Are you finished shopping for school supplies? Haven't started yet? After working in schools for 17 years, I have some tips for what you should be buying this year for Back to School.
1. Hilroy lined, 3 hole paper
Be careful what paper you buy. Some brands are so flimsy that you fold the sheet once, and they rip. The recycled brands, in my experience, haven't been nearly as durable as regular paper and kids were so irritated with them because they ripped so easily. I love Hilroy paper, and I should know-it was the only brand I wanted to use while I worked in grade 9 academics all last year, and I wrote all the class notes too!
2. Velcro shoes
If you have a child entering Kindergarten or grade 1 who does not tie their shoes well (or, as in my case, Jake was even a lot older), their inside shoes should be velcro. Don't worry, little Sally WILL learn how to tie her shoes, but usually everyone is in a hurry to get ready for gym. This way, she'll be able to get them on fast and not suffer the humiliation of everyone waiting for her as she tries to get those silly things tied.
3. Extra binders
For those high school kids, pick up a few extra binders while they are plentiful and cheapish in September. You will need them around April or May, which is when almost every kid I know has their binders bite the dust. While you are at it, grab some extra dividers, too.
4. Locker rescue pack
Have a girl entering high school? Send her with a small 'rescue' kit for her locker. Include a travel toothbrush and paste, floss, a couple of pads or tampons, tiny sewing kit, band aids, comb, and tiny travel deodorant. Come to think of it, this might come in handy for boys too (minus the tampons, of course). Throw in $5 specifically for lunch mishaps. This actually happens-once Jake dropped his container of soup and it broke, leaving him with nothing for lunch!
5. Papermate pens
If you have a child who has trouble with fine motor skills, Papermate has the BEST pens for them. I use this one at work, and I love, love, LOVE it. According to their site, the "ergonomic grip is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association." Many of their pens come with a great, soft comfort grip and write smoothly. Jake particularly likes their Extend pens, which have a nice squishy grip and are a little larger for him to maneuver. They are a bit more expensive, but I'd rather buy something he'll use.
What's YOUR best tips for back to school?