I am a freak for new school supplies. Something about the stores pulling out all of their office supplies in preparation feels like a fresh start to me. But this year, school supply lists are going to look different for 7th-grade students who are preparing for virtual learning.
Converting a home into a classroom takes some work and preparation, but with this guide, you can rest assured that your 7th-grade student is prepared for the best year yet!
It’s no secret that for many students, at-home learning is basically synonymous with technology this school year. So, for students to be successful, they are going to need more specific supplies to match their needs to be online throughout the day.
Many school districts have the option to check out or rent these supplies for a small fee. If your 7th-grade student has this option, it will help ease the financial burden of purchasing these items yourself.
Here are our top technology picks for this year.
A Reliable Computer
If a school district does not provide a computer, then you will have to pick one up for online learning. Make sure the laptop is easy to use, will work with the district’s software, and durable to withstand a lot of work. Of course, you will want to make sure that your student has access to things like Google Drive, word processing software (if needed), and anything else for them to be successful.
Here are a few of our picks for computers:
When looking for a laptop, try to find something that can support multi-tab browsing, has decent graphics, and good battery life. One note: Since computers are super customizable, prices may be higher or lower depending on upgrades that you select at check-out.
Since a lot of class time will be spent on a Zoom meeting, students should have a comfortable pair of headphones. Headphones provide two benefits. First, students can phase out any background noise at home, giving them a better chance of more clearly understanding their teachers and peers.
Headphones also help the household because they don’t have to listen to classtime (this is especially helpful for homes with more than one child in school or balancing working from home as well).
Noise-canceling is nice, but since it’s costly, they are not an option for all families. Look for headphones that are reliable and easy-to-connect. Another benefit is a pair with an added microphone. This will allow students to communicate more freely.
Here are a few of our picks:
Printer and Printer Paper
A good printer and supply of printer paper will allow students to print out assignments easily. Plus, many printers come with an auto-refill option for ink, which means the printer will place an order for an ink replacement when you’re running low!
If students are being given reading projects and independent reading time, consider purchasing an E-reader to simplify the process. An E-reader doesn’t have as many capabilities as an iPad but will allow students to buy a book and start reading within minutes quickly.
Often these books are cheaper than their printed cost. Plus, the E-reader will include features like audio, definitions, and more.
Many students are using a USB microphone to communicate more clearly during presentations, classes, and more. These microphones are relatively inexpensive but are incredibly useful in a virtual classroom.
While using these microphones, student’s voices will be projected louder, and background noise will be quieter.
There are many supplies that you should have on hand to keep students organized and able to complete their tasks. Think about what a child has available to them in school: a locker, desk, chair, reading nooks, and supplies (which are often purchased by parents before the school year starts).
Since students are learning at home, you should have these things purchased, so they can complete their work, using the necessary supplies.
Of course, since virtual learning is a different environment, there are certain things that you should purchase to make the experience pleasant for your child.
Bluelight glasses are non-prescription glasses with a special coating on the lens to filter out the light from technology that causes eye strain. Many students complain about headaches, eye strain, and seeing spots, but anybody can wear these glasses to help reduce the discomfort that comes from looking at a screen for hours each day.
Plus, these glasses are pretty affordable and very stylish. Here are a few options:
A Comfortable Space to Work
While you cannot purchase this on Amazon, it’s essential to think about a place for your student to work during school. A kitchen table, desk, or workspace is a great way to set an area aside for students to pull out work, get comfortable, and focus on their work.
Make sure these spaces have plenty of light, outlets, and that it’s okay if they make a mess while they’re learning.
A place like a kitchen table is a bad idea if the table is also used for meals, toddler art projects, and more. The workspace should be a place where they can work without distraction for a few hours of the day.
Bedrooms can be a tricky spot for virtual learning. Many teachers are asking their students to stay out of bed during class time, and bedrooms also present the opportunity to space out, chill, and generally not be as productive as other workspaces.
If you would like to use a bedroom for their workspace, make sure to create an area with a desk, light, and chair so that they can work comfortably.
