school supplies

Masks, Virtual Resources and Other Things to Get You Through the 2020-2021 School Year

Little boy riding a bicycle wearing a protective mask.
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Many schools across the country have opted for part-time or fully remote instruction to curb the spread of coronavirus.

If the thought of homeschooling your children leaves you feeling overwhelmed, read our guide for product suggestions to help you get set up and dozens of educational resources to get you going.

If your child is attending school in-person, they're going to need some face masks. Below you'll find masks for children that have been tried and tested by our editor. NBC does not have any relationship with these sellers and items are sold by the retailer, not by NBC. Here's more info on furniture and other resources.

Desks, Chairs & Other Homeschool Furniture

  • Step2 Deluxe Art Master Desk Kids Art Table with Storage and Chair $87.04 - Good for little kids 3 and up.
  • IKEA Children's Table & 2 Chairs $29.99 - Great basic kids table for toddlers and small children. Easy to wipe clean
  • Flash Furniture Contemporary Design Plastic Stack Chair $55.68 - $84.99 - If you have multiple kids, these chairs stack up to 5 chairs high. Great for a teen study area
  • Nugget $229 - This "play couch" is made up of just four foam pieces but parents and kids rave about the nugget for imaginative play. The company also says it can be used as an occupational therapy tool and is good for developing gross motor skills. Follow their social media for information on re-stocks. They sell out quickly!
  • IKEA Easel $19.99 - This easel has a whiteboard on one side and chalkboard on the other. You can also use IKEA's MÅLA drawing paper with it and it folds flat for easy storage.
  • Study Desk With Chair $219.99 - This white desk by KidCraft is ideal for young students to do their homework. It comes equipped with a bulletin board on the hutch for displaying projects and notes and it has two cabinets and a pencil drawer for lots of storage.
  • USB Wall Desk $249 - For older kids that are mostly just working from a laptop, this space-conscious desk from Pottery Barn Teen is compact and functional. It can be mounted to the wall at whatever height you need and has a hole for cords and built-in USB ports to charge all their devices.

Educational Resources

  • EPIC Family Support Line - The organization Every Person Influences Children has launched a family support line for parents to use while home with their children during quarantine. You can call 716-332-4111 between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday for help managing stress, establishing homeschool routines, positive discipline strategies and any other issues that may arise.
  • Outschool is offering free live online courses for K-12 public school families affected by closures. If your child's school is unable to provide full-time remote schooling, Outschool can serve as a temporary replacement. Due to demand and the fact that the program is intended for families in need, there's a $200 limit of free classes per family. The regular fee will apply thereafter.
  • Scholastic has a dedicated website called Learn at Home for Families. For $5.99 a month, you'll receive readymade lessons and fun educational activities for your 4-10 year olds. If you have multiple kids, you only need one subscription for the whole family.
  • Google has curated a selection of educational apps and games for kids so that you can feel good about letting them have some iPad time.
  • First Book has free reading guides centered around "essential themes" like Healthy Feelings and Relationships, and Early Literacy Development. They also have a free printable Diversity in STEM calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Beanstalk has live, on-demand interactive classes for kids to do at home. The monthly membership fee is $9.95 or $95 for the year. If you need financial support, you can apply for the Magic Beans program.
  • Hand2Mind has introduced teach@home where you can find free daily lessons and activities for K-5 students created and delivered by teachers. Grade-specific weekly schedules are provided along with daily video lessons and worksheets for Math and Literacy.
  • ProdigyGame has free educational content to make learning math engaging and fun. You can get a 1-on-1 math tutor for your child if they're in 1st through 8th grade for a fee.
  • Bright Horizons, a company with childcare centers nationwide, has launched World at Home, a "one-stop resource for at-home learning." You can log on each week for new videos and activities on yoga & mindfulness, STEM learning, language works, storytime, cooking, and more.
  • EncantosBrands, the maker of the popular bilingual YouTube series, "Canticos" has a learning hub filled with free printable worksheets about art, literacy, math, social-emotional learning and other projects.
  • EdHelper.com has free daily learning resources for a variety of ages. You can print off worksheets for everything from practicing cursive handwriting to learning about the coronavirus.
  • Learning Resources offers free educational activities split by age group. You can find things like flashcards, science adventures, math games and more.
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has free learning activities, lessons, downloadables, and videos for kids in Grades K–12.
  • Seussvile has activities, crafts, and printables for parents of small children that's all about "playful learning."
  • Dictionary.com has a Learning at Home Center to help kids from preschool through high school learn through games and vocabulary activities.
  • Highlights has fun arts and crafts you can do with your kids like a DIY supply caddy and spaceship bookmarks.
  • National Geographic has launched NatGeo at Home, where you can find quizzes, videos, science experiments and simple day-to-day plans for your K-12 kids.
  • KiwiCo, a monthly subscription service for STEM toys, has at-home activities for ages 2 - 12+ Sample activities include kitchen science experiments, printable STEAM projects and weekly DIYs. You can also create your own at-home learning schedule here.
EncantosBrands

Homeschooling Materials

  • Visual School Schedule by This Reading Mama FREE - If you want to set up a classroom-like setting at home, check out these free printables to show your child what you have in store for them for the day. Establishing routines with visual cues can be helpful for small children especially.
  • Creative Teaching Calendar Set $19.39 - If you're homeschooling, this calendar set is great to display on a bulletin board on the wall. Includes a days-of-the-week chart, a seasons and weather chart and coordinating labels.
  • Map of the World and Map of the USA $21.99 - Make your geography lessons bright and vibrant with these laminated maps
  • Osmo Hands-on Learning Games $40-$139 - For those times when you have to give your kid an iPad to get some work done, Osmo has educational games they can play on their iPad or Fire tablet that will make you feel a lot less guilty. Kids as young as 3 and as old as 10 can use Osmo to learn to code or become a math wiz.
  • Nifty Organ Map $39.99 - Make learning anatomy fun and easy with this interactive toy
  • Arts & Crafts Supply Kits $24.99 - $28 - If you don't already have art supplies on hand, consider buying a kit with a variety of materials to get you stared. Check out these from Amazon, Etsy, Kohl's and Target.
  • Time-In Toolkit $59 - You've heard of time-outs but have you heard of time-ins? The company says "Time-Ins help children learn to calm their bodies and process their emotions so that they can problem-solve, learn, and grow."
  • Homeschool Essentials Bundle $200 - This curated bundle by Rose & Rex is crafted by early childhood educators to "to support holistic development through play."

Masks

  • Disposable 3-Ply Protective Masks for Kids $17.84 - Disposable face masks with elastic earloops designed for kids age 4 to 12.
  • Crayola Reusable Mask Pack $29.99 - These come in a pack of 5 so that your child has a clean mask for each school day. They have adjustable ear straps and a nose clip for a secure fit. They're washable and come with a mesh laundry bag so they don't get destroyed in the washing machine. And each mask has a name tag so if you are sending them to school in-person, their mask won't get mixed up with the rest of the class.
  • Briar Baby Masks $20 - If your child doesn't leave their mask on, perhaps a mask that ties in the back, like this one, could help. These masks are also machine washable and have a pocket for replaceable filters for maximum effectiveness.
  • LeLe Sadoughi Masks $25 - Sold in sets of two, designed for children ages 3-10. They're reusable soft cotton masks featuring a two-layer design with a contoured fit, adjustable elastic ear straps and an opening for a filter pocket.
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