Preparing for The First Year of High School

Posted on August 11, 2017 in Products/ Sponsored/ Teens/ Tips

I never thought I’d be saying these words but, Jordan starts high school in less than a month! I know, I know. Why did I never think I’d be saying that? Well, to be perfectly honest I never thought about him going to high school because when I look at him, I still see my baby boy, my first born. When everyone else looks at him, they see a soon to be a 14-year-old boy who towers over his mother and has already grown into such an amazing young man – that his mom is still in denial about.

The reality is though, it’s here and will be starting quickly, it’s time for us to get in gear! Now while I still beg to walk him to the bus stop on the first day (he’s not approving, but I’ll keep trying!) it was important to us to make sure he is armed with not only the proper tools to make his first year of high school successful but also some tips to help him juggle the things to come that may overwhelm him.

I started high school 17 years ago in September. It feels like yesterday, and I can recall the butterflies I felt, and how nervous I was to be going to such a big building, with so many other kids, most of which were going to be older than me. It’s intimidating. Jordan has never been one to struggle though. He’s very likeable, makes friends easy and girls tend to flock around when he’s near. Will this all help him in high school? I’m sure it will, but it won’t prepare him for all those tests, exams and pop quizzes. Not to mention all the notes he will need to be taking, and remembering!

This year we are arming Jordan with the tools he will need to succeed. Forget about making friends, and being social – he’s got that one down pat, I’m talking about academics. Preparing our young high schoolers embarking on his scary but inspiring journey is critical. Here are the must-have items we are making sure Jordan heads off to year 9 with:

  1. Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens: Stop Smears and Spread Joy is their motto, and it’s fitting. I’ve used Paper Mate InkJoy for many years myself, so it’s only natural we send Jordan armed with as many of these as we can. The new quick-drying Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens are fully wrapped with a comfort grip (because writing shouldn’t hurt) and feature a smooth style that keeps words flowing. From the first day of class to the last, your kids will be able to spread joy, not smears, with vivid gel ink that dries three times faster than your average black, blue or red pen. With 14 brilliant colours to choose from (MSRP: $42 for 14-pack), their notes – even the doodles in the margins! – will be bright and filled with fun!
  2. Sharpie Color Burst: High Schoolers use many different pens, papers, and pencils but sharpies are a must have! Using on multiple different surfaces, the Sharpie Fine Permanent Maker is a must have in any high school teens book bag! Need a little bit of colour? Like all Sharpie markers, the Color Burst marker features bold, vivid ink that’s quick drying, water resistant and permanent for lasting impressions on almost any surface, including paper, plastic, metal, wood and more. Whatever your project, you can confidently and boldly ignite your expressions with a Sharpie.
  3. Sharpie Clear View Highlighters: Taking notes? Need to remember parts of a book or report? Sharpie View Highlighters are a must for every teen!  When the to-do item is high-priority, Sharpie® Clear View Highlighters make sure it stays high-visibility. Sharpie Clear View Highlighters have a unique, see-through tip for precise and even highlighting all the way across the page. With Sharpie Clear View, the transparent tip ensures you can see exactly what you’re highlighting, so you’ll always know when to stop.
  4. Elmers School Glue: Got an art fanatic in your home? Well, High school is the perfect time to explore the arts. With Elmer’s School Glue Clear Glue Sticks and Purple (but dries clear) school glue imaginations can run wild and free! It’s easy to throw one of these in the book bag, keep them in a locker or even in a pencil case. Elmer’s clear formula dries clear – perfect for making custom-coloured or glitter slime – and its smooth application creates a permanent bond that works on all types of paper, including cardboard, foam board, display board, computer paper and more. It is washable, acid-free, photo safe and non-toxic.
  5. Binders and Dividers: Want a binder for each subject or one with everything? Stock up on binders and dividers to help make your child stay organized and ready to learn each day. There will be no excuses and no reasons why homework can’t be completed if your teen is organized and ready to tackle the school year ahead.
  6. Lined Paper: This is a must. Notes, projects, book reports and lesson plans will all require lined paper. Often schools don’t provide booklets anymore, so having a binder full of lined paper ready to will help ensure your child has all the tools necessary to succeed from the start!
  7. Calculator, Protractor and Math Tools: I was never one for math so I’d always pretend I didn’t have the proper tools my mom did arm with me at the start of the school year. When I was busted, having all the tools I needed was very helpful, and I was able to get my work finished on time and with confidence. Be sure to buy a few extras to keep on hand, as these math tools tend to “go missing” often.
  8. Pencils and Sharpeners:  It’s a very good idea to keep a large stash of pencils and pencil sharpeners on hand, at home or in the locker. I didn’t use many pencils in high school, but for things like math, it’s probably best to have some on hand as you will be able to correct any mistakes easier!

