Back to school shopping is in full swing, so it’s due time to put together a list of must-haves for class. The right tools for academic success are just what your children need. While you pick up this year’s school supplies, remember to also grab the supplies you’ll need to have at hand for your home study area. Being prepared to do the work is an important step in meeting one’s academic goals. Let your children play a part in selecting the supplies that they will be using this year. Doing so can help encourage your kids to make the grade.

A durable backpack is one necessity no student can be without. They are one of the most useful supplies for toting around books, paperwork, folders, and everything else in between. You will find them in every color and pattern imaginable, and, of course, they will differ in size and the number of compartments and features, too. Don’t fret too much about the aesthetic design the backpack has; your children should have the freedom to pick those that appeal to them. Put your foot down, however, if your children beg for a bag that is too big for their bodies. Oversized bags lead to over-loaded bags. You don’t want your children suffering aches and pains from using bags that are too heavy for their bodies. Carrying that extra weight daily is sure to cause damage to their posture and muscles. Your children will find plenty of options that are sensible for their body size.

No matter which teacher’s class supply list you look at, it’s certain that your children are going to need a variety of instruments for writing. They will need to gather pencils, cool pens, highlighters, markers, and unique erasers. This is the time to look for deals on kneadable erasers or those that come in funny shapes like cellphones or animals. Look for bargains on novelty supplies that help make learning fun; your kids are sure to want to use those that are special like scented ink pens. You will probably also find deals on some that have cool pencil toppers. Don’t forget that your kids will need a handy container to carry their writing supplies. Let them pick out a kid-friendly pouch for school and home.

Folders are another back to school must-have. They may not be on the classroom supply list, but they are one kind of tool that can help kids get and stay organized for a lifetime. Let your children pick out a variety of folders. Different colors and designs can help them keep classwork oganized for different subjects as well as help keep separate papers that must stay at school and papers that must be brought home. When students have a variety of folders, it is easier for them to remember where they filed homework, study guides, and notices for parents and guardians.

Even though more classrooms are going digital, your children are sure to use paper in one way or another when they are at school this year. Kids want notebooks that are durable and fun. Those with plastic covers are going to last a lot longer that those with cardboard covers if your child is rough with them. Consider how your children will be using notebooks before investing in bound composition notebooks or multi-subject notebooks. They may be better off selecting those that have sheets that are easy to tear out or they may benefit from having loose-leaf sheets.

While your children’s school may be providing each child with a device to augment their education, are there some accessories that your children may need or want to enhance their experience with their devices? If they will be using touchscreens, add a stylus or two to your shopping cart so that your children can better avoid smudging up their screens. Even if they will be using a keyboard and mouse, they are sure to need to clean the device’s screen at some point. Check with the school to see what kind of cloths and cleaners they recommend be used for cleaning the device. Earbuds or headphones may be another beneficial accessory for your children. This is especially important for those who will be engaged in listening activities often like those used in foreign language classes.

Be sensible when rounding up supplies for the new school year. Some of last year’s supplies may still be in good shape for use this year but toss any that are too worn for school or home use. Having the right supplies may be what your children need to make this year the best so far!