Category Archives: Back to School Tips

Back to School: The Parent To Do List

The Parent To-Do LIST

It’s August, and that means many families are gearing up for back to school. Here is a list of items every parent can do to make the transition back to school easier for students of all ages. Remember, Great Preparation = Success!

1. Calendars

Each family should have two types of calendars — a digital one and a paper/wall calendar. The digital calendar, google or iCal, is detailed with exact times/dates/locations. The wall calendar provides a visual for your family, which anchors them to time and dates.  It will include general events such as the start of school, a wedding, a sporting event, routined extra-curricular classes.

A recommended wall calendar
From Papersource $29.95

Here’s your list for this section:

  • Set up your google calendar or iCal for each member of your family. Go to your child’s school calendar and input dates for the year into your calendar. See if there is a way to share calendars or update calendars so that you do not have to input each date manually. Get your older children involved in sharing their calendars with you — teach them the basics of digital calendaring including how to input an event, a repeating event and how to put in locations and invite others to events.
  • Buy the wall calendar and post in a central location. The kitchen is a pretty popular spot for many families. Have your children help you put in the key dates for the first few months of school. This will provide them security for the transition back to school as well. If you have more than one child, choose a color for each one.

2. Organize Your Stuff

Before school is a great time to get things organized. I have a few key rules for organization. You can use this as your to-list for this section.

  • No one should own more things than they can take care of.
  • Everyone should learn how to organize their things by sifting  and placing (dump everything from one category into a pile and keep what you love and what serves a purpose – give away/throw away all else; and then place back what you will keep into ONE place).
  • Maintenance of organization is the hardest work and needs time and a personalized strategy to be successful. For children, it is important to build time into their schedule to enter dates into calendar, place new items into spaces, or tidy up messy areas.

3. Order/Shop

After you’ve gone through what you have, you should spend time gathering what is needed for the start of school. Most schools have supply lists. You can also read our blog on suggested school supplies.

Involve your child in the process of buying clothes, back packs, and school supplies because it allows them to transition well back to school.

4. Complete Paperwork

Ah, the fun part of the back to school time for all parents is here!

  • Go grab a file box and start to pile up the forms you need to fill out. Teach your children to place forms from school into these trays.

    Poppin File Tray $24
  • Create a folder on your desktop to  house digital forms such as medical records and other pdf documents.
  • Invest in a quality scanner to help you digitize forms you want to keep. This will also help your children to scan homework assignments and other documents.
Scan Snap Scanner — an investment, but well worth it! $429.95

5. Get Into Routines Again

About 2 weeks before school begins, it is important to get students back into school routines. They will need to have this time to get into the rhythms of sleeping, eating, and working.

  • Establish bedtime routines and morning routines. If you want tips on how to do this, read a blog I wrote about how to establish morning and afternoon routines for some additional ideas.
  • Many students need to use the two weeks before school begins to work on summer work and to boost areas of reading and math. If you need support in these areas, consider contacting us at or 917-388-3862 to book a tutor via Skype or in person during this crucial time.


Enjoy the last days of summer where ever you are! Here’s a short- hand list of the to-dos included in this blog for your reference:

  1. Calendar (digital and wall)
  2. Organize your Things (sift, place and maintain)
  3. Order and Shop
  4. Complete Paperwork
  5. Get into Routines Again



Back to School 2017

Get Ready for Back-to-School

Our Annual School Supply Picks

By: Mary E. Miele, founder The Evolved Education Company, learning specialist and mother of three children

It’s that time of year again — and if you are me, this is better than my birthday!  Whether you need  pens, pencils, index cards, folders, binders, paper or rulers, look no further! Included in this list are some of our favorite supplies. Enjoy and share the love!

Pens, Pencils and Highlighters: Why splurge? We find that when students can be colorful with their work by color-coding notes, edits, corrections and etc., they are enthusiastic about event the most mundane of assignments.

