Now that your student is in high school, you’re probably going to want to revamp their school supplies. High school is a time of new classes, new friendships, and new experiences, and we want to help equip your 9th grader for all the challenges that lie ahead.
However, the process doesn’t need to be overwhelming, and that’s what we’re here for. This school supply list is designed to show you our recommendations for the most important 9th grade supplies. These are what we’ve designated as the most essential or must-have supplies for their school year. Remember to check with teachers if there are any special requests or rules.
What We Review
Must Have General 9th Grade School Supplies
- The Classics. Pens and pencils are always a must. After all, how could your student take notes without them? The best mechanical pencil brands are Paper Mate and Pentel, but you could always go for a more generic brand if you want a slightly cheaper option. For pens, Pilot G-2 Gel Pens are the way to go. They come in all different colors, and they write super smoothly. It’s a good idea to get at least a couple of packs of each so that even when some of the pens/pencils are lost or borrowed by a classmate and never returned, your student will still have extra. Feel free to shake it up, too! Get them a few differently-colored pens and a few different kinds of pencils. Let them choose the style of pencil (#2, mechanical, graphite, etc.) that will be most comfortable for them to write with.
- Paper beats rock. So you’ve got pens and pencils, but now what? Your student needs notebooks, but not just any kind. Mead Five Star notebooks are the most various, useful notebooks out there. You can get your 9th grader a single-subject Five Star notebook or go for the bigger 3 or 5-subject notebooks for more resourcefulness. If your student has a math or science class this year, look for other notebooks with graph paper or get some loose-leaf graph paper. Either way, the graph paper will help them keep their notes and homework organized and precise.
- Organization is the foundation. Folders and binders are essential school supplies for 9th grade. Since your student will be taking more specific classes this year, you want them to be able to organize and sort through their paperwork more quickly, and folders are the easiest way to help them with that. Once again, Mead Five Star folders are the easiest to find and come in many different sizes and colors, making it more straightforward for your student to coordinate their classes with the colors.
- The gift of trial-and-error. Whether your student is taking a math class or not, you can’t go wrong with a mini whiteboard and some whiteboard markers. Department stores like Target or Staples have some awesome mini whiteboards that aren’t too expensive, and you can locate Expo markers at practically any retail store — on and offline.
- Safety first. With new classes and friends comes new risk for germs and sickness. Band-aids, tissues, and hand sanitizer are must-have school supplies, especially during the sick seasons. Kleenex has some On-The-Go Facial Tissues that are great for putting in your pocket, storing in your backpack, or grabbing as you head out the door. As well, you can get a pack of a few small hand sanitizers by Purell, which are very compact and portable.
- Gotta stay hydrated. Don’t leave your student thirsty in the middle of class. We recommend you get your 9th grader a hardy, thermal water bottle. One of the best water bottle brands like this is Hydroflask. They can keep water cold and keep tea hot throughout the entire day, and they don’t break easily. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper brand, however, Camelbak has a few options that work just as well.
- Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. While running from class to class, your 9th grader will likely get hungry. That’s why we recommend stocking them with gum and other small snacks to hold them over until lunch. A few of our recommended grab-and-go treats are Nature Valley granola bars, Welch’s fruit snacks, Lay’s chips, or fresh fruit.
The Best Bulk School Supply Bundles for 9th Grade
- The Back to High School & College 14 Item Bundle on Amazon has a great variety for your student. It will equip them with a Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS Scientific Calculator for their math or science classes, a few multi-colored notebooks, erasers, a protractor, pencils, and highlighters. It covers the essential school supplies that are needed for 9th grade and takes away the hassle of having to shop in-store.
- For the Back to School Ultimate High School & College Bundle, your 9th grader will get not only many different types of notebooks and folders but also a binder, various plastic tab dividers, index cards, a ruler, a binder pouch, pencils, and more. It’s the ultimate high school bundle — it’s even in the title!
- The School Supply Bundle for Middle, High School or College Students is also a convenient, useful choice for bulk supplies. It comes with various options of notebooks, folders, loose-leaf paper, pencils, highlighters, and pens, so your student will be covered from all sides. With this bundle, you won’t have to worry about having to get many more supplies for your student, except for those class-specific supplies.
The Best Backpacks for 9th Grade School Supplies
- Stylish but sturdy. For a pricier option, the High Sierra Swerve Backpack is the way to go. It’s durable, well-built, and has plenty of compartments for your student to store their school supplies. This backpack could probably last your student throughout all of high school. It even comes in different colors and styles, including some unique, fire-like designs!
- Perfect for travel, school, and more! Although it’s labeled as a college backpack, the VENTCY College Backpack would be an excellent option for your 9th grader. It’s waterproof, has plenty of room in the main pocket for your student’s notebooks, homework, and supplies, and has an elastic side pocket for their water bottle. It can be used to carry items to and from class or for weekend study sessions with friends, and it is a comfortable, durable backpack.
- Give them the gift of pockets. Matein backpacks are sleek, sturdy, and water resistant. They have a large capacity in the main compartment and small pockets in the front section where your 9th grader can store their pens, pencils, index cards, or their phone during class.
