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What school supplies should I get?

 

 

Ah, a new school year. Isn't it so fresh, the sawdust smell of new pencils, the sleek feel of folders not yet crushed by books? Oh, you haven't gone shopping for school supplies yet?

 

Good news! Some states have tax holidays for school supplies and even computers! 

 

Now that you're motivated, what do you buy?? There are so many options flooding the office supply aisles!

 

Luckily, many teachers send out a list of exactly what they want. In higher grades, though, you're on your own.

 

What matters most? Quality. These supplies will take a beating. They will be used every day. They might last several years if you take enough care of them! That's a big "if" though, so save the hassle by doing it right the first time.

 

Not to be ignored is how easy the supplies are to use. Pens that make your hands cramp and bulky hole punchers are so last century. Nowadays we have the technology to create comfortable, simple, and stylish ways to create and organize. If you don't enjoy using it, you won't! So make sure you enjoy it. 

 

Essential back-to-school supplies:

 

Backpack 
 

The most important investment you can make is into a solid backpack. Well, and a college fund too, but let's not go there just yet. A good backpack has a back and straps that are padded, and a chest or hip buckle to spread out the weight.  Which, should be no more than 15% of the wearer's body by the way!

 

Check out this classic canvas bag or this sturdy laptop bag. The ideal bag has plenty of pockets to organize materials with, not to mention some style!

 

What about inside the bag? Get something to sort all the odds, ends, and odd ends into, like this awesome customizable elastic grid.

 

Planner
 

Full-Size Planners are the best for busy students! There is plenty of space to write down assignments, due dates, and extracurriculars!

 

Sturdy Technology Case
 

As functional as new technology as, it still can't be kid-proof. OtterBox is a well-known, almost-indestructible, brand of tablet and smartphone protectors.

 

Utensils You Enjoy
 

Uni-ball makes the most comfortable pens I've ever used. They glide across paper every time, with dark ink that dries fast. And let's face it, the days of yellow #2's and terrible sharpeners are over. Be more efficient than ever and use mechanical pencils, which feature replaceable lead and great erasers!

 

Spiral Notebooks
 

Color coding is recommended. Never again will you not know where to find that paper. As long as you stick to the system anyway!

 

The best kind of notebook for math and science classes is a graphing notebook. On these all the data and numbers can easily find a place in line. For everything else, a solid and waterproof cover is the key to durable knowledge. 

 

And of course, because no one is immune from distraction, a small and sleek notebook, such as a Moleskine, is great for jotting down stray thoughts and crazy ideas.

 

Binders
 

These super-durable binders stay at home to collect classwork, and they last year after year. Binders are meant to stay in one place and serve as a reference. Keep the spiral notebooks for daily use and then tear out pages at the end of the chapter/unit and place them into their corresponding binder. By creating your own mini-encyclopedia, you have all the study material you need for the year. Round them out with completed assignment and vocabulary sections! Of course, don't forget to buy dividersloose leaf and sheet protectors!

 

Folders
 

For transporting important papers, a folder is essential. Plastic folders will last for years as they  repel both water and being crushed. Another option is an accordion folder. These multi-purpose wonders have many compartments for all your two-dimensional storage needs. 

 

Healthy Snacks
 

Keep kids energized with a bundle of healthy snacks. Brains need power throughout the day, and it needs to be pure. Make sure to pack, in a leak-proof box, well-rounded lunches. They should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats!

 

BONUS - Your virtual supply list

 

Essential Apps and Websites

 

Evernote
 

This free program is the ultimate information keeper. Create notebooks, which you write notes in. Notes sync across all devices, and you can tag and search them. Plus, take screenshots and save links. In truth, do it all.

 

Mind Mapping software 
 

FreeMind is a good, and yes free, example. Organizing your thoughts is as easy as type, drag, and drop.  Never be unable to plan again. Perfect for visual learners.

 

A good dictionary
 

Yes, an app. You never know when you won't have internet access and still need to know a word. And it's synonyms, antonyms, and everything else. Got a kid headed toward college? Make sure it has word roots too.

 

Wolfram Alpha
 

It just knows everything. It's like google's google. Seriously, give it a try.

 

Wikipedia
 

If you're looking for more of an explanation than an answer, Wikipedia is full of it. Because  anyone can edit the pages, it's not an encyclopedia you can cite, but it's a great place to start! Let the pages lead you to the sources of information. For the little ones or English learners, the simple version is great. 

 

Google Drive
 

It's all about syncing, and the ability for teams to work well together. With Drive, you can access mail, calendars, spreadsheets, files, everything, everywhere, and all the time! And yes, it's free!

 

Khan Academy
 

Stuck on a question? Khan to the rescue! Posted here are great and detailed explanations and videos solving problems from every subject.

 

Quizlet
 

Hate wasting paper making flashcards? Waste no more, and play way more! The bonus of this study program is that there are thousands of sets already created, so chances are all you have to do is start!

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