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Back to School

Back to School Shopping in a Time of Uncertainty

The world shut down at the end of the school year.

Many students finished the year at home trying to keep up with distance learning.

Or teaching themselves.

Or simply waiting.

Waiting for for COVID-19 to end so that life might resume again in a normal way.

But with vaccines still months, if not years away, school won’t be normal as it starts up again in the fall.

New clothes, new supplies and new backpacks are usually on this list for this time of year.

But what goes on the back to school shopping list when you are in the middle of a global pandemic?

There are some items that are still safe bets. You can count on students needing certain supplies regardless of how they start the school year.

So why not start your back to school shopping with some of the items you know you’ll need?

Back to School Shopping in a Time of Uncertainty – 11 Items Every Student Will Need

Face gaiters

Face gaiters

Almost every school across the globe requires children and students to wear a face covering of some kind. While masks are standard, another option is a face gaiter or buff. For children, the buff is superior to the mask for a simple reason – when not in use it stays around the child’s neck. Easy to pull on and off. Hard to lose.

Hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer

While most schools will be providing some sort of hand sanitizer, the more you can provide the better. Sending children with individual containers of hand sanitizer helps them stay safe which helps your peace of mind.

Backpack

Backpack

Whether your child is going to school on a traditional campus or using the computer for home-based learning, he or she is going to need to keep all of his or her things organized. A backpack, especially one with a computer pocket, keeps things collected and sorted and makes the transition from home to school and back again simple.

Notebooks

Notebooks

You know your child is going to do some writing regardless of location. While typing is fine for certain things, writing by hand isn’t going away in schools. You can help get the year started in style with some new composition books for home or school use.

Printer

Printer

In our new world of COVID instruction, we are printing at home, especially for younger students. Print off assigned worksheets and materials. Print off completed back to school forms. Print papers to scan and send back. A printer gives you flexibility for both your student and your own work from home.

Printer paper

Printer paper

A printer is not much use without printer paper. When you are buying your new home printer, go ahead and grab a ream or three of printer paper to use with it. As a bonus, the plain white paper is also good for art projects and certain school assignments.

Laptop

Laptop

It’s more expensive than you might typically spend on back to school gear, but with the current COVID situation, every student needs access to technology. If you had a household sharing a single computer in the spring, this fall might be the perfect time to pick up a simple laptop for student use.

Graphing calculator

Graphing calculator

Older students have likely had access to graphing calculators at school. But now that they are back and forth from school on a constant basis, it makes sense to buy your child a graphing calculator of his or her own. The calculators are pricey, but for advanced math classes, definitely worth it.

Wireless mouse

Wireless mouse

If your child already has a laptop or has a laptop provided by the school, one easy purchase for back to school is a wireless mouse. Your child will appreciate being able to move more easily on the laptop and certain programs require a real mouse – not a trackpad to fully function.

Workspace

Workspace

Many households struggled in the spring trying to share workspaces. Multiple students were crammed into the kitchen table trying to get work and schoolwork finished. With the uncertainty of this school year, it makes sense to consider buying a simple workspace for your students. They can use it for homework or daily school work, keep their materials organized and help contain the chaos of back to school in a single location.

Headphones with Mic

Headphones with Mic

Distance learning requires signing in to the computer and watching videos or participating in livestream sessions. If you were sharing a single pair of headphones across the full family in the spring, invest this fall in a set of headphones with a built-in mic for everyone in the house. That way you all can access work and school materials without having to share. That ought to help keep the drama to a minimum as well.

Schools are still deciding how to proceed. Many are anticipating hybrid solutions to learning that involve both in class and digital work throughout the year. Plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty so that you are confident your child has what he or she needs for the year ahead.

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