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Back-to-School Madness

Tricks and trips and common sense when buying your kid’s school supplies


By Sara Grace C. Fojas
Image by Noel Pabalate

It’s that time of the year again when summer has to end and the kids have to go back to school. But before we worry about how they’re going to turn out this academic year, we worry first about preparing them for another year ahead—which means do they have everything they need from the bags to erasers? Let us help you make things easier for you through these tricks and tips when buying your children’s school supplies.

back to school

Clean your house

Through this, you can sort through your kid’s things with what they already have. Chances are you still have a few pens and pencils that can be used. Leftover pages of notebooks from last school year can be recycled and turned into a new and personalized notebook.

Have a budget

Don’t forget to stick to it. Take advantage of discounts and some things are better bought in bulk like pens that can get you through the whole year.

Make a list

Get a list from your child’s school. Check the school’s website or ask their teachers on what they might need for this school year. Some department stores also have a common school supplies list on their websites.

Remember the basics

In general, students only need three things every school year: a pen or a pencil, notebooks, and papers. Each of them may have specific school supplies list but don’t get too overwhelmed that you end up forgetting these important stuff. Don’t forget to test your pens when you buy them.

Needs vs Wants

Your children would ask for many things when you tell them that you’re shopping for school supplies—new bags or the latest shoes. As parents, use your best judgment whether your child really needs this and discuss with them the reason why their old bag or shoes or other old stuff can still be used for this year. Teach them the value of saving money and money management while they are young.

Comfort and Storage

If you’re going to buy a bag for them, choose dark colors that won’t get dirty easily. Teach your kids also how to be organized by providing them with pencil bags and boxes to store their supplies for their writing and art subjects. Give them also folders for the documents they receive in class.

Remember the other stuff they need

If they have a pencil and eraser, they also need a sharpener. Your high school and college student might need highlighters. You can give them planners so that they can keep track of their schedules and classes. Children in grade school need art supplies like crayons, scissors, and glue. High school students taking algebra, geometry, and calculus needs a scientific calculator. You can buy these things when the teacher asks for them or you can buy them ahead and be ready.

Don’t forget the personal supplies they need

You may think that you’ve got everything they need until they come home all dirty, and then you will realize that you could’ve prepared them for this moment. Teach them proper hygiene habits and make sure that they have a small pack of facial tissue inside their bag and a small bottle of hand sanitizer.

With all these in mind, we went on a back-to-school shopping at National Book Store and here’s what we got with a budget of P2000.

For A kindergarten kid:

Grab and Go Pack Grade 1 to 3: P107.50

(Contains pencil, crayon, glue, eraser, sharpener, scissors)

Jumbo crayons: P17.25

For a grade 5 student:

10 notebooks x 23.75 each = P237.50

Pad sets (tablet paper, ½ crosswise paper, ½ lengthwise paper, and ¼ paper): P65.50

Pencil case: P150

Grab and Go Pack for Grade 4 to 6: P225

(Contains highlighter, pen, permanent marker, correction tape, glue, scissor)

Grab and Go Pack Drawing Set: P179

(Contains ruler, protractor, triangles, compass, mechanical pencil, and eraser)

For a college senior:

Binder notebook: P199

2 sets of filler for binder notebook: P33 each x 2 = P66

Black gel pen: P95.50

Yellow pad: P175

A pack of index cards: P34.50

For a Teacher

Grab and Go Pack Teacher Set P150

(Contains two pieces manila paper, highlighter, permanent marker, scissors, masking tape, a box of white chalk, three pens, long cardboard folder)

Extra supplies:

Book cover: P135.50

Plastic envelope: P67.75 x 2

Overall Total: P1,972

National Book Store also has budget bundles for low price deals from Best Buy, shopping delivery (8888-627) to order the list of supplies you need and have them ship to you.

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