School Supplies for the ADHD Inattentive Family

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sabrina and adhdLearning is enough of a struggle to children who find it hard to focus. They should therefore never have to look far for the proper tools. Like a busy executive, they need to concentrate on the task before them, and should have anything they need close at hand. There is a closet in our house that looks like the school supply section at Wal-Mart. The boys have tools to stay organized. They have plenty of socks, underwear, and soccer clothes. We have calculators, computers, dictionaries, encyclopedia, rulers, compasses, and even an electric eraser.

I do try to think of my boys as busy executives, and try to be their secretary. (I admit that instead, sometimes I view them as lazy bums, and just try not to toss them out of the house!) If you’ve ever seen the movie “Sabrina“, (and if you haven’t, you should!) you know that Harrison Ford never had to search for pencils or coffee or even shirts. Everything was provided for him, and everything was at his fingertips. This didn’t mean he was irresponsible or lazy. It only freed him up to do his job, and rescue his brother from the evil clutches of Sabrina.

Although schoolwork isn’t near so exciting as a romantic comedy, my children still need the same ready access to the tools of learning. To prepare for this article, I walked through my house and made a list of the supplies we keep on hand. This list can be a springboard for getting supplies ready for your children. Let this list help you as you help your children to help themselves.

Lots of pencils
Erasers
Pens
Markers – wide tip & fine point
Permanent markers
Highlighters in several colors
Zip lock bags – all sizes
Protractors
Compass
Rulers
Glue and glue sticks
Spray adhesive
Scotch tape – wide and thin
Duct tape and packing tape
Sticky tack
Thumb tacks
Paper clips
Paper fasteners
Index cards
LOTS of Notebook paper, wide and college rule
Notebooks – 1 & 3 subject in both rules-
with the THICK cardboard covers
Graph paper
Graph paper NOTEBOOKS (invaluable for math)
Card stock in white and colors
Colored computer paper
Construction paper

White drawing paper
Folders – pocket and prong
Manilla file folders
Envelopes – including large yellow ones
Full sheets of sticker paper
Labels
Newsprint, bought for $1 at the newspaper office
Pencil cases
Bookbags (one of the boys broke his yesterday
and I was grateful we had a spare)
Notebook dividers
Looseleaf binders in several sizes
Sheet protectors
Baby food jars
Old magazines – including National Geographic,
given away free by our local library
Tempera paint
Globe
Wall Map
Atlas
Old set of encyclopedias
Dictionary
Thesaurus
Electronic Dictionary – for the short definitions
and the easy look up
Calculators, some cheap, some not
Extra Ink Cartridges
Memory sticks/thumb drives

I’m quite aware that this is a LOT of stuff. I spend a lot of money in the fall when school supplies are on sale, and keep my eye open at dollar stores and places like Big Lots for their bargains. No matter what the cost, it’s worth the investment. We’ve been doing the dreaded science projects this past month, and almost everything we needed was already in our supply closet. You’re going to buy it anyway. Cut down on the stress and buy it in advance.

Besides, your children are like busy executives, and you must take your cues from the secretary in Sabrina. Just think. If she hadn’t prepared his suitcase in advance, Linus would have never been able to beat Sabrina to Paris!


About Kayla

Kayla Fay is a freelance writer and the mother of four boys, three of whom have been formally diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD. When she started “Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet?” in 2002, her sons were ages 8 through 14, when her life was a “progression of dirty laundry, lost homework, misunderstood Algebra, and a whole lot of love and fun”.

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