How to Start the School Year Right

Back to school tips look very different for 2020. Whether you’re homeschooling, starting the year with remote learning, or going back in-person with enhanced safety measures, I’ve rounded up my tips for starting the school year off right. School is going to look different and things are going to change, but I’m a firm believer in being prepared and ready to tackle whatever life throws our way!

2020 back to school tips from lifestyle blogger Cristin Cooper.

Digital Learning Technology

Since so many districts are staring back to school with remote learning, here are tech tools and tips to get kids online.

Chrome Book // We can all agree that Chrome Books are great for students because they are often inexpensive (as far as computers go) and they have the basic tools kids need for remote learning. Chrome Books are also a great option if you have more than one child and each needs their own computer. This HP Chrome Book one or this one from Acer look great!

Chrome Book Case // Just because they’re often cheaper than an iPad doesn’t mean the Chrome Book doesn’t need a protective case. Love this case! It comes in 8 colors and they have a variety of sizes!

Headphones // These headphones & these earbuds look great for the kids! Us parent’s need noise canceling too, right?! Check out these wireless headphones or these AirPods!

WiFi Extender // This WiFi extender covers up to 1,200 square feet and can support up to 20 devices. This extender covers up to 2,500 square feet and can support up to 50 devices.

Printer // This all-in-one printer looks to be a great option with over 12k reviews! If you’re needing more of a premium printer, this looks to be a great option and includes 2 years of ink delivered to your door!

Homeschooling + Remote Learning Resources

Homeschool Curriculum // The Good & The Beautiful // Liberty University Online // Alpha Omega // Epic Charter Schools // Memoria Press // Time4Learning // Sonlight // Timberdoodle // Saxon // My Fathers World // Seton Home Study // PACES // Calvert School // Master books // Singapore Spectrum // Charlotte Mason

Organization // I’m a firm believer that when everything is organized in my home, I’m much happier and can think clearer! The same has to be true for our children when it comes to homeschooling and remote learning. Here are a few items I believe will help you and your child stay organized as they start back to school at home:

An academic calendar – encourage your child to write homework due dates and test dates. Be sure to place this near your child’s work space so they see it on a regular basis.

Assignment binders – have a different binder for each subject.

Utensil caddy – a home for all those pencils, markers & highlighters.

Clipboards – portable work spaces and displays for your homeschooling lessons.

Dedicated cubbies or shelves – one place for everything to go at the end of the school day! You will go nuts if there’s not one place to store everything.

Desk & Chair // When setting up your homeschool or digital learning space, you’ll need a desk and chair. We have a desk similar to this one and love it! This desk chair from Amazon looks great, this one, too!

Supplies for Going Back to School In-Person

Book Bags // Here are tons of book bags with lots of fun styles. If you’re looking for budget friendly option, look no where else other than Target!

Lunch Boxes // These lunch boxes from PB teen are precious and will hold up great all year.

Water Bottles // Love this Yeti Rambler and this Simple Modern. You can never go wrong with a classic CamelBak.

Kids Masks // We are loving these kid sized Athleta masks for the girls. The girls think these masks are super comfy. I also ordered these masks that come with an optional head strap.

Lanyards // This is one of the best back to school tips I’ve read. A reader told me she is using a two-clip lanyard that fastens to her kid’s mask and wraps around their neck when the mask is not in use. Brilliant! Here are a few lanyard options: these, these and these!

Name Labels // We all know that labeling everything is going to be highly recommended as we head back to school. Check out these, these, and these!

Toddler Activities

If your toddler isn’t quite old enough to go to school or attend digital learning, you are not alone. I know there are tons of parents who will still be working from home and daycares might not be open in your state. You can always reference my list of top things to do at home with kids and here are additional learning resources and activities that are also good for toddlers.

Kiwi Co // My girls are obsessed! They have the best science and art activities for kids! It’s a monthly subscription and they come straight to your door. Get 30% off your first month using this link.

Homer // The girls love their iPad time and I love that they are learning with Homer! They can play games, color, sing along to songs, listen to stories and the best part is they are learning the whole time! It has been proven that 15 minutes a day with Homer improves early literacy skills by 74%! Use this link for a free 30 day trial.

Zulily // Check out Zulily for a ton of great craft suppliesactivity books for kids, items for outdoor summer funbooksat-home study helpers, and educational workbooks

Kidzbop & GoNoodle // We love these dance videos!!

Back to School Tips for Mom

CBD // You all have heard me talk about Equilibria on a handful of occasions. I don’t love the drops but I do love the salves and the rollerball for stress headaches. Use code Cristincooper for 15% off!

Wine // No matter if your kid is in enrolled in homeschooling, remote learning or will physically be sitting in a classroom, my best back to school tip is to have wine on hand. I love how Thrive Market gives you the option to build your own wine bundle! They offer clean, low calorie wine and you can refine your selections depending on what you’re specifically looking for. Here is a $20 shopping credit for all of you wine lovers!!

Home Chef // Who doesn’t love to make dinner time simplified? I love Home Chef because they send me every ingredient I need to make an easy and delicious meal at home. There’s a huge variety of meal options to chose from that will make everyone in your family happy. Use code cristin100 for $25 off your first 4 boxes for a total savings of $100!

Snacks // A round up of my favorite snacks from Thrive Market are in this blog post. One of my best quarantine tips that can be used for back to school (especially homeschool) is to still use your kids lunchbox to pack lunch and snacks for the day. I found it cut back on the girls snacking tenfold.

Thank Your Teachers!

Don’t forget to thank your children’s teachers! This is going to be a hard year on them, too!! I personally can’t imagine having little kids at home and having to teach virtually. A simple thank you note or Starbucks gift card for a delicious caffeinated drink or an Amazon gift card for classroom supplies goes a long way and is always appreciated! I polled my Instagram followers that were teachers and here are some of the items that they were looking for, maybe since we missed end of the year gifts you could grab one of these for a back to school gift!

Flair Pens // Pencils // Expo Markers // Sticky Notes // Printer Ink // Prayer Journal // Daily Planner / Stationery // Clorox Wipes // Hand Sanitizer // Lotion // Kleenex // Scrubs // Barefoot Dreams Cardigan // Comfy Flats // Washable Tote // Hydro Flask // Hair Ties // Blue Light Glasses // Bath Bombs // Dry Shampoo // Back Massager // Chocolate // Mints // Gum // Keurig K Cups

Amazon Wish Lists // Ask your kids’ teachers if they have an Amazon wish list that you could purchase off of. It’s easy for you and gets them something they truthfully need for back to school. If you are a teacher with an Amazon Wish List, please drop it in the comments so that maybe we can help to get those wish lists tackled!