Well, if a new survey is to be believed, those days are long gone, with children now schlepping to school with the weight of £1000 worth of hi-tech kit on their backs.
Woolworths.co.uk has found that school bags in 2011 are crammed with Smartphones, laptops and iPads rather than A4 ruled feint pads and freshly sharpened pencils - and as for those geometry sets, only 16 per cent of children now take one to school.
Woolies' research also found that only one in five children pack a dictionary in their school bag, and out of the 68 per cent of pupils who own a mobile phone, nearly half of them will take it to school with them.
Meanwhile, 14 per cent of mums and dads are cottoning on to the value in their children's bags and are insuring them.
Woolworth's Brand director Dan Rubel said: 'Smartphones outsell maths geometry sets by 53 to 1.'
Loaded with a maths app, too, no doubt.
Does your child's school bag look like an outpost of an electrical retailer? Or do you ban them from taking expensive gadgets to school?