Stock up on school supplies
Parents in Luxembourg usually heave a collective sigh in late August as they remember how expensive and time consuming it is to stock up on school supplies.
Before we list a few places to go if you need to fill school bags, or just need to buy a new school bag, here are a few things to consider before buying:
1. Age/Quality index – Young children will lose things, and often essential items like paints and colouring pencils are provided by the school, so don’t start seeking out top quality art supplies for your five year old. Conversely the older your child is, the more durable things need to be. Good quality ink pens, a decent protractor set, eraser and pencil case are essential. You don’t want your teen to be fretting about ink smudges during a test.
2. Schools specifications – Don't rush out and buy paper or exercise books until you have some idea of the school and teacher specifications. Some schools are very prescriptive about stationery requirements per subject, particularly at secondary level.
3. Buy in bulk – Firstly it's cheaper in the long-term to buy several ink cartridges and ink eraser pens (and frixion pens), and secondly some things are not stocked in the shops year round.
4. School bags – Expensive doesn't necessarily mean it will last, give the zipper and straps a thorough going over, check stitching and finishes too. Think about how much needs to go into that bag and whether it's big enough to accommodate several folders and an iPad for older kids. As a rule of thumb, a backpack is considered better for posture than a wheeled back, but a backpack should not weigh more than 10% of a child’s weight, so for young kids, a wheeled bag might be better.
5. Eco-friendly choices – You can sometimes opt for recycled paper or folders made from this, plus solvent-free glue and pencils and rulers that meet the FSC and PEFC certifications. Avoid plastic where possible (so opt for a metal pencil sharpener) and consider a canvas or leather pencil case.