A Desk and Comfortable Chair
A desk and chair is the penultimate furniture for an at-home learning space, but due to virtual learning, many of these pieces are back-ordered and challenging to find.
Working with your child, find a solution that will work for them. A traditional desk might not be their preferred environment for learning.
If they are comfortable working at the kitchen island, accommodate them with a barstool with a back (opposed to a backless swivel).
Other students might be most productive with a standing desk, eliminating the need for a chair at all. Virtual learning presents the opportunity to customize the learning environment in ways it has never been before.
Partner with your child to create a space that matches their needs.
If you would like to find a desk and chair, here are a few ideas:
Desk Caddy and Storage
Since students will not have access to traditional storage options like a locker and desk, it is essential to provide them with a place to organize their things.
This can include a wall organizer, desk caddy, paper organizer, and more.
Make sure to pick up an extension cord that will allow students to charge multiple devices at a time.
Many extension cords now feature USB attachments as well as traditional outlets, making them the ideal resource for charging everything at the same time.
Many people are using ring lights for more than just TikTok dances in the virtual work/school world. Since ring lights are on a tripod and feature a phone mount, they’re an excellent tool to have for online meetings.
A ring light helps students not get washed out with backlighting or too dark of spaces.
Traditional School Supplies
Of course, even in a virtual classroom, there is still a need for traditional school supplies. These supplies will help students learn, be more organized, and complete tasks that they are assigned.
It is helpful to keep all of these supplies in one place so that they are easy to access and find. Here is a quick list of traditional supplies that you should keep on hand:
- Post-it Notes
- Colored Pencils
Students should also have a backpack, even though the majority of their instruction is happening online. A bag is a great thing to have for study sessions, travel, and more.
A backpack makes it easy to collect all supplies and move it from place-to-place.
A backpack should be large enough to safely carry a laptop, charging cords, headphones, plus any papers and binders they might have.
Take School to the Next Level with these Uncommon Necessities
Virtual learning also creates the opportunity to pick up some uncommon supplies. Since everybody is adjusting to online learning, why not make it more special for your student? This is an opportunity for them to take ownership of their education, finding and using the supplies that will elevate their performance.
Here is our list of out-of-the-box supplies that will increase productivity.
A reusable water bottle and coffee mug will reduce dishes while still giving them hydration throughout the day.
Virtual learning presents the risk that your child might fall behind. Many school districts are drastically cutting contact time to a few hours per day, which means that your child might not be getting the individualized support they need to be successful in school.
Before your child falls behind, consider picking up a supplemental workbook. ArgoPrep’s workbooks are grade-specific, common core aligned work that is guaranteed to increase student understanding.
Each section features detailed explanations, practice questions, and online support so that your child can understand the information.
ArgoPrep workbooks cover Math, Science, and English, making it the perfect addition to any at-home learning classroom!
Is your science-loving student worried about not getting to do any experiments this year? Pick them up their own digital microscope!
There are many microscopes available in a wide range of prices, which will take their science experiments to the next level.
Here are a few of our picks!
Create a space for your kids to escape to when they want to read or study. A sensory chair is an excellent way for kids who need movement or tactile release to focus.
These chairs are easy to install and provide many students with an oasis and a break from a traditional learning space.
Overhead Camera Holder
These camera holders are great for students who want to demonstrate their work. The setup is simple: attach a phone to the mount, and instantly the phone will record what is happening on the tabletop.
This is an excellent resource for artists, tutors, and more. If your child is having a hard time mastering a math equation? This mount would allow a teacher to watch your child process the information.
These mounts reduce shaky recording and allow for hands-free work.
Since your student is unique and has individualized needs, it’s always important to consult them before purchasing supplies.
Unless your school has committed to a full-year of virtual learning, I would caution any parents against spending a small fortune to convert their home. Instead, pick up the essentials to ensure they will be able to complete their work without wasting supplies they won’t use.
That way, if students return to school in the spring, you will not be stuck with random supplies that they cannot use for anything else.
What must-have supplies do you think your 7th-grade student needs to thrive this year? Let us know in the comments below.
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