Back to Homeschool Checklist
Whether children are ready for summer to end or not, the grocery store aisles are filling up with school supplies. Preparing to go back to school is one of the most exciting parts of the whole school year! There is nothing more satisfying than sharpening a brand-new pencil or filling a clean binder full of fresh blank paper. Even if your child or student is homeschooled or participates in online schools, back-to-school time is still a fun time. Receiving and unpacking a box of books and learning materials can be like having an extra birthday or holiday!
But even with that box full of school supplies arriving at your front door, there are still many basic school supplies your child will need to make this school year successful. Check with your child’s school and use this back-to-school checklist to make sure your student is fully prepared!
When school and home life are mixed, it is important to develop boundaries and create an environment where your child can learn and prosper. A desk is a great way to make a space that feels more like school. Students can keep things organized, focus on schoolwork, and optimize their learning with the right desk. While you can also use a computer station or even a folding table, keep in mind that with homeschool or online school, it may be helpful to also have drawers and shelving for organizing and storing reference materials, supplies, and schoolwork.
Just because more and more schoolwork is done online doesn’t mean paper is a thing of the past. There are so many different types of paper your child could need this school year! Elementary school students may need special wide-ruled paper for practicing their writing skills. Printer paper and lined three-ring binder or notebook paper are both essential for taking notes and printing assignments.
Depending upon the grade, homeschool and online school students may also need some variety of graph paper for math or science. Your student can use index cards and sticky notes for quick reminders, for marking pages, for research papers, and for flashcards to study with. And don’t forget the construction paper for crafts, or other colored paper to keep things interesting.
Now that your student has all that paper, he or she will need something to write on it with. Students can be picky about the types of pens and pencils that work best, so make sure you stock up on the type your student prefers. Be sure to also check if there are any particular rules or guidelines at your child’s school.
Highlighters are a great note-taking tool and are available in many different colors for color-coding. Colored pencils and markers are necessary for projects or maybe some relaxing coloring during break time. Be sure to check if your child will need particular sizes, types, or colors of pencils or markers if he or she will be taking an art class.
When your student is doing the majority of his or her work online, it is important to make sure your computer is fully equipped. We’ve already mentioned the printer paper, but don’t forget to stock up on the ink to print with. A USB drive is also a great tool for storing important assignments and documents.
Consider if your child needs any ergonomic items to help make using the computer comfortable, such as a cushioned wrist rest or an adjustable chair. New accessories such as a wireless mouse or cute mouse pad can help your student get excited about going back to school, too.
Binders and Folders
A successful student is an organized student. Binders and folders for each subject and class can help your student keep his or her notes and assignments in an easily accessible spot so nothing can ever get lost or misplaced. Check with your child’s school to see if there are any specific colors or sizes they require. One you have those items, you may want to let your student choose some “fun” folders or binders in favorite colors or featuring special characters.
A planner is a practical way to help ensure a successful learning year for your child. He or she can use a planner to schedule classes, remember due dates, and note other reminders. There are many different types of planners too, making it easy to find the right one for your student. Book-style planners are good for students in middle school or high school who like to physically write things down. More tech-savvy students can use an online planner to make notes, schedule reminders, and set alarms.
If you have a young elementary school child, find a simpler, easy-to-use planner with large writing areas to help him or her start learning organizational skills without being overwhelmed. For some students, having a large wall calendar at home, paired with a small notebook for jotting down assignments while at school, works well.
Aside from the traditional list of back-to-school basics, there are many other things you can get to help your student thrive this school year. Maps and curriculum-related or motivational posters can be not only educational but also decorative! Small prizes can be used as incentives to help a struggling student find motivation. Arts and crafts supplies can turn a boring lesson into a much more fun and interesting one. For visual learners, manipulatives, small hands-on toys to use during problem solving, such as blocks or animal figurines, can help their understanding when it comes to certain lessons.
Don’t let your student be sad that summer is ending; instead help him or her get excited that school is starting! Use this back-to-school checklist to make learning fun and prepare your student for the best year yet.
Learn how you can get more involved with your student’s education with online school. Visit the Connections Academy website to learn more about tuition-free online school, or the International Connections Academy website to discover the advantages of online private school.