Zoom has become the new normal for the foreseeable future, and a laptop or computer with a webcam is a must-have. Zoom can also be supported on smartphones, but investing in a good laptop is never a bad idea, even for younger students. For a more budget-friendly alternative, you could go shopping for a webcam attachment instead of a brand new computer.
Wireless headphones are less of a must-have and more of a nice-to-have. Headphones in general will eliminate background noise as students focus on their classes and make it easier to be heard in class discussions. Wireless headphones create less clutter and may be easier for younger students to manage. Wireless headphones can also be paired with smartphones and other devices, so they also have value outside of the virtual classroom.
A Good Desk and Chair
Separating the place they sleep from the place they work will do wonders for your child's mental health as mid-semester fatigue begins to set in. Sitting up at a desk in an empty living room corner rather than at the dinner table can help them stay focused without distraction, so they can finish assignments more quickly and have more time to relax at the end of the day. If you're dealing with a high school graduate who has now moved back into your home for the first semester of college, investing in a better desk and a supportive desk chair will not only help their posture and organization, but could also help the home feel a little more ~college~.
Notepad and Stationary
Many people prefer to do all their note-taking online, but having a physical pad and paper has been proven time and again to help with memory retention and understanding. Aside from the learning benefits, a notepad is a good place to jot down quick thoughts and to-do lists that may not have a dedicated folder on a laptop.
It’s easy to forget to stay hydrated, especially when we’re sitting in one place for an extended period of time, focused on a screen. Help the kiddos practice self care by providing an easy way of drinking water often -- and get them to stretch every once in a while, too.