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Starting your child's education in the new year with school supplies

School supplies
School supplies
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

From my experiences as a teacher, I have found that children for the most part come fully prepared for school in August with all necessary school supplies and materials.

However, by the middle of the school year, around the holiday times, many of the children's school supplies and materials are either running low, not functional or are even completely depleted.

I would suggest to parents to check with your child and/or your child's teacher to find out what school supplies are needed to be either replenished or replaced, as each individual child's needs will vary. When checking with children, it helps to name off individual items and ask if each item needs to be replenished or replaced as opposed to asking a general statement such as, "Are you okay on supplies?" Invariably, I have found as a teacher when I have asked general statements to my students in regards to their school supplies, their response will be yes they are okay on school supplies when they are truly in need of new supplies.

There are specific school supply items I recommend that typically need to be replaced or cleaned up when the new year rolls around after the holidays, although again check with your individual child as needs do vary.


Pencils would be first on my list as a school supply needed to be replaced in the new year, pencils are continually needed in the classroom and there never seems to be enough pencils to go around. I always would joke with my students and ask them if they were eating their pencils because it was always a mystery as to where the pencils would disappear to.


Crayons are right up there with pencils, there is never enough to go around. Typically with crayons, they tend to break and crayon pieces get lost or thrown away, so by the time the holiday season comes upon us, the crayons have seen their better days. Kids do love to color so crayons do get worn down quickly and a fresh box of crayons are a great and fun way to start the second half of the school year.

Spiral notebook paper

In my classroom, the students wrote in their journal everyday and for the majority of the students they would fill one spiral notebook by the holidays. Normally, I would just ask for two spiral notebooks in the beginning of the school year to have on hand, but if your child does not have two spiral notebooks, a check in on their paper situation is not a bad idea.

Clean the lunch box or bag

There are things I have seen in lunch boxes and lunch bags that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. Taking the time to clean out and sanitizing the lunch box or bag over the holiday break is not only a great idea for visual comfortable but it is also a health issue as you do not want your child being exposed to any unnecessary germs or grime.

Check on gym shoes and art shirt

Kids grow pretty quickly in a school year so it a great idea to make sure your child's gym shoes still fit during the half way point. It was amazing to me as a teacher how many children's gym shoes became too tight when they returned from holiday break, but yet the shoes had fit perfectly well at the beginning of the school year. Another important school supply item to check on is the art shirt, many times by the holidays the art shirt becomes very dirty or worn out and it was not unusual to for an art shirt to become lost by the time we returned from holiday break.

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