Back to School… What your student needs to put in their backpack that is NOT a school supply

Carolina Backpacks
Carolina Backpacks

WOW!  Is it me, or did this summer ‘fly by”?   Well, if it is August then that means just one thing to an educator/ parent/ retail store owner – BACK TO SCHOOL! 

Ahhh… the smell of new pencils, paper and notebooks! Oh wait- that was my memory from 30 years ago.. now in the year 2013 we have recollections of  the smell of a freshly unboxed iPad and earbuds!

Do we still have backpacks?  I hope so as I have amassed a list of what a student should put in their backpack that is NOT a school supply!

  1. A list of emergency contacts. Whether your students is 6 or 16, a list of emergency contacts can be a lifesaver. Don’t assume that the child will remember all their contacts  names, numbers and addresses. Also, having a cell phone is no guarantee either.
  2. List of any medications they are taking or any allergies. Consider using MediPal  to have all essential medical information on or in the backpack, itself.
  3. Emergency money for lunch or a cab ride home.  I still have a recurring nightmare of  when I was in second grade and had forgotten my lunch money.  My mom had to come and bring me lunch which wasn’t the bad part- it was the memory of our principal who was not the happiest “camper” in the world!  I would have rather skipped lunch then have to sit in the main office being “babysat”.. So, I always asked for emergency money after that!
  4. “Personal products” for your tween and teen girls- just in case
  5. Quarters- just in case an after school snack is needed
  6. Cell phone with spare charger or battery pack. Yes, I believe that students who are old enough to dial a phone responsibly and have after school activities should have a cell phone on them.
  7. Actual writing utensils- such as a pen and paper
  8. Calculator, if applicable
  9. BOOK-  YEP- I  said a BOOK.  This is to occupy their time when they have finished their work and need to do something constructive during free time. (Your student doesn’t like to read books? Try comics or a magazine)
  10.  Sense of humor, thick skin and information on how to get help (academic, emotional and other) , if needed.  School is tough and we all hope that our kids will come to us if they need some assistance. But, if  for some reason they feel they just can’t confide in a parent then they need to have some information on where help can be obtained.

In closing- there have been a few great commercials to remind us how our culture embraces BACK TO SCHOOL! My favorite is the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR commercial by STAPLES. Here is a list of some more favorites from KidsWorld.


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