Are you sending a teen off to high school for the first time this year? What do you think is the most valuable tool to arm them with? I can’t stress enough to Jordan how much fun high school is, but also how now is the time to get serious about his studies and buckle down. He’s looking forward to the challenges ahead, and hopefully arming him with everything he needs from day one will help ensure a successful first year in high school!

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Paper Mate InkJoy, Sharpie and Elmer’s School Glue . As always, opinions are all mine.


  • Reply Angela Tolsma August 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Look like he has all the gear! High School comes crazy fast but I’m sure he’ll do great! Fingers crossed he’ll let you walk with him to the bus stop.

  • Reply Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh August 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    These are all things that the high schooler needs! My oldest is headed off to college in a couple of weeks! They grow so fast right? It’s crazy.

  • Reply Nancy Johnson Horn August 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I need to grab some of these ASAP. My kids start school soon and these are always great to have on hand. Having the proper supplies helps the kids feel more prepared for the new school year.

  • Reply Amber Nelson August 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    We did that last year, the whole first year of high school. My daughter is excited for her sophomore year. I’m not, however. Shes growing up way too fast.

  • Reply Melissa August 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    I have one in high school and it was a real change for us when she started, but we all got through it. I will consider all those products but the pens and paper go the fastest.

  • Reply Terri Steffes August 11, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I found my creative outlet with high school. I took sewing and art and band and found out I was a creative! Those markers would have definitely been in my back pack.

  • Reply Jasmine August 12, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Prepping for high school is tricky because the kids are very particular with what they want and like. Jansport is our go to brand for backpacks thats about the only thing I can buy without their pre-approval. lol

  • Reply Blythe Alpern August 13, 2017 at 12:42 am

    I remember my first day of high school. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find my classrooms or wouldn’t know anyone in my class. Having the right outfit and the right supplies definitely helped allay some of those fears.

  • Reply Heather August 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

    My oldest just started third grade this month and I know before I even realize it she’ll be in high school too. Time is flying by! It’s so important to make sure they are prepared for great organization for the beginning of the year. Those gel pens are the best and although she’s just eight, my daughter wanted the same for her home supplies this year. Convincing argument. :)

  • Reply Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman August 14, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Oh my gosh, how I love new school supplies! I’ve never quite grown out of that. The years do fly though, don’t they? My youngest is a Junior in high school this year, and I can’t believe how much stuff she needs to start the year.

  • Reply Journa Ramirez August 14, 2017 at 1:18 am

    My kids are still in grade school and I think I should prepare myself now because time flies so fast and they’ll be in High School too. You’re a great mom, I admire you for helping your child from detail to detail.

  • Reply AnnMarie John August 14, 2017 at 1:46 am

    My eldest is in college and then I have one who’s about to start his senior year, I also have one in middle school and kindergarten. You’ll always feel nervous for them whenever they’re about to enter a new phase in their lives. It’s good to make sure that they have everything they need though. Love these supplies!

  • Reply Laurie @ Girl & Tonic August 14, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Jordan will be so prepared for high school! He’s very lucky to have you! I started high school 15 years ago – time has flown!

  • Reply valmg @ Mom Knows It All August 14, 2017 at 10:34 am

    That’s a good list to start with. I personally love the feel of gel pens. I haven’t seen the clear tip Sharpies but they sound neat.

  • Reply Brandy August 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Been here done that with one kid, another will be there before I know it. Time flies, don’t blink! I love the supply ideas here, pretty much exactly what we purchased our daughter for her first year in high school.

  • Reply Carrie@thelavenderhytta August 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I can’t even imagine one of my kids starting high school! I am having a hard time with my oldest starting first grade. :(

  • Reply Joline August 14, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Looks like he’s all good and ready to take on high school! I still remember when I started high school, I was scared out of my mind lol! It helps to have a mom who got your back :)

  • Reply Neely Moldovan August 14, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I feel like I really became my own person in high school. These supplies are all great and man does high school seem like a million years ago!

  • Reply Heather Johnson August 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    My oldest started first grade but will be in high school before I know. I loved shopping for new school supplies each year!

  • Reply laurie beth August 15, 2017 at 12:37 am

    HighSchool! WoW! I always LOVED shopping for back to school supplies. I enjoy it for my kids.

  • Reply Elena August 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    These are all great things that a high schooler needs. I am not sending a kid to school but I am a teacher so I know what kids need.

  • Reply Lorelai August 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Starting High school is a daunting task, but with all of those great supplies he will have a great start! I am sure he will do great!

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