10 Back to School Supplies That Make the Difference

What Can You Do to Get Your Kids Off to a Great Start for School Success?

Having the right back to school supplies can make the difference between feeling prepared for the school year and not. They can help boost your kids’ confidence as they enter the school year knowing that they have the supplies they need at their disposal. As a parent, what can you do to help your kids be excited and confident about school?

For our family, it was critical that we talk about the upcoming year. We’d speculate on which teacher they might get. We would think about who might be in their class. We’d also walk over to the school a week before school started and see where the new grade classrooms were and sometimes we even got to meet their teacher who was getting the classroom ready. Doing this always increased their excitement and confidence for the coming year.

Then, one of the most fun things we’d do was to shop for the new backpack and some school supplies. There is nothing like that β€˜feel’ of picking out your backpack and a few new supplies to start off the new year.

Studies have shown that students tend to do well when they have the tools they need handy. The right tools can make a difference in helping your kids make connections, comprehend, and use what they are learning.

Back to School Supplies that Make a Difference

K – 2nd Grade Back to School Supplies

  1. Pencils: These are for beginning writers.
  2. Pencil Grips: These are specifically designed to help kids write and hold their pencils properly.
  3. Dry Erase Markers and Whiteboard: These markers make it easy for your kids and easy to erase.
  4. Washable Markers: These markers make it easy for your kids and easy to wash off.
  5. Pencil Sharpener: Make it easy for kids to write more neatly with sharpened pencils.
  6. Erasers: These are the sturdiest and best I’ve found over the years.
  7. Glue Stick: Make it easy for your kids to glue without making a mess.
  8. Scissors: Get the sharpest and safest scissors around.
  9. Sentence Zone Game: Learn how to write sentences with color-coded cards.
  10. Wide Ruled Handwriting Paper: This paper helps with sizing letters correctly.

3rd – 8th Grade Back to School Supplies

Get the supplies in the K – 2nd-grade list and add the following items:

  1. Erasable Pens: These will help you make corrections a little bit easier.
  2. Highlighter Tape: Better than highlighter pens…color code your textbooks and notes with removable colored tape.
  3. Graph Paper: This helps you keep your columns straight in math.
  4. Hole Punch: Helps keep track of your papers in their appropriate folder or notebook.
  5. Folders for Reports: Helps you be better organized with color-coded folders.
  6. Atlas (student-friendly): See the connections geographically and historically.
  7. Thesaurus (student-friendly): Helps you use more interesting words in your writing and assignments.
  8. Dictionary (student-friendly): Our favorite dictionary that has simple, easy to read definitions. A must-have!
  9. Graphic Organizers: Make note-taking, paragraph writing, and essay writing a little easier.
  10. Writing Reference Guide: The ultimate cheat sheet for any writing assignment.

5 Steps to a Successful School Year

  1. Set up your backpack with the supplies you’ll need, at least for the first couple of days.
  2. Visit the school a week or even a day or two before it opens. Check out where their classroom is, so they will know exactly where to go.
  3. Have your kids set up their first week of school schedule: including homework time as well as sports practice, scouts, etc. (This is very easy to do with the planning calendars in Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills.)
  4. Have your kids plan what they will wear to school the night before school. This is a good routine to get into as it helps reduce morning stress.
  5. Plan what you’d like your kids to take to school for lunch as well as a snack (grapes, apple, orange, carrots, cucumbers, hummus, etc.) so that your kids have the energy for learning.

Planning and doing these things ahead of time will make it a bit easier for your kids to adjust back into ‘school mode’. Coming out of summer break and back to school is a big change and implementing these tips will make getting back into the routine of school a bit more enjoyable.

Who is Scholar Within?

Scholar Within was founded by learning expert Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET. Bonnie began designing and developing her own custom educational tools when she started her private learning center in the 1990s. Teachers kept asking what she was using with the kids who saw her because of the dramatic improvements that the kids made in school. From there, Bonnie decided to make her materials available to teachers and families worldwide.

Now, Bonnie Terry has turned her materials into a full-service online program that you can follow step-by-step at home, on your schedule. School alone is not enough anymore. Bonnie’s programs boost your kid’s overall learning skills by focusing on improving the auditory, visual, and tactile processing areas of your brain to make it work more efficiently.

Learn more about Scholar Within.

School Success: Goal Planning for Your New School Year

Executive Function Skills, Setting a Big Audacious Goal, and How to Help Your Kids’ Successfully Plan their Year

PLUS FREE Goal Planning Worksheet

School success depends on executive function. Executive function is all about planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to, and remembering details. In order to succeed, you do need to be somewhat organized. You need to pay attention to what is going on. And, you also need to remember details. That being said, many of us have heard the adage If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail. This statement is credited to Benjamin Franklin. Think about that. If you fail to plan, many things don’t get done. Often you end up failing to do as well as you could have.

