| Savings & Tips
Three elementary-aged girls doing homework in the backseat of a car, with one reading, one listening to music, and one drinking a juice box

As summer draws to an end, kids everywhere are licking their last popsicles and taking their final laps in the pool. And parents? They’re counting down the days until school is back in session and the kids are busy with after-school activities and…homework–yikes! Homework! Whether you hate it or love it, it just can’t be avoided. If there always seem to be forgotten assignments (miraculously remembered on the drive to school), read on to see how to put together a pro homework kit for the car!

Keep a clipboard and paper in the back pocket of your car seats. Having something sturdy to write on is crucial to completing homework assignments that are actually legible. Put on your super-parent cape and clip a few sheets of plain paper or lined paper to the clipboard, securing the bottom of the paper to the clipboard with a rubber band. (Because it’s annoying when they start curling up!)

  • Set of 3 clipboards: $4*
  • Lined filler paper: $3

Place extra pens, pencils, and highlighters in the cupholder. Place a small plastic cup filled with pencils and pens (not the permanent kind) in your cup holder. Bumps and brakes can send writing utensils flying, so stick to mechanical pencils that aren’t prone to lose their tips (plus they don’t need sharpening) and pens that won’t mark up your seats. For older students, add highlighters to the mix for reading that requires a little extra attention.

  • Pens, pencils, & plastic cups: Free when you go on a treasure hunt around your home!

Hand out headphones to create “mini-work spaces.” Have more than one kid that needs to get things done? What about an audiobook or story that needs listening to? Either way, it’s a good idea to have a set of headphones for each pair of hands (and ears) that need to get work done. It could also mean a little peace and quiet for the driver…

  • Headphones: $10

Open up a new chapter with a book light. This is one of the most important, but often overlooked items for your on-the-go homework kit! Overhead lights can be distracting for the driver and other passengers. Thankfully, this handy piece of technology focuses light in one spot and makes it easier to get a head start on homework when driving home from an evening activity.

  • Booklight with clip: $3

Pack a plastic container with extra essentials. Call it your junk box, the “catch-all,” the Big Kahuna: grab a shoebox-sized plastic container (with a lid that will securely close) and fill it with those random extras that make homework A) easier or B) more fun. Throw in a small calculator, erasers, a glue stick, and a 6-inch ruler.

  • Small calculator: $3
  • Erasers: $2
  • 6-inch ruler: $1

And the total for your on-the-go homework kit? $26 and a whole bunch of peace of mind. Maybe a few A+’s too! If you purchase your school supplies during tax-free weekend, you may be able to get the price down even lower! Find out if your state is participating in a tax-free weekend to see how much you could save.

*All prices are based on the approximate lowest price on Walmart.com.