Essential School Supplies for 2021
4 minute read
August 24, 2021


These days kids need more than simply notebooks and #2 pencils to be successful in school. Of course, this makes sense because there are many more skills required for job success in the world after formal education. Some school supplies are physical items like scissors, pens, or paper. They can also be skills you need to learn, like how to use technology such as Zoom.

We’ll explore both in the following sections and suggest what should go on your school list this year based on these categories: physical items and skills.

What is now considered essential school supplies changes every few years, but one thing always stays the same – a good attitude! Take time at home or school before classes start again, so you’re ready with everything you need.

Physical School Essentials

Every student needs a few basics to take notes and complete assignments. These change depending on what grade level your student is, though. For instance, an elementary student will most likely need all the following:

  • Notebook or loose-leaf paper (wide ruled)
  • Spiral-bound notebook
  • Backpack
  • Index cards
  • Erasers
  • Different colored folders for different subjects
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Pencil case
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pens (black, red, or blue)
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Crayons
  • Thin markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Colored pencils

A newer category of school supplies is technology. Increasingly, students are using electronic devices, like tablets and laptops, to do their work in the classroom. This has extended even to include homework as well. With many schools offering virtual schooling options, students need an electronic device to access instruction, assignments and submit homework. While high school students likely won’t need crayons or glue sticks, they’ll undoubtedly need appropriate school supplies for the digital age.

These days, it’s not as simple as writing an essay on paper if you don’t have a home computer. Entire homework assignments may be assigned through an educational web app that requires internet access and a device to complete. Technology is not supplemental to education but integral. Consider what device will work best for your student. Perhaps ask their teacher what other students have used or what type of assignments they’ll be required to complete digitally.

Essential Skills for School

Kids these days will need to learn how to use technology like the Zoom video conferencing app. This alone requires an entirely new skill set for students to master. To be successful in a hybrid virtual school environment, students need to know:

  • How to manage their time and attention during instruction.
  • Proper online research techniques.
  • The importance of protecting their school-related digital information
  • How to use technology in the classroom. Students need to know how to address tech issues, like figuring out what’s wrong with a computer or learning how to troubleshoot a phone.
  • Safe online habits and responsibilities such as managing time on social media and other devices.

If you want your child to be computer savvy, teach them about cybersecurity basics before school starts this year! This includes teaching kids what types of information should never be shared online or over text messages- personal contact info, passwords, and their address, among other things.

Social Media Safety Tips: Cyberbullying is one example of social media gone wrong very quickly in today’s world. Teach your children how to avoid cyberbullying themselves and address it when they see other students victimized by cyberbullies.

Have Fun!

One thing we should never forget about learning: it should be fun! To keep school interesting, make sure your kids have some free time to play during the school day.

Key Takeaways: Teach children how to use technology like Zoom and other essential skills for school in 2021. This includes teaching them social media safety tips so they will be safer online as well as having fun at school by playing games or making crafts.

Looking for some fun family activities before the school year kicks into full gear? Check out our blog post on things to do with the family before school starts.


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