One way to plan for a successful year is to sit down with your kids and make a plan. Start off by letting your child know that you do remember some wins and some struggles last year. Remind them they are a bit older now and that their brain has had time to make more connections, so learning will be a bit easier this year.

A great way to start the school year off is to frame the year by setting some over-arching goals. These initial goals will be the foundation for your kids’ school year and will have something that they can work towards throughout. They can have school directed goals and more personal goals, but try to have at least one of each.

Big Audacious Goal Planning

What is a big audacious goal? It is a goal that is bold and might put you out of your comfort zone. It is a goal that is attainable. This could be something from giving a presentation on a topic your child may know something or nothing about to their classroom or other groups. It might be for them to learn how to play a song with an instrument. It might be to learn how to cook a favorite meal and to prepare dinner for family and friends.

The goal will depend on the child. If they already excel at something they want to focus even more this year, the audacious goal would be to push their talents even further than what they might think is currently attainable. The goal might be an idea that has been burrowing in the back of their mind for some time. Help brainstorm ideas and even come up with an audacious goal of your own this year. Shoot for the stars and land on the clouds.

Be Realistic

It is often impossible for someone to accomplish a life long goal overnight or even sometimes in a year, but you can plan out certain steps or milestones that will make progress towards a larger goal. Instead of your child writing down that they want to become an engineer by the end of the year, have them set their immediate goal to something more attainable. Possibly have their audacious goal to be about to learn about the construction of sustainable buildings and to make a presentation to family and friends on the topic.

Write Your Goals Down

When you write your goals down, they become real. This process helps you figure out what it is that you really want. Your goals can be completely different from someone else. This sort of planning helps start the wheels in your mind moving and to have something to work towards.

The research from Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, shows that the actual process of writing goals down can help improve your chance of accomplishing your goals by 33%.

Write Down the Steps You Need to Do to Accomplish Your Goal

It is one thing to just put a big goal out there and then to have no thoughts about how you can actually make it happen. For the goal of making a presentation on sustainable building designs, they could write down that they will read books and articles on the topic, watch YouTube tutorial videos from engineers, research what buildings near where they live are sustainable, try to contact engineers of different firms that construct the buildings to see if they could get a tour of their studio, as well as document their research along the way. Depending on grade level, this can be as simple or as complex as you want.

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Download FREE Goal Planning Worksheet

We put together a school year goal planning worksheet to make the whole process of planning a little bit easier. We start off with a big audacious goal, move on to another goal that your child needs to accomplish (but might not be something that they are the most excited about), and we wrap up with one goal that they’d like to do if there is time to do it. Download the goal planning worksheet and share it with your friends.

2019 Big Audacious Goal School Success Worksheet (Graphic Organizer)
School Success Priority Planning Worksheet:
2019 Big Audacious Goal Worksheet

More Graphic Organizers and Planning Worksheets

A consistent step in actualizing goals is to fill out a calendar with different dates that your kids want to accomplish certain milestones with. Bonnie Terry Learning’s Graphic Organizer Handbook is loaded with planning calendars and other great organizers. The book contains over 50 graphic organizers including:

  • Goal Planning
  • Priority Planning
  • To-Do Lists
  • Daily Planning
  • Weekly Planning
  • Monthly Planning
  • Textbook Note-Taking
  • Story Note-Taking
  • 5 β€˜W’ Form
  • Hamburger Paragraph
  • Formal Essay Outline
  • Book Reports
  • Storyboards
  • Sentence Building
  • Paragraph Organizer
  • Essay Organizers
  • Formal Essay Outline
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Cause and Effect
  • Study Guides
  • Study Tips
  • Test-Taking Tips
  • Note-Taking Tips
  • Paragraph Writing Tips

Learn More

Coming Soon: After-School Reading Program

Woohoo! For those who were not able to join our Summer Reading Program this summer, we are offering an After-School Reading Program that you can do with your kids at home to boost their reading skills. We work on foundational reading skills, from training your eyes to move more efficiently to learning how to read for meaning. Are you interested? Send us a note to let us know. The program is for kids who are looking for a boost to their skills whether they are at grade level, above grade level, or below grade level. We work on skills to make learning easier and more efficient.

Who is Scholar Within?

Scholar Within was founded by learning expert Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET. Bonnie began designing and developing her own custom educational tools when she started her private learning center in the 1990s. Teachers kept asking what she was using with the kids who saw her because of the dramatic improvements that the kids made in school. From there, Bonnie decided to make her materials available to teachers and families worldwide.

Now, Bonnie Terry has turned her materials into a full-service online program that you can follow step-by-step at home, on your schedule. School alone is not enough anymore. Bonnie’s programs boost your kid’s overall learning skills by focusing on improving the auditory, visual, and tactile processing areas of your brain to make it work more efficiently.

Learn more about Scholar Within.

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