School supplies for the new normal

Is your family ready for more schooling at home? Get ready!

How did at-home learning go for your family last year? Not so great?  Yeah, well it’s about to start all over again for lots of people!

Families are gearing up for an uncertain school year, and it could push back-to-school spending to record levels, but not necessarily for clothes and backpacks.

Consumer Reports reveals the affordable technology that could get your child to the head of the online class without breaking the bank.

“I felt frustrated. Sometimes I feel like crying,” Erika Mac Master is still reeling from how school ended for her five kids.

“At home I have only one computer. I’m thinking of buying 2 more or 3 for my girls”

88-Percent of consumers say the coronavirus will affect their back-to-class shopping this year, with parents of school-aged children planning to spend an average of 789-dollars and families of college students — 1,059-dollars.

The top item both groups will be buying – a laptop. But before you buy, check with your school since technology recommendations might be different this year.

Nicholas De Leon, Consumer Reports Tech Editor, “For most school-aged kids, a Chromebook is fine. Pretty much any Chromebook. That’s b/c students are going to be using web-apps and you don’t need anything special to run these apps.”

Consumer Reports recommends the Google Pixelbook Go or this Lenovo Chromebook.

“College is a different story and often that’s because it depends on what your child is studying. Often the college will recommend specs or programs or just give you a list of computers to choose from,” Nicholas DeLeon.

You may be given a discount if you buy through the college.

CR says it’s hard to go wrong with a MacBook Air. Or if you prefer a Windows Computer, the Lenovo Flex 15 is a good choice.

And if you don’t want to listen to computer moise all day, then make sure you add a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone to your school supply list!

Nicholas De Leon says, “This is one of those situation where you don’t need to spend extra money for audiophile sound quality.

CR recommends these the Monoprice headphones for under 50-bucks or for in-ear headphones, try these affordable Panasonics.

But if now’s not the right time to drop a lot of cash on a new computer, look into free software that can turn an outdated laptop into a Chromebook. We’ve got a link with step-by-step instructions from Consumer Reports.