School essentials for kids

January 7, 2013 Off By Laura TMOT
With the holiday break over and everyone gearing up for another school term, you might be thinking of ways to help your children to be more successful in school. If one of their new year’s resolutions was to keep organised, the family can start by rounding up old technology, and start to sell DVDs, cell phones and laptops to make money for educational gadgets. Then, invest in some new technology tools to help them keep that promise, such as these back-to-school essentials.

E-readers to make learning fun.
If carting books from home to school and back is starting to take a toll on your little learner, an ebook reader could remedy that problem. By far the most popular e-reader (and one of the most affordable) is the Kindle from Amazon, which comes in varying models that give you options like touch screen, keyboard and ad-free browsing. And if you’re searching for a slightly less expensive option with more reading capacity (that is, up to 10,000 books), the Kobo is a close second

Apps to help them get organised.
Day planners and paper agendas are out; electronic apps are in. Even if your students don’t have a smartphone, there are some computer-based apps that can help them keep up with homework assignments, the football practice schedule and big exams. Wunderlist creates and tracks progress on their to-do lists. And Evernote, which also works on a PC, stores all the text articles, photos and quotes they find online so that they can pull them together to write research papers.

Notebooks for homework.
With homework assignments focusing more and more on online research methods, it’s a good idea to invest in a laptop for your school-aged child to ensure that he or she can do her homework on time. However, not everyone can go out and purchase a Macbook for every kid. If cost is a concern for you, there are more affordable options that also prove to be very durable (because let’s face it, kids will be kids). The ASUS EEE Pc and the HP Mini, for example, are two netbooks that are small enough to take to class with processors fast enough to pass the test of a young student’s short attention span.

Mobile phones to keep in touch.
It’s difficult to know what is the appropriate age at which a child should have his or her own mobile phone. If you have a young child in school, but you aren’t quite ready to give him or her a smartphone, consider options like Firefly or Migo that only allow phone calls to pre-programmed numbers. This will allow you to keep in touch, especially during emergencies, without the stress of wondering what your child is doing on his or her cell phone. It’s also a good way to build trust so that they can have regular cell phones one day.