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Budget School Supplies for Distance Learning

September 22, 2020

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Depending where you are, school probably looks a little different this year.

Yes, you’ll need your pens and notepads, but if you’re district is doing distance learning, you’ll need some other budget school supplies.

Here’s our list of budget school supplies for distance learning. 

Desk and chair

Cost: ~$60-120

If your kid is learning from home, they need a good chair to support their back and a good desk for work.

If you don’t already have these, it’s time to invest.

Forbes talked to experts to find the best desk chairs for kids. The Flash Furniture Plastic Stackable School Chair and AmazonBasics Stackable Kids Chair both come in two-packs so you’re only paying a little more than $20 per chair. 

For desks, this IKEA MICKE desk is under $80 and has some storage for your kid’s school supplies, too.

If you need a few more options, TODAY put together a list of 15 desks for students that all come in under $100. 

Laptop or tablet tray/stand 

Cost: ~$20-30

Setting up Zoom for learning is only half the battle. Raising your kid’s device to eye-level is important for both their attention span and posture

Get your student an ergonomic setup by buying a tray or stand that can elevate their device. 

PCMag has a bunch of good options for laptop stands in the $20-30 ballpark. And Digital Trends has tablet stands in a similar price range. 

Blue light glasses

Cost: ~$15

Not everyone will need computer glasses, but this study from Harvard Health says that more screen time means worse sleep and eyestrain. And no parent, especially someone working from home, needs a grumpy kid.

You can snag a pair for as little as $15.  

Chrome extensions

Cost: Free

Speaking of screen time, distance learning presents a whole bunch of problems.  

Consider adding these Chrome extensions to set your kid up for success: 

  • StayFocused limits how much time they can spend on time-wasting websites. You can configure it to limit time spent on any website you want. 

  • Google Dictionary makes it easy to look up words without opening a new tab so nothing gets in the way of their learning. 

  • Noisili lets you make playlists of ambient sounds for background noise during studying. 

  • Momentum shows a pretty nature picture and inspiring quote each time they open a new tab, which can help combat stress. 

There are countless Chrome extensions out there. Poke around with your kids to find the ones that work best for them. 

Whiteboard and markers

Cost: ~$20

When you’re learning, it can help to have a place to play with ideas.

A whiteboard delivers exactly that without filling up your kids’ trash bins (or your floor) with paper scraps.

You can grab a small whiteboard and markers for around $20. 


Cost: ~$10-25

As you’re setting up your student’s learning space, building a space that will keep them focused is going to be a top priority. 

If your kid is going to be learning in a part of your home with possible distractions, consider investing in a headset. 

This will let them hear their teacher better or listen to white noise to tune out distractions.

A headset with a microphone might also help their teachers and peers hear them better, too. 

This list from Moms has a bunch of options around $20.

Before you invest in any of the things on this list, remember to ask your kids. Some things they’ll know best what they need.

Work with them to build their ideal distance learning setup. We’re all learning how to do this together. 

They’ll thank you, and so will their teachers. 

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank (“Bank”). Bank is not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).
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Kacie Goff

Kacie Goff

Kacie Goff has over five years of experience writing personal finance content for a wide range of audiences. She's always loved taking complex concepts and distilling them down so they're more accessible to others. As she creates content, she aims to educate and engage, helping people discover that successfully managing their money can be easier than they ever imagined. Over the last five years, she’s also covered personal and commercial insurance, home design, health and wellness, and more for publications including Bankrate, Freshome, The Simple Dollar, and websites of a broad variety of businesses. Her brand is Jot Content (

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