Le Pens $22.47
Le Pens $28.92
Uni-ball Pens $17.36
Uni-ball Pens $16.56
Pilot G2 Retractable Pens $8.78
Pilot G2 Retractable Pens $8.34
Ballpoint Pens $10
Ballpoint Pens $10
White TIp-Top Rollerball Pen
White Tip-Top Rollerball Pen $12                                                             

Pencils and Erasers

Ticonderoga Pencils $5.69
Erasers $2.28
Erasers $1. 69


Highlighters $4.99
Highlighters $2.00
Thin Highlighters $10
Thin Highlighters $10

Colored Pencils

Watercolor Pencils $24.96
Watercolor Pencils $13.96
Colored Pencils $55
Colored Pencils $26.48
Pencil Sharpener $5.20
Pencil Sharpener $1.59

 Pencil Cases: One for each kind of student!

Case It Pencil Case $14.43
Case It Pencil Case $14.69
Pencil Pouch $12
Pencil Pouch $12 Floral Pouch $14.95 Floral Pouch $14.95
Canvas Pouches $19.95
Canvas Pouches $19.95

Staplers: You never know when you’ll need one! This one is sturdy and can be used by even the youngest of students.

Staplers $14
Staplers $14

Scissors: Students are cutting and pasting all the way through high school.

Scissors $11
Scissors $11
Kids' scissors $2.94
Kids’ scissors $2.94

Three-hole punch: Do handouts get misplaced or ruined in pocket folders? Punching and sorting handouts into binders will keep your student neat and organized.

Three Hole Punch For the Desk $29.99
Three Hole Punch
For the Desk
3 Hole Punch for Binder $5.95
3 Hole Punch for Binder

Folders: Choose folders that speak to your student’s interests or go with a different color for each subject.

Meadsports 2 pocket folders $16.41
Meadsports 2 pocket folders $16.49
Pocket Folder $6
Pocket Folder $6
Pocket Folder $3
Pocket Folder

Paper: long gone are the days of buying hole repair stickers – go for the reinforced paper and never again worry about loosing a sheet!

College Ruled Reinforced Paper $3.47
College Ruled Reinforced Paper $6.30
Graph Paper $3.49
Graph Paper $5.09

Notebooks: Select a different color for each subject.

2 Subject Notebooks $15.10
2 Subject Notebooks
One subject notebook $8
One subject notebook $8
Smaller Sized Notebooks $5.43
Smaller Sized Notebooks

Binders: Zip-up binders come in handy for home filing. At the end of each quarter/semester/course, have your student file papers to keep in a sip-up binder, divided by subject.

Case-it Z-binder $21.99
Case-it Z-binder $21.99
Aqua Pocket Binder $10
Aqua Pocket Binder
Binder $27.66 for a six pack
Binder $27.66 for a six pack
Mead Flex Binder Assorted Colors and Designs $17.99
Mead Flex Binder
Assorted Colors and Designs

Dividers: Even if your child’s teachers do not include these on their supply list, these are a must for optimizing organization.

Dividers $4
Dividers $2.99
Dividers $2.99

Index Cards and Post-It Notes: Colors keep students interested and organized!

Oxford Index Cards are the best–hands down. I happen to like the colored ones, but they come in white too–lined or blank. $5.99/300 cards at
Index Cards $5
Index Cards $5
Index Card Box $14.54 pack of 4
Index Card Box
$14.54 pack of 4
Post-it Notes $6.59
Post-it Notes $4.69

Measuring Instruments

Ruler $8
Ruler $8
Clear Ruler $8
Clear Ruler
Compass $5.48
Compass $2.99
Protractor $7.72
Protractor $11.29

Backpacks: go for style, practicality and good posture with these selections.

Hershel Backpack Grey $59.99
Hershel Backpack Grey
Jansport Backpack $56.88
Jansport Backpack $56.88
Lands End Backpack $22.00
Lands End Backpack $22.00
LeSportSac Function Backpack $
Function Backpack

Planners: Stylish and practical. Get your students planning at the elementary school level so that it’s second-nature when they arrive in middle school.

Very Busy Planner $32.95
Very Busy Planner $32.95 Girl Crush Planner $20.95 Girl Crush Planner
Academic Planner $15.42
Academic Planner