I was excited to say “yes” when my friend Nancy asked if I’d like to participate in a promotion for School Specialty Inc. (SSI), the country’s largest school supply provider. SSI created three Back to School kits – one for students, one for parents, and one for teachers – and my family needed all three that we received! For new MitC readers, my husband Reggie is a middle school and high school math teacher and mentor so he shares his thoughts about the kit for teachers. Reggie and I both share our thoughts about the kit for parents. We have two sons – Michael (13) and Sean (10). Sean was kind enough to share his thoughts about the kit for students. (Michael reserves his comments for movies, books, video games and food…teen!)
The thing that I appreciated the most about these kits was that they included items beyond the basic (long!) school supply lists that NYC students receive each year. I’m looking forward to a great new school year and I definitely think that these items can help get families organized and prepared for BTS. While most of the products were great overall, we narrowed down our picks to 3 in each category to compile the 9 Best Back to School Supplies That Need to Be on Your Checklist.
Best Back to School Supplies For Parents
1. I love all types of paper products, so the 12 Month Weekly/Monthly Planner was my top pick. As Reggie noted, there is a lot of planning during the school year – the parents’ schedules as well as the kids. As such, this organization tool is really helpful. This particular planner has room for daily, weekly and monthly notes.
2. I grabbed the Colored Surface Dry Erase Board and immediately put it up on my kitchen wall. I’ll use it for inspirational notes for the family, to jot down grocery items, and the like.
3. The Paper Mate InkJoy 2-in-1 Stylus Pen is our third top pick. You can never have too many pens. These pens are especially handy because you can use them with digital devices as a stylus.
(You might also like the Getting Your At-Home Command Center BTS Ready blog post on the SSI blog.)
Best Back to School Supplies For Students
3. Our last pick, the Buddha Board, is more of an educational aid than a supply. It’s a great way to bring a bit of Zen to student life which can be stressful. Artistic students who like to draw (like Sean) will also appreciate this because they just use water to “paint” designs on the board. Once the water dries, the picture disappears and they get to start all over again.
Best Back to School Supplies For Teachers
1. The Post-It Note Dispenser and Photo Holder was Reggie’s top pick. It allows teachers to combine an emotional item with a practical one. Most teachers use sticky notes and the photo holder can include a picture of the things or people that make teachers feel calm. Reggie noted, “For me, that would be my family. When I’m having a tough day, I can look at my family and know that after a long day of school, I’ll be going home to them.” (Awww!)