The Best Writing Utensils for 9th Grade
- Mechanical or nothing. Mechanical pencils are definitely a must-have school supply for 9th grade. If you get a pack of Bic mechanical pencils at the beginning of the year, they should be able to last your student throughout most of the semester. You can also stock your 9th grader with a pack or two of in case they run out of the lead in their pencils. Just make certain the size of the lead (0.5mm, 0.7mm, etc.) is the size that will fit in the pencil!
- Classic and colorful pens. Ballpoint pens are also a must-have school supply. Crown Bolt ballpoint pens are cheap, effective, and they come in an assorted pack of red, blue, and black. If you want to get your student a package with more variety, however, Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pens are a great way to go because they write smoothly, give your student lots of colors to choose from, and come in a neat, organized pack.
- The beloved wooden pencils. If your 9th grader is taking any AP classes, they will need some #2 pencils. Even if they’re not taking any AP classes, it’s always a safe bet to get your student a pack of Ticonderoga #2 pencils for any mandatory state or nation-wide tests. Hint: if writing with a #2 pencil for a long time is uncomfortable for your student, get them a Squishy Gripz pencil grip to ease some of the pain.
- Let them mark up their work with a marker. While pens and pencils work well for marking up note pages and textbooks, Sharpies are also a great option for your 9th grader. They’re great for doodling, labeling, crossing out, and so much more. Plus, you can find Sharpies almost everywhere and choose between either thicker or thinner versions.
The Best Binders for 9th Grade Binder Organization
- Get something durable and dense. The Avery Durable Binder is a simple yet structured way for your 9th grader to store their classwork. The binders come in different sizes, from ⅛” being the smallest and 2” being the biggest. If your student doesn’t have a lot of hole-punched papers, get them a pack of Avery Tab Dividers with Pockets to go with the binder. That way, they can still organize and separate their work without having to do any extra work.
- Flexible for your student and for your budget. Five Star Hybrid Notebooks are also a unique way to go about getting your student the organization tool they need. They have three adjustable rings that won’t break, and the “notebinder” stretches to fit as many papers, tab dividers, and anything else that you need to put in it. It is built strong to last long.
- Go big or go home. For the ultimate binder school supply, look no further than the Case-it Mighty Zip 3-Ring Zipper Binder. It’s got plenty of room inside for all of your 9th grader’s classwork, tests, and other papers. Plus, it zips up and protects their school supplies from any possible damages that might happen while at school.
The Best Calculators for 9th Grade
- Help them solve any problem! The Texas Instruments TI-83 and TI-84 calculators are more-deluxe, widely-used calculators that work really well for any math class, especially AP Calculus or Statistics. Not only will they allow your 9th grader to graph different equations, but they also have many other functions that will give your student the ability to solve any problem they are presented with in math class. They’re a little bit on the pricey side, but they last long and are definitely worth the cost.
- Don’t stress the big things. If your student isn’t in a math or science class that requires a calculator with a graphing function, go for something a little simpler. The Casio FX-82MS Scientific Calculator is a little cheaper and has fewer bells and whistles on it, but it’s a good resource for quick calculation checks or help with solving little problems in calculus. See here for more recommendations on our top SAT and ACT calculator picks.
- Even simpler. Then, of course, if your 9th grader only needs a calculator to solve the occasional math problem, get them a basic, Casio HS-8VA calculator. Its functions are simple and straightforward, and due to its small size, it won’t take up too much room in their backpack!
The Best Study Tools for 9th Grade School Supplies
- Grant them more access. If you’re willing to spend the money, your 9th grader can really benefit from having a laptop. Whether it’s a MacBook Pro or a Dell Inspiron computer, your student will be able to do so much more with a laptop that allows them access to blank documents, online study tools, and research websites. You don’t need to get the most updated or expensive version out there, but make sure that they’re able to access any online materials they might need for class. Plus, with access to the internet, your student can make their own class-specific flashcards (or search for other students’ premade ones) on websites like Quizlet or Study.com.
- Help them study in a flash! You can never go wrong with a pack or two of Oxford Ruled Index Cards. These are a great school supply for studying and so easy to use. After filling out each card with the term and definition, your 9th grader can quickly grab them anytime they need to study. They’re especially great for history terms
- Organization and more organization. A planner is one of the most useful tools for studying and organizing you can get your student — definitely a must-have school supply. Consider getting them a classic HARDCOVER Academic Year Planner or, for a more stylish option, check out a Target-brand planner. Your 9th grader can write down all of their assignments, when they’re due, and note all the tests and events that are scheduled throughout the year. Planners are handy for keeping all of that information in one concise place, and they can help your student with their transition to high school.
- Stick it to ‘em. Just like with the index card, Post-it notes are an excellent resource for your student. Post-its come in all different sizes and colors and work well for quick note-taking, setting reminders, or tabbing relevant pages in textbooks. The possibilities are endless!
Every class is unique, whether it be AP World History, honors pre-Calc, or anything else. So, not every course your 9th grader takes will require the same school supplies. Be sure to check with your teachers first to see if they ask for any unique or non-conventional supplies, and don’t leave those off your shopping list.
We hope, however, that this list gives you a good launching point for back to school season when it comes to school supplies for 9th grade. Feel free to get creative with the products. Get different colors and experiment to see which brands resonate with you most. Buy your student what you think they will enjoy using the most, and don’t hold back.