School shopping can be overwhelming. There are so many things that the kids want, and if you are like me, you really aren’t sure if it’s something they need or will even use. Today we have an expert for you on the subject, our team member, Jessica, is also a teacher. She is sharing A Teacher’s Guide on What to Buy from Your Back to School Supplies List with you.
The School Season is upon us and for many of us, that means it is time to gear up for the next school year to begin. As a child, I loved the back-to-school season. I loved the excitement of getting new clothing, new shoes and, of course, new school supplies. As a parent, I dread spending the money on new clothing, new shoes and new supplies. I have found a few tricks that save me both time and money thanks to my experience as a teacher to make shopping off that Back-to-School Supplies list easier.
Buy Quality – For a number of items, the quality won’t matter much but for others, it really is worth it. When buying pencils, for example, Ticonderoga is always the brand to buy. Cheap pencils just do not work. They break easily, they don’t sharpen well, and the erasers leave marks all over the paper. Your student will get frustrated when their pencil breaks easily or the eraser leaves smudge marks on the paper – I see it everyday.
It may seem like a waste of money because kids do lose them quickly but cheap, dollar store pencils are not a sound investment. I end up buying multiple boxes of quality pencils for my classroom so my students aren’t up at the pencil sharpener multiple times during a period as well as alleviating some of that frustration during work time.
This same thing can be said for mechanical pencils, crayons and markers (Crayola is my preferred brand. Cheap crayons frustrate kids because they don’t color neatly.), and backpacks.
Speak to the teacher first – Sometimes supply lists are put out by a principal or a district and may contain items that are not needed by your child’s classroom teacher. If you have a meet-the-teacher night before school begins, head in and ask the teacher for an updated list. This may save you from buying three composition notebooks in black, red and green. If you aren’t able to meet the teacher before school begins, send your child in with a pencil, a folder and a notebook on the first day and request the teacher provide you with a list. This ensures that you buy only what is needed.
Teacher’s don’t want an excess of things they don’t need either. Our storage space is limited and keeping 24 boxes of gallon sized ziptop bags may not be easy. If the supply list that was posted early in the summer has changed because the teacher assignments have changed, you won’t want to waste your money buying excess.
Plan ahead – As this year’s school supplies begin to be discounted, buy supplies for the next school year. Many times, you can save yourself 50% or more by buying in advance. I have purchased Crayola crayons for ten cents, markers at three for a dollar and notebooks for a penny. Stock up now and you will likely have very little to buy next August. You know students are almost always going to need pencils, erasers, notebook paper and glue sticks, stock up on those items when they are at a rock bottom price. If you happen to buy something that isn’t needed the next year, you can always donate it to a back-to-school supply drive in your area (check local church and civic groups who might be doing drives for these items in August).
Bonus tip: Have a seventh grader this year? He or she will need a graphing calculator next year and they aren’t cheap. Buy one now when they are discounted.
Keep extras on hand – Sometimes items get lost, broken or used up quickly. It always helps to have some extras in storage at home. I always have notebook paper, an empty binder, a spare backpack, as well as glue sticks and markers stored in a box in my closet. My kids come home with broken binders, ripped backpacks or a note from their teacher that all their markers dried up (usually because my son forgot to put the caps on fully) and they need to be replaced. Having extras stored away saves me from paying full price on items in January.
Whether we want to admit it or not, it is time for the back-to-school season.Get those last few days at the pool in, sleep in as much as possible and relax before the school year schedule returns. Hopefully, you’ll be able to relax a bit knowing that the school supply list isn’t as scary or expensive as it may seem.
Once you know what supplies you need, grab another set to have at home for homework. This Homework Box works perfectly.