Setting Up a Healthy Distance-Learning Space

boy studying

Setting Up a Healthy
Distance-Learning Space

Supporting a child of any age in their distance-learning experience is a study in paradox: Keep it flex but stay on schedule; go lo-fi yet hyperfunctional. Now repeat. No one thing—be it a zoomies-taming chair or a notebook with a higher purpose—is the golden ticket to school-from-home success, but a few things can certainly help the cause. Including a space (kitchen tables and living room nooks welcome) that inspires healthy focus. Below, the supplies, gear, and organizational tools with the most potential to help students meet theirs. And a list of programs helping kids who are facing a set of obstacles that goes far beyond stuff.

DESKS + CHAIRS


  1. Work from Home Desks KIDS AT HOME DESK & STOOL

    Work from Home Desks
    KIDS AT HOME DESK & STOOL
    Work from Home Desks, $269

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    Breaks down easily, so you can tuck it away in a closet or stow it underneath their bed when it’s not in use.


  2. Lalo THE PLAY KIT

    Lalo
    THE PLAY KIT
    Lalo, $250

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    Sleek, sustainable, and Scandinavian-inspired.


  3. UPLIFT Desk ERGONOMIC KNEELING CHAIR

    UPLIFT Desk
    ERGONOMIC KNEELING
    CHAIR

    UPLIFT Desk, $99

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    More ergonomic than a bar stool and more comfortable than any desk chair we’ve sat in.


  4. InMovement INMOVEMENT STANDING DESK PRO DT20

    InMovement
    INMOVEMENT STANDING
    DESK PRO DT20

    goop, $399

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    What goes up also comes down: It has room for two screens and can be adjusted to their (growing) size.


  5. Learniture ADJUSTABLE-HEIGHT ACTIVE LEARNING STOOL

    Learniture
    ADJUSTABLE-HEIGHT ACTIVE LEARNING STOOL
    School Outfitters, $110

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    Three words: range of motion. It spins. It adjusts. It moves from side to side. All super helpful features if your kid is the wiggly type.

SUPPLIES


  1. Sprout THE ORIGINAL SPROUT PENCIL, 8 Pack

    Sprout
    THE ORIGINAL SPROUT PENCIL, 8 Pack
    Sprout World, $15

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    Each plantable pencil contains teeny seedlings, so instead of tossing them in the trash, you can stick them in the soil and watch them bloom into baby herbs.


  2. An Organised Life 2020/2021 MID YEAR WEEKLY DIARY

    An Organised Life
    2020/2021 MID YEAR
    WEEKLY DIARY

    goop, $35

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    In a year when every day feels like Groundhog Day, there’s this to help keep track of projects, assignments, and of course, breaks.


  3. An Organised Life DREAMER NOTEBOOK

    An Organised Life
    DREAMER NOTEBOOK
    goop, $16

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    Manifesting, sketching, ideating—this one goes out to all the little thinkers with big dreams.


  4. Mochi Things RETRACTABLE PERMANENT MARKER SET, 12 PIECES

    Mochi Things
    RETRACTABLE PERMANENT
    MARKER SET, 12 PIECES

    Mochi Things, $25

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    Doodling in class is better when nontoxic markers are involved.


  5. Decomposition NATURE LOVERS, 6-SPIRAL BUNDLE

    Decomposition
    NATURE LOVERS 6-SPIRAL BUNDLE
    Decomposition, $49

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  6. The Dough Project DOUGH IT YOURSELF

    The Dough Project
    DOUGH IT YOURSELF
    The Dough Project, $35

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    Make your own batch of plant-based playdough without the chemicals or artificial dyes.


  7. Decomposition DECOMPOSITION FOLDER, 5-PACK

    Decomposition
    DECOMPOSITION FOLDER, 5-PACK
    Decomposition, $20

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    And the cutest, most earth-friendly recycled school supplies of the year award goes to…


  8. Kid Made Modern ARTS AND CRAFTS SUPPLY LIBRARY

    Kid Made Modern
    ARTS AND CRAFTS SUPPLY LIBRARY
    Maisonette, $40

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    Arts and crafts on crafts on crafts to stretch those imagination muscles.

organization


  1. Poketo SPECTRUM WALL PLANNER

    Poketo
    SPECTRUM WALL PLANNER
    Poketo, $48

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    As helpful for them as it will be for you. It minimizes that “What day is it, again?” feeling.


  2. Midori PULP BOX

    Midori
    PULP BOX
    The Journal Shop, $12

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    Multipurpose boxes made out of recycled newspapers.
    Go ahead and get multiples.


