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Overlooked School Supplies for Military Distance Learners


It’s fall, the air is crisp, and the leaves are beginning their spectacular transformation that signals the coming of shorter days and longer nights. Big yellow school buses are rolling, football practice is underway and marching bands are high-stepping.

It’s at this point in the school year, historically speaking, that a lot of students realize they forgot to pick up a supply or two when doing their back to school shopping. For the elementary student, this usually means they tell mom or dad they need an extra box of tissues, another spiral notebook, or an orange highlighter instead of pink. Moms and dads make an unscheduled trip to the dollar store to pick up the errant supply, and all is right in the world. Some college students come to the unfortunate realization that they have overlooked a few critical items when they packed up their worldly possessions to move into the dorms – a roll of quarters for the Laundromat, duct tape (because you can never have enough), or nasal strips for the snoring roommate are a few things that come to mind.

The same phenomenon happens with the distance learner, even the super-organized service member who has everything else in order. Since the distance learners’ challenges are relatively less documented, but no less problematic, we present a collection of often overlooked school supplies in hopes that next semester runs more smoothly for our academically-inclined friends.

Overlooked School Supplies for Distance Learners (in no particular order of importance):

  • Printer Ink (black and color cartridges)
  • Lumbar pillow
  • Egg timer and/or alarm clock app for smart phone (“I will study 15 more minutes then start dinner.”)
  • Headphones and/or earplugs (so you can’t hear the kids/boss/spouse)
  • Lock (so your studies are not interrupted)
  • Netflix subscription and/or supply of books, videos, music, activities for kids (to buy yourself some study time)
  • Calendar (paper, electronic, or both – to stay organized)
  • Notepads
  • Thumb drive
  • Important phone numbers stored in multiple handy places (food delivery, babysitter)

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