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School is back in session for many. For others, it is just days away. Here is a list of supplies that should ease your pain.

When it comes to writing essentials, teachers say, don’t waste your money on feather pencils, light-up pencil sharpeners, or pretty erasers that don’t work. And for organizational helpers, keep in mind that expensive folders with multiple pockets and zippers are often too bulky to fit in desks. Better to stick with more streamlined (and cheaper) models.

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Here is a quick check list:

  • Glue sticks (at least three for the year)
  • Scissors (blunt ended for younger kids, pointed for older ones)
  • Ballpoint pens
  • No. 2 pencils (Stick with this classic to avoid classroom competition over whose writing utensil is the coolest — or most impractical.)
  • Colored pencils
  • A pencil sharpener (hand-held with a top to collect shavings)
  • A large pink eraser (The old-fashioned ones do the best erasing.)
  • Water-based markers
  • A four-ounce bottle of white glue
  • Highlighters (These are probably unnecessary for kids in kindergarten through second grade.)
  • Spiral-bound or composition notebooks
  • A three-ring binder
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper (Teachers can be picky about paper. Schools usually supply specially ruled handwriting paper to help younger children with letter formation. Older children use wide-ruled paper, and some middle school students will need the college-ruled variety.)
  • Pocket folders (If you get a folder with two pockets, label one “keep at home” and the other “bring to school” to help your child organize his papers.)
  • Printer paper and ink cartridges (for your home computer)
  • A ruler with English and metric measurements
  • Scotch tape
  • A stapler ( Invest in a real good heavy duty one. )

This should get  you off to a good start  and enable you to take advantage of all the sales.

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Back To School Supplies Checklist Every Parent Can Use  was originally published on