Thursday, August 1, 2013

Back-to-School Must-Haves!

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kleenex. All opinions and lists are strictly my own!

Okay, you knew it was about time for another Box Tops post, didn't you? I mean NOW is the perfect time to be thinking about Box Tops, no? Well, I am. Because it's the beginning of the school year, and I'm buying supplies, and going with several brands that carry the Box Tops coupons on their packaging. I also prefer to take advantage of the opportunity to stock up on school supplies for the year while the prices are low and I can enjoy tax-free weekend. (Check out this chart from Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company to help figure out when the tax free holiday is happening in your state!)

Back to Box Tops: Did you know that Box Tops for Education is one of the nation’s largest school fundraising loyalty programs and has been helping schools succeed since 1996? In fact, it is an easy way to help your child’s school earn funds through the products you already purchase. All you have to do is clip Box Tops coupons on the product packaging, including many of the products on your child’s back to school list. (Pstt! Kleenex is the only facial tissue brand that participates in Box Tops for Education – and is a must-have on your child’s back to school list. It has also donated $13 million to Box Tops for Education so far!) Then turn them into your school so they can redeem them for cashola.

With school budget cuts across the nation, Box Tops for Education has become increasingly important as it provides unrestricted dollars to help schools offset this loss of funding. And if you've read my post a few years ago, then you'll know that even homeschoolers can benefit from the program.

Right! Now on to my BTS Must-Haves! I can tell you right now this is sort of a long post because I'm going to show you everything on my shopping list. Some I'll purchase right away, but some might take a little longer to buy.

So this year, here's what's on my list of back-to-school must-haves:

Office Supplies:
First up, is some of the stuff that I need as a teacher. (And it just so happens that all of the items shown above have Box Tops coupons!)

1. Three binders: Two for storing each of my kids' school work throughout the year, and one for my stuff like daily charts/record sheets, a calendar, assignments for the next day/week, notes, etc. The ones above are from Avery.

2. Colored paper. I use it for signs or to highlight important docs, and also for various printables. The kids use it for crafts and other activities.

3. Highlighters! In the past, we've mainly used these to identify grammar elements. But this year, I vow to be more organized and use them for keeping track of things not covered or areas of difficulty and that need extra attention.

4. Full sheet labels. I can't teach without these because I have two kids, but frequently I only buy one subscription or one set of stickers, etc. All I have to do is make copies on these and then have the kids cut them out to make stickers and labels.

This is in addition to the tech devices we already own, like computers and iPads.

1. Each kid finally needs their own flash drives for backing up and storing all their written reports and such. This three pack is on sale at Target.

2. Last year, I gave the kids a "school" camera. They use it for everything. BUT they keep grabbing my SD cards and I'm afraid they're going to accidentally delete my pics, SO ta-da!

Art Supplies:
This is always my biggest list because my kids are hands-on learners (aren't all kids?) and so I try to provide them with as many activities as I can to help reinforce concepts.

1. Drawing/Sketching pencil set. We do a LOT of drawing in school. My kids are very visual and when they draw out concepts (life cycles, types of geographical features, etc.), I know they are processing them.

2.Chalk pastels. There's a lot of lesson plans available for free online using chalk pastels. We'll be exploring them this year.

3. Tape. We use it for EVERYTHING. (And we never have enough.)

4. Kleenex. Seriously. We need it when fall and winter colds strike. And it's not just good for blowing your nose, you know. We use them for art projects like blending colors and various crafts.

5. Erasable colored pencils. My girl has been begging for them. I'm cool with that.

6. Pencils. I think I have a pencil monster in my house that gobbles them up at night while we are sleeping because they're always missing by class time the next morning. :/

7. Q-tips. Again, they are great for so many art projects. From studying pointilism to blending chalk and pencil marks.

8. Drawing/sketch pads. We go through a LOT of these, and I really like this set from

All of these clothes are from Land's End, just because I like the simple styles without all the bling. 

1. My daughter wants a button up, "uniform" shirt. Boom!

2. But I like relaxed polos.

3. Sweaters are a must in the winter.

4. Did I mention we homeschool? Warm, fuzzy sweatpants are our uniform of choice.

5. And no girl (or woman) can have too many of these!

What about you? What's on your list of Back-to-School Must-Haves?


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