Remote School: Inexpensive Office Pieces for Home Learning

remote school

School is back in session! And there are some localities in the U.S. where students are learning from home still. Some students are full-time at home, some half and half. Trying to find space and the necessary quiet for remote school at home can be a real challenge. And social media doesn’t help! I love the printed out signs and snack baskets, but let’s get the basics pulled together.

Students don’t need anything super fancy to attend online classes. Putting together a stable desk and chair, necessary notebooks and pencils, and a power source can be done for just a few bucks. Our first suggestion? Thrift stores!

Thrift Stores and Craigslist

The first place to check out would be any second-hand store. These are great places for comfortable office chairs, too! You definitely don’t want to buy an office chair full price.

Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace, yard sales and flea markets can be great places to find various pieces to set up inexpensively. And keep searching them too, even after you’ve got a set up together. You could find something better. More than likely (and hopefully), the remote school is semi-temporary.

Foldable Desk

Not everyone has room for, basically, a school desk. And the kitchen table or living room has its own sets of distractions. A portable, foldable desk can be moved as needed, and also put away when not. It can even be taken outside. Remember, in “real” school, your students are moving around a lot more. Give them the ability to move if they can. Maybe change up between morning and afternoon sessions, or day to day. Encourage variety! Biology class could be more meaningful sitting in the grass! Why not take advantage of being at home by being outside!

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Your students may balk at this because of their beloved ear bud style headphones. But a full, ear-covering pair of headphones, with a mic if you can, is going to be more comfortable in the long run. They’re also going to help block out extra noises like the dog or their kid sister. They’re also cheaper than you think they would be.

Power Strip With Long Cord

Remember what I said about that portable desk? Having one dedicated power strip, with a long cord, should be command-stripped to the desk. The long cord will make it helpful if you do decide to move the desk to new places around the house and outside.

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The Second Monitor

I could write a poem about my love for the second monitor. For high school students, especially those with higher level classes, a second monitor, to use for notes or readings while the Zoom is going, can be a real help. Double the screens, double the learning real estate.

Water Bottle

I asked my high school sophomore what his top needs were for his workspace. He said charging abilities (power strip, check) and a good water bottle. Hydration helps everything, people.

Also, emotionally, it’s important to put together a separate, if portable, space for your student to claim as “theirs.” As we continue to adapt and pivot through the COVID-19 world, providing some a dedicated space can do a lot for your student’s perspective and drive.

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