As parents across the country prepare for another season of virtual learning this fall, it may feel daunting to know how to set up a comfortable classroom space at home. While some families are sending their children back to classrooms one or two days a week, others may have multiple children at home, and all of them full time, virtual learners.
We’ve compiled a list of must-have supplies that will help your kids to work more productively and comfortably, no matter what their age. Keeping your students motivated and on track is a priority, and ensuring they have the tools to do so will go a long way to getting them there.
Here are our top 10 school supply picks to help support your virtual learners at home this fall.
Make sure to purchase a desk caddy with multiple divided compartments to help organize pens, pencils, highlighters, white out, sticky notes, paper clips and any other small to medium sized supplies that your student can easily lose. Place the caddy at their workstation, and give them a perfect place to put their supplies before and after their school day ends.
Depending on how many kids you have working from home and how much space you have, a lap desk may be a great buy to keep kids working from a variety of spaces. These generally fold up for easy storage, and can be taken out each morning and set up with a laptop, notebook and textbooks, so your student can work productively, even from the couch.
Kids Table & Chairs
Younger students will need a dedicated workspace to help them stay focused and to support their crafts and elementary school projects. Search out a used table and chairs that is an appropriate height for young children, or check out Amazon or even Walmart for inexpensive buys.
White Board/Chalk Board
Younger students will need more support from their parents, possibly including additional instructional time. Having a medium to large white board or chalkboard in your home to help explain math problems or write sight words on throughout the week will help your child to stay on track and learn comfortably beside you.
Hanging File Folders/Filing Cabinet
If you thought keeping track of your student’s papers and projects was difficult during the traditional school year, prepare for double time now. Keeping simple hanging file folders or a small filing cabinet in your home to store and organize their classwork will be essential. It will also teach them how to organize and manage their own paperwork themselves.
Oversized Wall Calendar
Let’s face it, whether you have one or multiple children learning virtually (as well as working virtually yourself), it’s likely that schedules are going to get complex. Keep track of your students’ schedules and your own work schedule with an oversized wall calendar that your entire family can use from week to week.
While your kids are on zoom calls and listening to audio lessons, keep headphones handy to help them stay focused and keep the noise level down in your home. If you have multiple children learning virtually, headphones will be key to helping your kids work simultaneously without distraction.
Younger children will likely need a variety of coloring and craft supplies to keep them stimulated and practicing gross and fine motor skills during the school year. Purchase a complete coloring kit from crayola or put your own together, including crayons, markers, colored pencils, chalk, colored paper and coloring worksheets.
Notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, scissors, ruler, calculator and other basic supplies will be necessary to get your student off and running. No matter what age your child is, stocking up on the essentials will set your students up for success when virtual learning begins.
If you have kids who need to wiggle and move while seated, invest in an exercise ball for sitting during schoolwork. No matter how long your student will be seated and working throughout the day, giving them tools to stay focused will help them to stay on track during virtual learning.