I’ve actually been out of college for almost 3 years now (what the whattttt I’m old) but when back-to-school season rolls around every year I get a little nostalgic and start to remember when I was a wee tot going off to primary school.

Why? Because oh lawddddd do I love school supplies (or organization/office supplies in general).

Every year the local grocery stores and supermarkets usually receive printed lists from the area school of school supply lists for kids by year. And every year, just like a creeper, I grab a few just to see what kids these days are taking to school.

When I was that age I remember distinctly “no trapper keepers”, “no erasable ink pens”, and “label all items with your name” being directives on the lists. (Am I aging myself here?) But are kids even taking three-pronged folders, college ruled paper, and #2 pencils to school? Or just having mom and dad buy them an iPad with a durable case?

It seems the consensus these days is…

  • Bring enough of everything “to be shared” (One list even said “DO NOT label any school supplies as we will be sharing supplies unless otherwise noted.” Can we say gross?! And also I was very particular about my school supplies even as a small child…there was NO WAY I was going to share my box of crayons lest they not be put back in the particular order I kept them).
  • “Please no prongs in folders” 
  • “1 3×3 pad of Post-It notes” I’m pretty sure Post-It notes didn’t even exist when I was a kid. And if they did, only teachers had them (or perhaps teachers these days are trying to get kids to supply their desks…)
  • No wheels on backpacks (yeah that’s right, kids who want to have wheels on your backpacks, pretty sure my generation started that and then subsequently ruined it for all future generations)
  • Girls bring this, boys bring that (like girls bring paper towels, boys bring wipes….I’m pretty sure schools just provided those things when I was a kid. In fact, a lot of things on this list that are to be “shared” like expo markers and tissues, I’m pretty sure schools just provided)
  • Composition notebooks are still a thing……………………………….good
  • Very specific brands like “1 box (12) sharpened Ticonderoga Pencils.” When I was a kid I’m pretty sure the only pencils that existed were Ticonderoga so as a parent I’d probably buy those old faithful one for my kid too…but when I wanted to buy them generic Target ones, huh?! Or what about this: “100-sheet graph notebook, Staples #716522” WTF?!

A lot has definitely changed since I was a kid. Back in my day PowerPoint was just starting to become a thing and teachers still used overhead projectors with Vis-a-Vis markers. Now? Instead of print-outs or workbooks kids do exercises on classroom iPads and they all have smartboards instead of chalkboards.


I’m not saying these things are necessarily bad. Obviously education has to keep up with the way kids learn these days. It’s just sad to see what once was when I was a kid slowly die and disappear.

imac-medres-600x416(Anyone remember playing Nanosaur on these old things?!)

Maybe if you’re a teacher you have much wiser insight into the evolution of the school supply list. Let me know.