Top 10 Back-To-School Essentials

The children are getting restless, it has become futile to placate their bustling energy without an admixture of school peers and obligations interspersed throughout their day. They’ve spent the last three months, largely idle, languishing away the days on their Iphone or Ipad. Their cognitive capacities have dwindled, adroitly pivoting to whichever streaming service affixes their wandering gaze. Numbers, words, formulas, philosophies, history, civics, are all in the rearguard of their mental exertions; but not, you whisper satisfactorily under your breath, for much longer. 

Very soon, if not already, your children will hurl their backpacks heavily on their still-developing shoulders, clumsily lace together their resplendent new shoes, begrudgingly open their tawdry textbooks, and return to their studies. Ensure as swift and steady a transition as possible to the classroom, festoon them with all the accessories they require to be diligent students, and embrace the arrival of the Fall Term. Here are the 10 most essential back-to-school items.

Some suggestions might be interpreted as atavistic, as learning has certainly transformed with the advent of new technologies. Still, even if the list is more traditional in scope, classic methods of learning are still pertinent. If not as a mere school supply list, view it as a list of disinfectants to the mental pollution invoked by the near ubiquity of smartphones and laptops.


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A backpack is fundamental for the purpose of schooling. It is your son or daughter’s mobile transportation unit, a convenient way to house the necessities of the classroom. Many parents persist with use of a single backpack over several years, leading to inevitable wear and tear that can reduce the utility of the backpack itself. If little Susie or Steve are wandering around the schoolyard with a. backpack in tatters, seldom serving its purported use, that simply won’t do.

Recommendation: Invest in a multi-use backpack, one that can be applied to myriad situations, not necessarily exclusive to school. When I was a child, Jansport was the backpack most deployed by my peers in school. We’d recommend something more durable, spacious, and cross-functional, a backpack more akin to the High Sierra Loop Backpack, which is presently on sale at, which you can access via this link.

Of course, any new backpack will suffice. Simply ensure it features enough space to accommodate all of your child’s supplies, especially if they are not provided a locker at their respective school.

Agenda/Planner: Back-To-School Essentials

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There’s no better for students to become acclimated with properly apportioning their time than during than their childhood years and adolescence. Again, I’m antiquated, but purchase your child a planner to regulate their day as most expeditiously as possible. Of course, students can locate a simulacrum of a daily agenda on their computer, but don’t obviate their already truncated attention span by pointing them to a digital forum; where they will likely identify a convenient distraction dissuading them from their studies.

Recommendation: A “Clever Fox” planner, which features both a monthly and daily academic calendar, premium paper, a goal organizer, and several pages of decorative stickers.

Pencils & Pencil Sharpener

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Assuming your child is still enrolled in elementary school, purchase them an assortment of pencils. It’s rudimentary, it’s basic, but it’s necessary. Absent an available laptop, or phone to record lectures, lessons need to be encapsulated and translated to paper in some fashion. Moreover, your child will need an instrument to complete handouts, assignments, and the like. Always have spares on hand, as pupils are never attentive to innocuous items like pencils and frequently discard them. Additionally, supplement your collection of pencils with a proficient pencil sharpener, to ensure your child is always prepared for their imminent use.

Recommendation: A cheap and effective option for supplying your child with his or her handwriting materials are the “Mr. Pencil” set.

Pens: Back-To-School Essentials

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Pens are pencil-adjacent, obviously. They may be superfluous to possess, if one already has an extensive collection of writing utensils, but they can still be useful in composing notes, writing rough drafts, and completing assignments. They imbue work with a more erudite touch, and if your youngster has matured into junior high school or high school, they may seem more age-appropriate.

Recommedation: Another inexpensive, quality option: BIC Extra Smooth Pens.


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Inculcate early a premium emphasis on accentuating the main points that can be derived from a paragraph, an article, or a text. When perusing information, it is always a judicious idea to apply a highlighter to a convey import to a given fact, or subjective opinion. When studying, it will similarly expedite the process of review, as your student will already possess a color-coded summary of what to centrally focus on. Ensure your child is properly equipped to digest information as thoroughly as possible. Include a collection of highlighters in your back-to-school essentials list.

Recommendation: Nothing fancy is required for a reliable set of highlighters. Remain spartan in your purchase, and elect something basic: Avery Hi-Liter Fluorescent Yellow Highlighters.

Binders: Back-To-School Essentials

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Instructors are notoriously profuse in their diffusion of pertinent articles, texts, and worksheets to their pupils. In the information age, ironically, we still feel the need to disseminate and create more and more of it. But how to properly organize and condense it, into something easily digestible? The bare fundamentals are regarded as fundamental for a reason, and that’s why, even in an age where technology seeps from every edifice, a binder is still a crucial asset for a student. It remains a storehouse for learning, an item that can be easily referenced and cataloged during your student’s busy day.

Recommendation: For just $14.00, you can purchase 4 basic white three-ring binders via Amazon. Click here for further information. 


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Dividers are another essential tool, helpful in facilitating effective categorization of numerous topics and subjects. Students will need to file their papers, essays, and assignments proficiently, in correspondence to each subject under scrutiny. Be sure they have the requisite tools to do so and purchase them a flurry of dividers that they can arrange in their binders.

Recommendation: I’m a minimalist and am consequently most attracted to the most barren-looking of dividers. They’re functional, not decorative, tools. Purchase a collection of Avery 5-Tab Yellow Dividers, with Colored Tabs.

Mini-Stapler: Back-To-School Essentials

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I cannot count the number of times I required a stapler in the classroom, yet failed to have one at my disposal. It’s maddening, constantly inquiring for a stapler from a more privileged student, due to my own negligence in avoiding this convenient accessory. Students are depositories for assignments; assist them in affixing related assignments to one another, by purchasing a humble mini-stapler.

Recommendation: Easy, inexpensive, and includes 1,000 staples as well as one-year warranty. I’d recommend the Swingline Mini Stapler.


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A calculator is not necessary, nor preferable, for basic arithmetic. But as students progress in their schooling, mathematics obviously grows increasingly complex in accordance with their grade-level and aptitude. Most advanced level mathematics courses highly recommend the acquisition of a scientific calculator, in fact, in order to expedite the processing of complex equations. Therefore, we also highly recommend the purchase a scientific calculator, unless your child has not yet progressed beyond elementary school.

Recommendation: For a durable, multi-use, scientific calculator, we’d recommend the reliable Texas Instruments, TI 30XA Student Scientific Calculator.

Ruler: Back-To-School Essentials

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Last but not least, your student will require a basic ruler. Especially for younger students, rulers can be applied to myriad endeavors, including measures the length and width of on object, drawing straight lines for an art assignment, and to learn the distinctions in measurement. Thought it might seem superfluous, a ruler can is a convenient and crafty tool to have.

Recommendation: We’d recommend a Westcott 12 inch ruler. It’s cost effective, resilient, and will provides the basic functions of a ruler, as enumerated above.