Regardless of whether you are attending a brick-and-mortar or an online school, back-to-school season is a great time to start fresh with simple ideas that make a big impact.
School supplies are a necessity, and we wanted to know what items are considered must-haves, so we asked the experts—moms. Although you may be anticipating typical items like pens and paper, think again. This back-to-school supplies list will give your family simple solutions for time management and organization for the school year.
- Notebook—Have students create and maintain their own schedules using a notebook. Learning how to manage all their different activities, as well as prioritize them, in order to get their school work done effectively will prepare them for the future. And a notebook is a simple solution for keeping all course calendars, teacher contact information, due dates, etc., in one place.
- Healthy snacks and water—Although healthy eating habits should be established at a young age, the importance of continuing to teach healthy snack habits is essential, too. Before you know it, they’ll be graduating, and they won’t have you there to recommend what they should or should not eat.
- An alarm clock—And not just one, but three. One on their computer, one on their phone, and one by their bed. Creating time management skills is critical at this age. Once they graduate, they’ll need to wake themselves up in the morning, whether it’s for school or work.
- A Dry Erase Calendar—Kimberly, mom of two International Academy students, created her own calendar that is the size of a door mirror. Columns separate each day of the week, starting with Monday, and ten rows. Each family member has his or her own dry erase marker color. “It is in a place that we all can easily see from our desks,” she says, adding that her “kids have gotten so used to it, they use it during the summer.”
- Chore Chart—Similar to the calendar, days, weeks, and months are marked with pictures or words. This is a great way to make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. They also know what the rewards/consequences are.
- Backpack—Brick and mortar students are used to carrying a backpack on a daily basis, to and from each class, but it’s something online students can benefit from, too. Online education provides families with the opportunity to learn from many locations, and a backpack allows you to be ready to go with school supplies for all of those learning adventures.
- Milk Crates—A great organizer that can hold books that students will need to have with them in their work space. This is also a great opportunity to learn in different spaces in the home, and crates can easily be picked up and taken to a different work space. Try to only keep what they are currently using in the crate.
- Bulletin Board—Cork or magnetized dry erase boards are great supplies for practice/game schedule, motivational quotes, list of activities they want to do when they are done with school, and reminders.
So get those bulletin boards, make those calendars, and remember to keep it simple this year.
You can also give some inspiration to new families by telling us your K12 story, or leave a comment below with something you consider to be a must-have.
This article was updated August 2015
Image – Flickr/ CC by 2.0