Back-to-school supply list for the pandemic

Needs are different from usual this year

back to school, supplies, pandemic, remote learning

If school has already started then this article is just a refresher. For whose kids are preparing to start school soon, this article offers some handy suggestions as you continue to plan.

All kids will need the staple back-to-school itemspens, pencils, crayons, markers, paper, erasers and scissors—but the need for keeping everything clean and safe makes further purchases vital.

School teacher Ashley Fry suggests kids who are returning to school keep the above items in a washable pouch. The pouch will ensure each child has all the tools they need, given that sharing and borrowing won't be an option during the pandemic.

Kids attending school will need hand sanitizer and face coverings, useful at this point for anyone going anywhere. Fry recommends acquiring 10 to 15 masks, since kids may want to change masks during the day as they become dirty or sweaty, and parents may not want to wash masks every night. Attach lanyards or cords to keep masks handy as social distances shift and to prevent them from falling on the floor.

You hopefully have a wifi router already, but a Pew Research Center survey found that one in five households do not have reliable Internet service. Forty percent of low-income families said their children would be relying on public wifi. If your school district is one of those supplying wifi hotspots to low-income families, be sure to apply for one if you qualify.

Second grade teacher Lori Lyn said it's important for each child to have their own device for accessing the Internet. Kindles, smartphones, and many tablets don't have sufficient computing power for successful remote learning. Some school districts are supplying individual devices for families that can't afford to buy them.

Headphones are another necessity for at-home learning, so kids can concentrate when other family members are present. Even inexpensive headphones will help block out distractions and allow students to listen to instructions without distracting others. Ideally, children learning from home should have their own space and their own desk, with will be help them focus.

With the assortment of household needs—remote learning, hybrid learning, afterschool plans, parents' work—some families find it valuable to have a whiteboard or flip-chart to lay out everyone's schedule for the day.

More Homeschooling

  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 Fun, Easy Ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • 6 tips to mitigate mental health risks for youth

    The surgeon general highlight the urgent need to address Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Today’s kids are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety at home, school and in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected kids in all those places, only exacerbated the problem. read more »
  • How to prevent cyberbullying with technology

    Who is at risk and what you can do

    Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent among children and teens, as young people now spend more time on phones, computers and digital devices. About 6 in 10 teens have been bullied or harassed online, according to Pew Research Center. read more »
  • Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program

    Adventure Awaits Students Ages 6-9

    The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Homeschool Naturalist Program for children ages 6-9 has quickly become one of the Nature Museum’s most beloved programs. Originally created out of the needs of families undertaking distance/learning, the program has proved so popular it has remained in place by demand. read more »
  • Indoor spots for teens to play

    Older kids need exercise too

    Teens need places to go that aren't lame and won't bore them to tears. We have the best in the Valley listed just for you. read more »
  • World's No. 1 STEAM Program Launches New STEM/STEAM Book Series

    New Challenge Island chapter book series with a spectacular, hands-on STEM/STEAM twist!

    Challenge Island has been providing kids with award-winning STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) learning adventures for almost two decades. On National Stem Day (Nov. 8), the magic of the world's No. 1 STEAM program will combine with the magic of reading to launch the first book in the Challenge Island STEAM book series. read more »
  • Mother Shares Her Journey with Heroin-Addicted Daughter

    Read the gripping new book about this family

    September is National Recovery Month and one mom has shared her journey with her daughter struggling with addiction. read more »
  • Learn How to Help Your Struggling Adolescents Navigate Change and Overcome Anxiety

    Parenting expert Erica Komisar has a new book that can assist you

    Adolescence is a notoriously complicated time for kids as well as their parents. Plus, the epidemic of mental health disorders in young people has made parenting today even more challenging. But it’s not too late. Parents of adolescents can still have a profound impact on the health and well-being of their children. read more »
  • The Mama Bear Effect Launches New Resource to Combat Child Sexual Abuse

    Parents of young children and those with special education needs now have a free tool to educate children about their bodies and boundaries

    Parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists now have a new tool to educate the most vulnerable population of children, those who need specialized assistance with learning and communication. read more »
  • How to help high-achieving students manage stress

    Tips and insight for parents

    School administrators at Howard County Public Schools (HCPS) in Maryland were surprised to learn that high-achieving students wanted to get rid of class rank—a measure of student success that weighs higher-level classes differently when calculating grade point average. The class ranking system created an unnecessary burden, students said, and discouraged them from taking the classes they really wanted. read more »