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Back-to-School Checklist for WAHMs


A back to school checklist is vital for WAHMs at the end of summer. Make sure you have these essential school supplies before your child goes back to school.

Backpacks and Lunch Boxes

A good backpack or bag of some kind is one of the most important items for any child returning to school. Backpacks need to be roomy, durable, and hopefully go with a variety of outfits - but your child may insist on a hot pink or lime green pack, and that's alright as well (they're the ones who have to carry it). If you invest in one thing as far as school supplies, it should be a high quality and sturdy backpack. They're expensive, but they can also be used for many years if treated decently.

A lunchbox may be necessary if your child doesn't get lunch at school, or if he would prefer having a lunchbox to using paper sacks. If you decide to buy a lunchbox, it should be spacious enough to handle your child's appetite and insulated to keep cold items cold.

Binders, Notebooks and Paper

Your child may prefer to use notebooks or to have a binder with lined paper in it. If notebooks are preferred, make sure he has one for each subject, or else a multiple-subject notebook. If your child wants a binder instead, you can help him stay organized by also buying a set of dividing tabs so that he has a seperate section for each subject. Lined refill paper is inexpensive and may be school ruled or college ruled; generally college ruled is preferred for middle school and older. You may also want to get some graph paper to have available for math homework.

Writing Utensils

Most people opt for mechanical pencils over traditional pencils, but again, your child may have a preference. Mechanical pencils can be purchased with .5 or .7 millimeter leads. .5 leads provide a finer line, but are also more expensive, so most people use .7. The difference in writing isn't especially important, but make sure you get refill leads which are the same size as the leads used by the pencils. You should also get some pens, both blue and black.

Optional writing supplies are highlighters, colored pencils or other art supplies, or colorful gel pens, which are popular with girls.

Math Tools

Depending on the level of math your child is in, you may need to purchase a regular calculator, graphing calculator, compass, ruler and protractor. Texas Instruments is the standard brand for calculators, and the teacher may require a specific model.

Basic Checklist

  • Backpack
  • Lunchbox
  • Binder with Lined Paper and Seperation Tabs, or Notebooks
  • Pencils (Mechanical Vs Regular)
  • Blue and Black Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Art Supplies
  • Calculator
  • Compass
  • Ruler
  • Protractor


This basic checklist will make sure your child has the essentials to start his school year off right. Many elementary and middle schools provide a list of required items, which you should defer to, if it is provided. If not, though, the items on this list will put your child in good standing to start school.

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