Beyond Textbooks and Clothes | Back to School Tips

Beyond Textbooks and Clothes | Back to School Tips

Thanks to Allstate for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

It’s mind blowing to me that I am just months away from having half of my children in college.

My oldest son is currently a senior in high school and my oldest daughter is a senior in college and due to graduate in December of 2015.

This paired with two in elementary school takes back to school planning to a new level for me.

I was recently given the opportunity to ask an Allstate Information Team member a few important questions about back to school planning. Because of experience, I know many parents haven’t even begun to think about a few of these topics that I decided to ask.

Hopefully our conversation will be helpful to you now, or a few months down the road as your children graduate and plan their next big adventure.


photo credit

Back to School Tips for COLLEGE Kids

  • Life Skills

Teaching life skills such as basic cooking, cleaning, shopping for food and essentials, as well as banking are extremely important. Especially during their first year away from home.  If you plan ahead you can start going over basic life skills the year before they go off to college so they can practice while you are there to answer questions.

  • Banking

An ATM card and checks are a good idea for students heading off to college. You may chose not to get a credit card at this time as the temptation may be too great to overspend. Besides, there is always plenty of time for a credit card. It is imperative that college students know how to manage their money. Consider setting up an account for them at same bank with linked accounts – that way they are separate, but linked together so it’s easier for you to send money if needed.

  • Electronics

Most colleges now have the majority of their classwork housed in online portals. You maybe choose to purchase a laptop for easier maneuverability. But, you should review what the college recommends depending on the type of courses taken. You may be surprised to find out your college actually provides laptops for students.

  • Renters Insurance 

It is oftentimes overlooked, but f your child is planning to live off-campus, renters insurance can be a lifesaver. Renters Insurance covers your child’s personal property while they are renting. If something were to happen to their unit, the management’s insurance typically will not cover the renters belongings.

  • Auto Insurance

Consider looking into purchasing separate vehicle insurance for your student’s car. If they will not be living at home for much of the year, this may be better cost-wise for them to have his own policy.


Back to School Tips for ELEMENTARY Kids

  • 10614950_10152323538033100_698427787_oBTS Shopping

If you start shopping at end of June and into July, you may find it more relaxed and you can easily find what you need without the big rush. Basic school supplies can be found on clearance in early to middle fall. Stock up for at home or the coming school year.

  • Basics

Basic supplies vary depending on the grade, but the basic supplies in most cases include: a binder, pencil case, pocket folders or dividers, pencils regular and colored, tissues, hand sanitizer, pencil sharpener, markers, erasers, dry erase markers and highlighters.

  • Electronics

Tablet or Laptop? In elementary it is more preference based than functional need. It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish.  Middle school and high school tend to use the laptop for schoolwork and research. Elementary may use the the tablet to school for in room class work.

  • School Activities

I cannot stress enough how important it is to participate in any school activities and teacher conferences. Regardless of how well your child is doing, I think it’s important to always show support for your children.  I also feel strongly that participating in school activities such as sports games, plays, band concerts, etc. actively shows your child and the other children that they are important and that you care for them.



This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day. For more tips like this, visit the Allstate Good to Know community.


  1. shelly peterson says

    Thanks for sharing this all important information. I have college age children and an elementary age child too. Luckily my children stayed local for college so it was an easier transition than them moving away.

  2. Crazy, right? My oldest just graduated from college. I have one in and one in high school! Where did the time go???

  3. James Robert says

    Really learned something here, never really thought about the renters insurance but that one would be an important one to have.

  4. I complete agree with participating in school activities as a student and parent. Great tips to prepare for the next stages.

  5. Emily says

    Thanks for the tips. I’m always excited for back-to-school, but it is stressful!

  6. Nicole says

    Great tips for younger kids and college students. My brother just went off to college, so this info would be useful to him, especially the banking tip.

  7. This is all very important to know! Our group of charter schools are “bring your own device” schools, where all children in 5th grade and up are encouraged to bring a tablet or laptop to school each day.

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