you have enough paper and printer ink to print off school projects. Checklist – ink cartridges, flash drive or memory sticks (if needed), calculator (make sure it can do all the tasks your child’s maths course demands).
- Miscellaneous – not all these things have to be taken to school, but they can be handy at home: stapler, ruler, scissors (small, preferably ones with a small cap over the sharp end), a glue stick, sticky tape.
Creating the right space for homework
While you’re stocking up, think about homework too. As well as printer ink etc, get a noticeboard where your child can pin up homework letters and a timetable. Make the space welcoming and with enough room for books as well as the computer.