Young people studying Five young people study sat down in a bank of a corridor of the Santamarca Institute of High school. MadridHigh school back to school shopping isn't too different from middle school or elementary school. However this is the age when your kids start getting familiar with their study habits and they know exactly what they need, which could be good or bad. It could be cheaper because they know they don't need as many school supplies or more expensive because they think they need more. Being not too far out of high school myself, I can speak from experience.

Essential Supplies: High schools don't really give out school lists, so it's up to the kids to know what supplies they need. Here are the basics to get so you don't have to go all out by trying to buy a lot of school items to make sure they're prepared for the first day. If you don't mind waiting, you can give your kid a a notebook, a pen and a pencil on the first day because that's really all they need on the first day. After going to all of their classes they can find out specifically what they're going to need from their teachers. If you don't want to  wait, get a three-inch ring binder with subject dividers, one or two three-subject, perforated notebooks, some pens and pencils and optional highlighter(s). Also teachers will often tell students to get book covers for text books. Just stock up on paper bags the next time you go to the grocery store and then look up how to make book covers online. Most of the time, teachers prefer these to book covers at school supplies stores.

Lockers: If they didn't have them in junior high, your kids are going to have lockers in high school that they'll want to decorate and with wall clippings and school supplies they think our essential. Parents, don't go all out on buying things for your kids' lockers. It's likely that they won't use their lockers as often as they think, if at all. Post-it notes, calendars, cork boards and locker decorations they happen to see next to the cash register at Office Depot can be a waste of money. To the best of my knowledge, the high schools give out planners at the beginning of the school year so they can use those for homework reminders or what have you and if they don't then you can look into it after the school year starts. If not then a cheap planner is a great idea. As for decorations, your teenagers can take things out of their room and put them in their lockers.

English Class Book Lists: When I  was in high school I took honors and advanced placement English classes and every summer there was a reading list of book we had to read for the fall. Teachers usually recommend buying new copies so students can make annotations in the margins. Personally, I like having the books because I'll reread them and add new notes. However I know some kids who don't want to hold on to them or have already them or they have a kindle to look at, etc. so they don't want to buy a book. In those situations I recommend borrowing them from a library and getting a small notebook to write in notes. It saves a lot of money on books that your teens may only read once.


Tune in tomorrow at 8:00 during the Morning Show for more tips for high school students and for college students.