It’s that time of the year again: summer’s ending and kids are gearing up for a new school year. This fall, however, more and more families are shifting towards home-based education options. While learning from home comes with plenty of challenges for both kids and grownups, a dedicated setup – whether it’s a special spot at the table or a guest room transformed into a makeshift classroom – can help set everyone up for success. Whether you’re creating a homeschool classroom or you’re looking to get equipped with school supplies for your home, these back-to-school finds bring fun and organization to your kids’ learning headquarters.
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Published August 10, 2019, Updated August 8, 2020
A Smart Seat
A desk-specific seat sets kids up to be more comfortable while they’re learning at home. Choose a child-appropriate desk chair in a bright hue, like this medium-sized student chair featuring breathable mesh and a zesty lime-green hue. Swivel Office Computer Task Chair Stool, Amazon, $96.
A Dedicated Desk
As many parents have learned for themselves while working from home, having a dedicated work space makes a big difference when it comes to shifting into a focused mindset. In a small space, you might need to get creative to find a spot to set up a homeschool area for your child – like adding a compact hanging desk to a bare wall. Compact Hanging Desk, Amazon, $208.
We love our phone and laptop as much as the next technophile, but homeschool is the perfect time for kids to rediscover the lost art of putting pen to paper (imagine that). This gorgeous notebook with a bright and fun cover should do the trick. Spiral Notebook College Ruled – It’s Kewl, Indigo, $6.
Expand Their Organization
It’s amazing how easily (and quickly) kids’ papers and supplies can spread from their work area into every space in the home. Help keep worksheets and notes organized at the end of each day with an easy-to-use accordion folder. Get extra credit with a folder that’s bright, cheerful and rainbow-hued. Expandable Accordion File Folder Boho Bright, Indigo, $22.
Chalk It Up
There’s a reason why most classrooms come equipped with chalkboards: they make it easier to teach, learn and collaborate – even if the “classroom” only has one student! Hanging a small chalkboard on the wall of your homeschool area is great for lessons, art and writing reminders. To help your chalkboard fit in with your home decor, choose an option with a stylish wood frame. U Brands Chalkboard, Amazon, $20.
Sort by Subject
Jumping from math to art time can be a challenging shift in focus, especially when kids are learning from home – having a convenient place to store supplies, books and lessons can be big help. A rolling organizer cart with sturdy plastic drawers make it simple to store things by subject, and swivel castors let you roll the cart to different areas of your home as needed. 10-Drawer Rolling File Organizer Cart, Amazon, $87.
Day by Day
A big, bright wall calendar on display is a playful way to help kids stay organized for their school days. Write down special days and let kids help plan out and decorate their calendar with fun stickers or markers. 2020-2021 17-Month Wall Calendar Grow Together, Indigo, $13.
Set the Agenda
Another way to make it easier (and more interactive) for older kids and teens to stay organized while learning from home is with a personal agenda. This pretty planner features monthly and weekly spreads, with space to write their daily schedule and to-dos. Parents might even want to pick one up to keep their day organized, too! Academic Weekly & Monthly Planner, Amazon, $10.
All the Art Supplies
If arts, crafts and creative time are part of your home school curriculum, you’ll want to be ready with plenty of supplies. This 90-plus-piece kit comes in a convenient caddy (perfect for clean up and homeschool organization for small spaces) and includes crayons, pencils, scissors, glitter glue, paper and more. Crayola Colour Caddy, Amazon, $20.
For visual learners, having plenty of colourful options makes taking notes and doing homework that much more engaging. Set them up with this multi-pack of gel pens in pastel, neon, metallic and glitter colours. 24 Pack Mini Gel Pens, Indigo, $14.
The Write Stuff
Make everything from math to drawing time more fun when you add some super-pretty pencils to your homeschool classroom setup. 6 Pack Pre-Sharpened Wood Pencils With Erasers, Indigo, $5.
If you want your home’s school area to make the grade, it’s a good idea to come up with a strategy for keeping school supplies like pens, pencils and markers neat and organized. A sleek desk organizer with angled compartments is a simple way to put kids’ essentials within easy reach. Set of 3 Big Desk Organizer, Amazon, $25.
Stick to It
Whether as a reward for good work or as a way to jazz up art time, stickers are always a good thing to have on hand in your homeschool teacher’s supply kit. Stock up on variety of peel-and-stick designs with this multi-pack. 500+ Puffy Stickers Variety Pack, Amazon, $11.
S’well Well Well
Keep kids hydrated while they’re in the study zone with a special reusable water bottle just for class time – like a virtually unbreakable, BPA-free, perfectly kid-sized stainless steel bottle covered in a cool print. This one from S’well just happens to tick all the boxes. How convenient. S’well 9oz. Bottle, West Coast Kids, $38.
Is there a worse feeling than having to squint at the blackboard, trying to make out the words? Give your kids a stylish pair of specs for school time. Offered in both adult and children’s sizes, these modular glasses – you can customize the frame and arm colours – are made from recycled materials and fully recyclable nylon. Dresden Prescription Glasses, Dresden Vision, from $59.