8 Items Middle School Students Must Have When Heading Back To School
It’s difficult to believe that back to school season is upon us already. While it can be a bit of a downer to bid all of that summer adieu, it’s also an exciting time because it serves as a reminder of just how quickly your kids are growing up! In many ways, a new school year offers a fresh start. It also means new goals, greater challenges, and higher expectations. Here are the back-to-school staples that are sure to set your child up for success this year.
In the tech age that we’re living in, access to a working computer is crucial to student success. Middle school marks the start of research tasks, Powerpoint presentations, and typed essays, which are designed to prepare students for the demands of college. Purchasing a computer for your middle schooler doesn’t have to break the bank. Some great, but inexpensive options include this one by Samsung or this one by Dell.
Comfortable backpack that supports posture
While many school districts have moved away from using textbooks, that hasn’t stopped students from toting around several pounds worth of learning materials in their backpacks each day, which can lead to back and neck pain. When it comes to searching for the perfect backpack, it’s often advised to choose comfort over style. Chiropractors recommend ergonomic bookbags with thick cushioned straps such as this one by The North Face.
Pens, pencils, and a pencil holder
Have you ever noticed that you will buy packs and packs of writing utensils at the start of the school year only to find your kid scrounging around the house for something to write with by October? Annoying. Having a working writing utensil is obviously crucial to a student’s success in school because writing is one of the primary avenues through which they will demonstrate what they know. You can help your scholar to cut back on the chaos when it’s time to work by providing them with a little pencil case to house their writing utensils.
Folders and labels
Have you ever looked inside of a middle schoolers backpack? If you have, you probably know that it’s a jungle in there. For many, organizational skills are not innate but taught, and middle school is typically the time when this happens. True story: I once taught a student who would accidentally throw his homework away at breakfast. At first, I thought he was being dishonest because just why? But the P.E. teacher, God bless his heart, helped the student to locate his homework in the garbage can and brought it up to class. You can help to set your kiddo up for success by purchasing a few multi-colored translucent two-pocket folders that will help them to organize the loose handouts they will get from their teachers at school. Assigning a color for each subject and labeling them will help your student distinguish between folders quickly and with ease.
Highlighters and sticky notes
In middle school, students are learning that reading is a two-way process which requires them to interact with the texts they are reading. One way to encourage active reading is by providing students with tools needed to make the process more fun and colorful such as these multicolored sticky notes, page markers, highlighters, and colored pens.
Book covers or oversized ziplock bags
In junior high school, your student will explore a host of interesting novels that they will fondly reflect on even as adults. While some schools will actually give their scholars those books to keep, others will only provide loaners. If your school district tends to do the latter, you’ll want to invest in a book baggie that will help protect the book from wear and tear. No one has time or money to be paying for damaged or lost books at the end of the school year. If you’re a book nerd, you may want to opt for these adorable water absorbant book sleeves by Booked Bag. If you’re simply looking to the job done, large Ziploc bags will also get the job done.
In middle school, students are moving beyond simply writing to inform, they’re learning the craft of writing. This means that their teachers will likely be pushing them to use more colorful adjectives and sophisticated vocabulary. One way to avoid the question “Hey mom, what’s another word for – ?” being asked fifty times per day is to get your kid a good, old-fashioned thesaurus.
A quiet workspace
Over the years, I’ve had quite a few students tell me that they struggled to complete their homework at night due to distractions at home. Setting up a small workspace for your child to complete assignments, think, and be creative can actually go a long way. You can find great examples here, here, and here.