Back to School Supplies for the Parent Writer

sharonwotrhead.gifThe Parent-Writer: Strategies for Success
By Sharon Miller Cindrich

School supplies. There’s a reason that schools hand out a list of essential supplies well before the school year starts, instead of requiring a protractor by February, a highlighter mid-March and a new sharpened pencil on the first of each month. Armed with every tool they need for the year zipped neatly into their required pencil case, kids can maximize their productivity week by week, instead of wasting an entire day scrounging for a glue stick or writing implement. Like I do.

Once I drop my kids at the school door loaded down with enough number 2 pencils to build a fire tower, I often find myself scrambling for a sharp writing utensil at my own desk, sometimes settling for half a periwinkle crayon.

No more, I say! This year, as you prepare your kids for school, take some tips from their supply lists and pick up a few of these extra supplies to maximize your writing productivity week after week.

Pencil sharpeners. We seem to have pencils coming out of our ears at home, but not one has a sharpened tip. Grab a few of those primitive, manual pencil sharpeners and hide them in your desk drawer, your kitchen junk spot and tuck one in your purse.

Spiral notebooks. Paper is another hot commodity in our home––and I’ve recorded many an interview on the back of an electric bill’s envelope. Pick up a few extra spiral notebooks for your office and keep one in the car to jot down sudden inspirations.

Highlighters. Whether you’re editing, researching or trying to stay organized, these can do wonders. Grab a variety of colors.

For snipping your published clips out of a magazine or cutting out inspirational sayings to decorate your workstation, a few pair of kiddy-scissors make the cut on my list of must-haves.

With the right tools on hand, the right words can be liberated to appear when you need them most! Have fun stocking your tool kit.

E-Parenting, Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids by Sharon CindrichSharon Miller Cindrich is a freelance writer whose work has been published nationally in magazines and newspapers around the country including The Chicago Tribune, Parents Magazine, and The Writer. She is a Contributing Editor at FamilyFun Magazine and writes a bimonthly humor column for West Suburban Living Magazine in the Chicago Suburbs. She is a regular contributor to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lifestyle section and Metroparent Magazine. Her book E-Parenting: Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids is now out from Random House. Read more about Sharon at

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