I have always loved stationery stores, even when I was little. I could stand for hours eyeing up all the different types of pens, the variety of styles of folders, papers and accessories. Now I still love to spend time in those sections of the stores, especially as they gear up for back to school and the choices ramp up. Unfortunately though there is usually several stressed out families trying to get all their back to school supplies amidst a lot of snarling and snapping. As the back to school season is upon us I thought I would try and help by focusing on how you can think about supplies before hand to make the experience more pleasant.
One of the biggest considerations is your learning style. In a recent blog http://thegradecoach.com/2010/07/27/learning-and-the-teenage-brain/ I discussed how to find out your learning style using the VARK model. This is a great help when it comes time to start shopping for your supplies.
There are some tips that are useful for any style but will give an even bigger benefit for specific styles.
Visual learners love colors and shapes – think about different colors for each subject and coordinate notebooks, pens, stickers for schedules etc.
Auditory Learners love to hear their information – think about dictation machines and Dragon Naturally Speaking for report writing.
Kinesthetic learners love practical solutions and things they can interact with. Think about sticky notes, clips and mind mapping tools (paper or software)
Read/Write learners love written information and lists. Consider filing systems that allow all the paperwork to be easily found when needed.
The great thing about supplies nowadays is that is comes in an endless variety of colors shapes and sizes. Have some fun designing a system and buying the supplies based on what your favorite theme is. Just make sure that even if it is pretty, that it works for you. Better to have garish clashing colors that you can find in a dark backpack or locker, than a stylish system that makes everything look the same.
So spend some time browsing the aisles (either in store or on line) before thinking what your system will look like. Then you will be more focused when buying, get more of what you need, less of what you don’t and save some time into the bargain.