Essential Back-to-School Supply List

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The school supply list your child actually needs to stay organized

As a seasoned educator, I can honestly say that your child will NOT use everything on that generic ‘School Supply List.’ One of my top back-to-school tips is to scrutinize the supply list. Get school supplies that will be used AND help your child stay organized throughout the year. 

Here’s what they’ll need FOR SURE…the rest is gravy (unless, of course, a specific teacher requests a specific item). This list is perfect to use with another favourite school tip – The One Binder Method!

Oh, and be sure to check closets and desks for materials you already have! You don’t have to buy new year. Reduce, reuse, recycle, after all!

Kaizen’s School Supply Survival List

  • Paper planner (or alternative based on need) — The best one has one week on two pages and a monthly calendar in the front. Another good one is the weekly snapshot on a single page. If your child is vehemently opposed to a paper planner, Google Calendar is the next best option.
  • 1 Heavy duty binder clip —  Make the planner easy to use.
  • 1 to 2 Zipper binders with built in file storage on the inside — They are expensive but worth it.
  • Soft 3 ring pencil case — To store inside the binder.
  • Package of plastic dividers with build in slide pocket (AVERY #11903) — These are more expensive than a standard divider, but magic! Only one is needed per subject.
  • Tabletop file box with 5-8 hanging file folders — One file per subject.
  • Magnetic white board & erasable markers — Check out my article “Why every ADHD student needs a whiteboard
  • Timer for study blocks of no more than 20 minutes — Opt for an old fashioned kitchen timer. Avoid timers on phones or computers. 
  • Unique pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, etc.  — The more unique the better! This helps in retrieval of materials, returning lost goods, and assists in conflict resolution when there are accusations of ‘stealing’

This isn’t a comprehensive list. The goal isn’t to give you a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, that’s the problem with generic lists! Take some time to consider the list, and get the supplies that YOUR child needs to thrive. 

📥 Download the Essential Back-to-School Supply Checklist

The Essential Back-to-School Supply Checklist

Say goodbye to messy backpacks forever with our One Binder Method! Check out my post “Upgrade Your Child’s Focus with Just One Binder”

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