With many school districts opting for hybrid or online-only learning this fall, many of you will be teaching your kids at home at least part time. These gadgets and goodies won’t exactly make it a total walk in the park, but they’ll give you an extra leg up. I’ll be right there with you, and we can use all the help we can get, right?
Gadgets and Goodies That Make Teaching Your Kids at Home a Lot Easier
I originally wanted to say that these gadgets would make teaching your kids at home “a breeze.” That would be way over-optimistic, though, wouldn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the power of positive thinking, but this is uncharted territory for most of us. So, “a breeze” isn’t quite accurate.
Still, whether you’re going with a cyber program, a hybrid school schedule, or total homeschooling, the Amazon products below will make the job easier in one way or another, and that’s definitely not nothing!
Just one quick note, I’m using affiliate links below. I earn a small commission if you buy through them, but the price remains the same.
1. A decent Chromebook to access lessons
This is the most expensive item on the list. I promise the rest will be significantly cheaper. If your kids’ school doesn’t provide a laptop or Chromebook, this one is a great mid-range model that won’t break the bank yet still performs pretty well. I like it because it flips around in so many different positions. Most schools use Google Classroom for their home learning programs, so a Chromebook is just the smart choice.
2. A really great lap desk
Whether you have a small home and can’t really set up “learning stations” for each kid or your child just learns better while comfortably lounging on the sofa, a lap desk is a great buy. This one is affordable and comes in fun colors that kids love. It’s not super fancy, but it’ll do the job well.
3. An ergonomic mouse that’s easy on their hands
Even if your kids are masters at using the track-pad on their laptop, I still recommend grabbing a good ergonomic mouse. Sometimes, they’ll need more control than the track-pad can offer. Besides, using one all day can be rough on their little hands. This mouse is rechargeable and comfortable to use.
4. A super comfy pillow to support little necks and backs
Yes, it’s a travel pillow, but my friend bought one for her teenage son and he loves it. When he’s on the computer, it supports his lower back. Then, when he’s lounging on the couch watching cyber lessons (or movies, because kids need to have fun, too), he twists it around to support his neck. “He’s had it since Christmas and it’s still holding its shape beautifully,” she said.
5. Big Fat Notebooks That Teach “Everything You Need to Ace” School
Big Fat Notebooks by Workman Publishing are absolutely awesome, especially if you have middle or high school kids. They break down complicated concepts in easy-to-follow chapters that look like “notes borrowed from the smartest kid in class.” I highly recommend them not just for your kids, but also as a refresher course for yourself. Grab the whole set or just the ones for classes your kids are taking this fall.
6. A comfortable kid-friendly headset
Earbuds are great for short activities, like listening to music during a walk. When it comes to something your kids will need to wear for hours on end every day, though, over-ear headphones are a much better option. These patent-pending headsets are cute, noise-limiting, and even include a splitter so two kids can watch the same lesson at once on one computer (if, say, you have twins in the same classes).
7. A planner for kids that’s fun, educational, and practical
Sure, you could keep track of your kids’ lessons on your phone’s calendar app, but this one is so much more fun! Kids can easily see what’s on the agenda for the day plus learn “weird but true” facts that totally wow them (or at least make them laugh). The planner doubles as a journal, complete with prompts that encourage kids to flex their writing skills.
8. This great alternative to a traditional chair
Sitting in a rigid chair all day isn’t good for anyone, especially growing kids. This balance ball makes a fun alternative. Along with giving energetic kids a way to work out some of their restlessness, it can even promote better overall posture. Plus, it comes in so many cute colors that your kids will love.
9. A bright & fun (yet quiet) time management tool
Like the planner, you could always just use your phone’s built-in timer, but this inexpensive gadget is a lot more fun. Plus, your kids won’t need to constantly ask you how much time they have left before break, they’ll easily be able to see for themselves. It’s totally silent right up until the ringer goes off. In other words, no distracting ticking sounds.
10. Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas
This book is definitely one of the best tools to help you teach your kids at home, especially if you’re designing your own curriculum. Even if they’re doing a school-run remote learning program, it’ll help you come up with educational activities to supplement their day. It’s loaded with activities for kids from preschool all the way through middle school.
11. This colorful caddy to corral all their supplies
Even if your kids are doing most of their lessons online, they’ll still need pens, pencils, crayons, and so on for projects. Plus, some kids learn better when they take notes on paper rather than just on the computer. Keep everything corralled in one bright and convenient spot with this clever caddy.
12. A leak-proof cup to keep electronics safe
If you only buy one thing from this list, make it a good leak-proof cup. I know it sounds like a silly thing to add to a cyber school or homeschool supply list. Trust me, though, it’s definitely an essential! Kids + liquids in an open container + electronics = certain doom. While almost any leak-proof cup will do, I really like this one. It comes in a ton of great colors plus it’s made with stainless steel instead of plastic.
As you can see, I skipped a lot of the basics, like notebooks, pens, pencils, and such. Your child’s school will tell you if you actually need any of that stuff, and I didn’t want this to be just another run-of-the-mill “back to school supplies” list.
Will these gadgets and goodies make teaching your kids at home a total breeze? Probably not. They’ll definitely make things easier, though, and like I said, that’s something! I think we’ll all be facing challenges this fall, no matter what learning option we choose, so anything that makes our job even a smidge easier is good in my book.
Last update on 2020-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API