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13 Must Have School Supplies for Distance Learning

13 Must Have School Supplies for Distance Learning

If your school is starting online this year, this list of school supplies for distance learning is a must for your family!

Shopping for school supplies is both exciting and overwhelming. This year, like everything else, shopping for school supplies will be different. Many students will be attending school virtually this year.

Distance learning at home requires its own list of essential supplies. Sure, you’ll still need the crayons and paper, but items like tissues and other communal items for the classroom won’t be necessary anymore.

There are some new school items your kids might need instead, supplies that are going to be super helpful with distance learning this school year. Check out the list of must have school supplies for 2020 below:

Check out this awesome printable student planner for 2020-21 school year!

School supplies for distance learning

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1. Tablet 

Your kids are going to need some kind of electronic device for accessing work online. A tablet, Chromebook, laptop, or home computer is essential for distance learning. Many school systems are providing these essential devices to students free or at a reduced cost. Contact your child’s school for more information about devices available for distance learning.

If you want to purchase a Chromebook for your kids, we love this one.


2. Headphones or Headset

Headphones are incredibly helpful for keeping kids focused by canceling out background noise. If you’re working from home as well, you may want to invest in a pair with noise cancellation for yourself. Don’t forget to ensure your child has access to a microphone for engaging in online classes. 


3. Mouse

Touchpads and touchscreens are very common, so you might be wondering why a mouse is an important supply for your kids this year. A mouse can make it easier for young children to participate in distance learning because it’s easier to use. Tasks like scrolling and “clicking” are made simpler with the buttons on a mouse.


mouse and chromebook

4. Dry erase board & markers

There are various online whiteboard apps students and teachers can use in the virtual classroom. However, for elementary learners, a physical board and markers can be helpful for engaging in the lesson. Also, dry erase boards can help students practice handwriting in a way that can’t be done on screen. Plus, it’s a faster way for students to show their work.


5. The Basics

Even while distance learning in 2020, students still need basic supplies like paper, pencils, crayons, and scissors. You can get these supplies inexpensively at a variety of stores or have them delivered to your home. Shopping for these supplies together can be a fun way to get kids excited about the upcoming school year.


school supplies

6. Planner

Now more than ever, keeping a schedule/routine is important for helping children succeed. You can download and print colorful one page daily schedules or purchase a planner for your kids this school year. Young learners can even use a picture schedule to help them stay on task. This is an awesome printable student planner!

7. Cell Phone Holder

These nifty little stands are perfect for holding a tablet in the correct position while distance learning. With a cell phone holder, your child’s hands are free for writing and solving math problems.

This is a highly rated cell phone holder.

girl doing school at home

8. Timer

Whether you use an old fashioned egg timer, set a timer with Alexa, or use your electronic device to set a timer; setting a timer is a helpful way to show kids how much time they have left for each task. This can help discourage procrastination and encourage children to stay focused on the task at hand. Sometimes looking at the timer and knowing you only have 2 minutes left is enough to keep you motivated just a bit longer.

boy doing school at home

9. Printer

This year a printer will be an essential part of your child’s school supplies. In previous years, printers have been nice to have, but not essential. This year you’ll need to print documents, worksheets, and printables from your child’s teacher for them to complete at home. Be sure to stock up on ink for your printer too. For elementary learners, it’s a good idea to have color ink available too.

We have this one and I highly recommend it. It comes with HP Instant Ink (very convenient)!

10. Reliable Internet

Imagine your child is in the middle of an online test or actively participating in their lessons when suddenly the wifi goes down. It’s essential that you and your child have access to reliable internet this school year.

Sharing wifi with the neighbor might be cost-effective, but it could lead to frustration and difficulty learning for your kids this year. Check your internet connection speed and speak with your provider before the start of school to be sure you’ll have reliable access for distance learning.

Google Meet Tips for Kids

11. Webcam

If your device isn’t already equipped with a camera, you’ll definitely want to invest in a webcam for distance learning this year. It’s important for the teacher to see your child’s face and be able to interact with them face to face for optimal learning. Without a camera, your child’s classes will be one-sided and he may end up feeling left out of the learning in an online classroom setting.

If you need to purchase a webcam, this is a highly rated one.

12. File Storage

If your electronic device has limited storage, you may want to consider giving your child access to a storage cloud or flash drive for saving assignments and resources this year. A flash drive is a relatively inexpensive way to provide storage that can be accessed from any device. Even with lots of storage space, backing up important assignments on a flash drive or storage cloud is never a bad idea.

boy in school

13. Comfortable Workspace

Finally, you’ll want to make sure your child has access to a quiet place for lessons, studying, and completing assignments. Don’t worry, you don’t need a separate office for your 8 year-old. There are lots of ways to create a calm and comfortable space for learning in any home. Check out my list of suggestions for creating a distance learning space without a desk. 

girl doing school work

I hope this list of distance learning school supplies helped you prepare for distance learning with your children this school year. This is new territory for a lot of us, but we will adapt. Our kids can still have an amazing school year filled with learning and connection.

Can you think of some really helpful supplies for distance learning with kids this year? Share your thoughts in the comments. I can’t wait to read them! Then, read more awesome tips for helping kids stay engaged and focused on learning this school year. 

Check Out These Back To School Resources Too!

Grab your printable Student Planner here! (click the photo)

2020-2021 Student Planner

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