6 Back to School Essentials for High Schoolers

Photo: iStockPhoto

They can study, hold an after-school job, and keep a group of friends, but they still may need a little help from their parents in finding (and paying for) the best gear for back-to-school. Forget those boring backpacks and same ol’ supplies -- We’ve got an eye for the newest and best tech on the market for teenagers, and our recent guide at My Life Scoop features six amazing products and services for their class time and anytime! Check out my two favorite picks here:

SMS Replier with Drive Reply

Free for Lite Version, $19.95 for Pro Version 

Does the thought of your teen on the road leave you a bit… concerned? If you’ve caught your child texting while driving (or being tempted to check messages), this easy fix may be for you. A simple app for Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile (an iPhone version will be released later this summer), the SMS Replier may literally save a life! At speeds of 15 MPH or greater, the Drive Reply feature automatically engages and responds to all incoming text messages with a customizable auto-reply, letting everyone know that driving safely comes first! All SMS communication can be put on hold until your teen arrives safely at their driving destination.  

Installation and Use Video:



Zebra Mechanical Pencils

$.41 - $3.00

Students love the convenience of mechanical pencils, but their continual lead-breaking and too-fine points can leave kids without the tool they need for special circumstances. That’s why Zebra mechanical pencils have us impressed: their Test Taking Mechanical Pencil leaves dark, thick markings, perfect for filling in the dots on achievement and college entrance exams, and the Nu Spiral promotes proper ergonomic form. The evolution of mechanical pencils has officially arrived!

Looking for even more fun gear for the new school year?  Check out the full six tip product guide at My Life Scoop today!

(Please note that not every pick on the My Life Scoop list is necessarily a "frugal" buy.  We were asked to write about the most innovative products.  However, I think my two picks featured on Wise Bread are definitely savvy buys.  The SMS Replier can save lives, and $3 is not too much to pay for peace of mind during stressful standardized tests.)



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Guest's picture

Great stuff--I think that "app" sould be manadatory for all teens with those types of phones!

Guest's picture

Essentials? For high school kids?
A non-refillable mechanical pencil? You can get inexpensive 0.9mm refillable mechanical pencils for probably a good bit less. And, for standardized tests, I always preferred a combination of a set of regular pencils for filling in the bubbles and a mechanical (0.5mm) for working out problems. But maybe that's just me.

A 22inch LED monitor. It's pretty, but most high school kids aren't doing huge spreadsheets or other things that require that much screen real estate (although I have one on my desk at work and I love it. Would love to have two or three...or a whole wall full. But, ya know, I got by with a 20 inch until about 6 months ago).

Headphones, a screetching and rolling alarm clock? Again, these might be nice to haves but definitely not essentials.

Essentials - Notebooks, writing implements, access to a computer with an internet connection at home, USB drive(s), a good (possibly graphing) calculator, a solid backpack. Those would be more what I would classify as essentials. The rest, not quite so much.

Guest's picture

I have three teenaged girls in my house. I have a rule that works well. If it's from the mall, they have to pay full price, if it's from the used clothing store, I pay 1/2. If it's from Goodwill/Salvation Army I buy it. Guess where my kids get their clothes? (They have been voted "best dressed" at their school!) They don't tell where they get their clothes, but are always asked!

Guest's picture

Wow I love the idea of that app! I can't wait to get it, but I have an iphone so I'll have to wait a bit longer. It drives me crazy when I see people driving and texting or talking on the phone. I would love to see the text that is worth risking your life and the lives of other drivers.