  3. Parkland HIGHFIELD SMALL POUCH

    Parkland
    HIGHFIELD SMALL POUCH
    Parkland, $10

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    A place for their pens, a home for their highlighters.


  4. IKEA RISATORP WIRE BASKET

    IKEA
    RISATORP WIRE BASKET
    IKEA, $13

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    Makes cleaning up and transporting school supplies from spot to spot considerably more manageable.

TECH


  1. EyeJust BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING SCREEN PROTECTOR

    EyeJust
    BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING SCREEN PROTECTOR
    goop, $35

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    Help minimize eye strain during PowerPoint presentations…


  2. EyeJust BLUE LIGHT BLOCKER

    EyeJust
    BLUE LIGHT BLOCKER
    goop, $56

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    …and TikTok breaks.


  3. Rin PLYWOOD TABLET STAND

    Rin
    PLYWOOD TABLET STAND
    Yamazaki Home, $20

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    As chic as it is sensible.


  4. Puro Sound Labs BT2200s VOLUME LIMITED BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES

    Puro Sound Labs
    BT2200s VOLUME LIMITED
    BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES

    Puro Sound Labs, $90

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    Studio-grade audio quality with a built-in safeguard: The volume maxes out at eighty-five decibels to protect little ears.

WELLNESS


  1. UMA PURE CALM

    UMA
    PURE CALM
    goop, $85

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    Apply to pulse points and repeat: “Distance learning will not break me…”


  2. OPTP LOROX ALIGNED DOME

    OPTP
    LOROX ALIGNED DOME
    goop, $28

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    If your whole household is doing at-home everything, plan family acupressure breaks throughout the day. Or set the kids up with links to Lo’s goop stories so they can try on their own.


  3. goop Wellness NERD ALERT

    goop Wellness
    NERD ALERT
    goop, $55 for 60/$30 for 30

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    Mother’s (or Father’s or Grandma’s or…) little helper.


  4. vitruvi Stone Diffuser

    vitruvi
    Stone Diffuser
    goop, $119

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    Get the kids stoked on their favorite scents, then teach them about each botanical and its benefits.


  5. Horti INDOOR PLANT SUBSCRIPTION

    Horti
    INDOOR PLANT SUBSCRIPTION
    Horti, from $18 a month

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    Everything you need—including care instructions, so they can learn a bit about botany—comes in the box.


  6. The Coloring Method DAILY SELF BLESSINGS

    The Coloring Method
    DAILY SELF BLESSINGS
    goop, $16

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    More than a meditative break, this coloring book guides kids and adults alike through breathing exercises and self-kindness mantras.

give back


  1. DonorsChoose

    DonorsChoose

    Donate directly to the projects teachers need funded. Choose a school in your city or a subject close to your heart and look for donation-matching opportunities that double your contribution.


  2. Room to Read Obama Foundation Partnership

    Room to Read Obama Foundation Partnership

    Help the Obama Foundation support girls’ education in Vietnam through programs and outreach that get—and keep—girls in school.


  3. This is About Humanity

    This is About Humanity

    Border-crossing, cross-functional, and family-focused, TIAH raises awareness for separated and reunified families at the US-Mexico border, leads fund-raising efforts, and educates allies on the US asylum system. And now, it’s also providing kids at the border with the tools they need to keep up with their studies.


  4. Yoobi

    Yoobi

    Supply a student in need with essential school supplies. Sending a full kit costs $18, and individual items like pencils and scissors cost as little as $2—an easy number to carve out of a kid’s allowance if they’re ready to make their first donation.


  5. Para Los Niños

    Para Los Niños

    An organization that cares for the whole child: Para Los Niños uses donations to provide Wi-Fi connections, school supplies, and fresh food for families in need.


  6. The Schoolbox Project

    The Schoolbox Project

    By transforming unused, available spaces—from shipping containers to sidewalks—into classrooms in refugee camps and crisis situations, The Schoolbox Project provides children with trauma-informed education and art and play programs.

related reading


  1. Homeschooling Tips, Educational Resources for Parents, and Activities for Kids

    Homeschooling Tips, Educational Resources for Parents, and Activities for Kids


  2. The Four Keys to Mindful Parenting

    The Four Keys to Mindful Parenting


  3. The Parent’s Guide to Healthy Screen Time for Kids

    The Parent’s Guide to Healthy Screen Time for Kids


  4. Coping Mechanisms for Stressed-Out Teenagers

    Coping Mechanisms for Stressed-Out Teenagers