Be Prepared: Set the Tone for the Rest of the Year
by Sam Glyn Nava, B.S.Ed, M.S.CCC-SLP
Alphabet Kids Director of Educational Resources
Make sure your child has everything he/she needs for the upcoming school year. If your child is missing an item that the rest of the students have, your child is likely to feel badly and become discouraged from participating in the lessons being taught.  If your school sent home a list, stick to the list they provided, if not; here are six things that your elementary school child should not go to school without...even on the first day:
  1. Writing Utensils: Two or more pencils with erasers.  Most kids now prefer mechanical pencils, but a standard pencil will do - however, if using a standard pencil, be sure to include a pencil sharpener, although most classrooms have one, it's better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Colors: Crayons or colored pencils are usually a good way to go, they are less likely to make a mess and easier for kids to color with - although markers are often the preferred medium, crayons or colored pencils are more compact and often get more bang for the buck.
  3. A Notebook: Some schools have a preference as to whether note books are multi-subject, spiral or bound, try to stick to the request of the school, there is likely a reason the school specifies that kind of notebook.  However if no recommendation is made, consider a bound notebook with three holes and perforated pages so that the notebook can double as loose-leaf paper.  
  4. A Folder: Students usually require more than one folder; one for each subject, but send at least one on the first day of school - there are always papers that get sent home from the teachers on day one.
  5. Loose-Leaf Paper: Please don't just stick the entire pack of 200 sheets of loose leaf into your child's book bag.  First of all, there is no way he/she will need 200 sheets at any time, particularly on the first day of school; secondly, leaving the entire pack in your child's book bag inevitably leads to a messy book bag and probably over use of paper.  Put about 20 sheets into a folder or binder and your child will be set for a while.
  6. Your Home Address, home and cell phone numbers: Although the school office should have your most current address, make sure that your child also has your info, either known by memory or has it written down on a piece of paper in place that he/she can access it if necessary.
The sooner you shop the better, as schools open, lines get long and stores run out of items, avoid that problem by going well before the first day of school.  Happy shopping!