With millions of students switching to online school over the past year, the entire education system has had to adjust.
For teachers, remote education means adopting new technology and learning to manage an online classroom. For students and parents, online education has also meant adjusting a school at home schedule and learning how to learn outside of a regular classroom setting.
Even as schools reopen, it’s clear that online education is here to stay in some form. However, the good news is your online back to school shopping doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
In fact, if you know where to shop, you can find all of your homeschool supplies for a bargain.
It doesn’t matter if your child’s schooling is entirely online; an agenda is one of the best things to have for homeschool education because it helps maintain a schedule.
A physical agenda is also a great buy because it’s what your child is used to. Online calendars can work, but it never hurts to have a physical agenda on-hand to jot down a daily to-do list for upcoming assignments.
2. Traditional School Supplies
In terms of homeschool must-have supplies, you really can’t beat the basics. While lessons and assignments largely use a computer for online education, it’s likely your child will still need other essentials like:
- Pencils and pens.
- White and lined paper.
- Erasers and white-out.
- Safety scissors.
- Flash cards and post-it notes.
- A pencil sharpener.
If you want to find cheap school supplies for homeschooling, your best bet is Walmart. With weekly deals and online discounts, saving money at Walmart is a breeze, especially if you use Piggy!
3. Arts & Crafts Supplies
There’s a strong chance your child will have to complete an art assignment or creative project during the year, especially if they’re a younger grade. If you want to prepare in advance, some must-have art supplies to buy include:
- Crayons and colored pencils.
- Construction paper.
- Glue sticks and tape.
- Colored poster boards.
- Paint and paint brushes.
You don’t have to turn your home into an art studio, but get the basics before the semester begins to help your child prepare for school at home.
4. Magnetic Whiteboard
A whiteboard is a classroom essential, and this holds especially true for school at home. After all, a whiteboard can help you explain concepts to your child or let them brainstorm their own solutions. For subjects like math, a whiteboard is especially useful for working through equations.
While a printer might not come to mind when you think about school at home supplies, it’s absolutely essential for helping your child complete their assignments. After all, it’s nice to have a physical copy to work from rather than doing absolutely everything on a screen.
If you already have a printer at home, just make sure it’s stocked with black and colored ink so you’re ready for the semester ahead.
6. External Hard Drive
School at home means a laptop or computer is your child’s most important asset. After all, this is likely where they’ll save all their lesson material and assignments that are in-progress.
If your child’s school doesn’t have an online backup system in place for school work, you will need your own. Thankfully, Amazon has plenty of affordable external hard drives you can use to backup your child’s computer.
7. Wall Calendar
An agenda is useful for jotting down notes and reminders about upcoming assignments. However, nothing beats a wall calendar when it comes to mapping out an entire month of school responsibilities. Plus, teaching your child how to use a calendar to organize upcoming assignments is an immensely valuable academic skill.
Ideally, buy a laminated wall calendar that lets your child use a magic erase marker to make changes easily.
8. A Reliable Computer
Since your child likely spends most of their day on their computer or laptop to attend lessons and complete assignments during school at home, they will need to work on something reliable.
If your home computer or laptop is showing signs of slowing down and is hard to use, it’s probably time for an upgrade. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune here; affordable notebook computers will suffice. You also have plenty of options for buying laptops online. Just remember to look for laptop coupons before you buy!
If your child shares a workspace with you or another one of your children, they absolutely need a pair of earbuds to help them tune into online lessons. You don’t have to splurge and buy a fancy pair of wireless earbuds or over-ear headphones; a reliable pair of wire earbuds are more than enough to help your child stay focused.
10. File Organizer
A file organizer is another must-have homeschool supply to help your child keep track of all his or her completed assignments and study resources. Like regular school supplies, shopping at Walmart is your best bet to save money on this essential school at home supply.
11. Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
If your child spends most of their day looking at a computer screen, a pair of blue-light blocking glasses can help save him or her from headaches and eyestrain. Afterall, staring at a screen all day can be tiring on the eyes. Thankfully, blue-light glasses help block out the blue light that digital screens emit. You can buy non-prescription or prescription blue-light glasses, if your child wears glasses already.
12. Laptop Stand
Speaking of straining, a laptop stand is another useful homeschool supply that lets your child work from different areas of the house while still remaining comfortable and not straining their back or neck.
13. Ergonomic Chair
Another important homeschooling essential is an ergonomic chair. After all, if your child spends most of their day at a screen, it’s important they’re not straining while sitting to do their work too.
If a calculator isn’t on your list of school at home supplies, it’s time to make an addition! Although computers obviously have built-in calculators, they are fairly slow and clunky compared to a regular calculator. Plus, if your child is in highschool, they likely need a scientific calculator to complete assignments.
15. The Right Software
Chances are, your child needs basic computer software, like Microsoft Word, to complete their school at home assignments. If they’re in highschool, they might even need more specific software, like Photoshop. Luckily, you can shop online for back to school software and earn cash back at Microsoft.
Get Ready for School at Home!
Preparing for homeschooling can take some planning, and getting used to when it begins. However, you don’t have to overspend to ensure your child has the school at home supplies they need. There are plenty of ways to find cheap school supplies online.
If you can get a copy of the semester’s syllabus in advance, you’ll also have a better idea of what supplies you need to buy to prepare. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your child’s teachers about what projects they’ll have throughout the year, or even just the semester, so you can be perfectly prepared for what’s to come.