The Essential Home-Work Station

Experts agree that one of the keys to success in school is giving kids a quiet, organized place to study and do homework. Whether your child is in preschool, elementary or high school, the proper workstation for them to get organized, concentrate and complete tasks is a key element to success. Now that school is back in session, parents will want to have this perfect workstation set up for their kids. The effort will enhance your child’s school experience, and give him the upper hand this school year. 

Much of the difficulty in setting up such a workstation, however, is knowing what kinds of things to buy and where to get them. Talk to your child’s teachers and other parents with older kids to see what they did to help their children along the way.  

Here are some ideas that will help make this school year a success. 

1.   Easy Fold Desk: It’s the perfect desk for home. Put it together and take it apart with just one finger. This computer desk is available in ice blue (blue/silver) and graphite (pewter/silver) color combinations. Put it together when you need it and take it apart when you are finished, or leave it out for a permanent desk solution. Priced at $60.

2.   9 x 12 Double-Sided Dry Erase Board: This double-sided dry erase board is ideal for school or the home. Hang it up next to your desk – and you have your very own organizational station. One side is plain white and the other is lined for easy note taking and writing down to-do lists. With rounded corners for safety and an Expo fine low-odor marker, flexible plastic marker clip and 12-creative ways brochure, this $4 item is homework-station-approved.

3.    Stapler/Hole Puncher Two-in-One: Why have two supplies when you can now have just one. This combination stapler and hole puncher by Ringsun is convenient in its size and ability. It fits easily in school bags and at-home desks. Priced at under $5.

4.   Battery-Operated Cordless Pencil Sharpener: Finally a pencil sharpener that works like the electronic version but can be carried around everywhere. The cordless sharpener conveniently operates automatically when the pencil is inserted and stops when the pencil is removed. Offered exclusively at Office Depot, just $5.50. Batteries sold separately.

5.    OTT-LITE Desk Lamp with VisionSaver Plus Lighting: Perfect for the at-home desk, this lamp has open and closing shades (with an activating on/off switch), and OTT-LITE VisionSaver Plus Lighting. This new lighting is perfect for reading, allowing you to see more clearly and comfortably. The product was designed specifically for the human eye to help reduce eye-strain caused by glare and distortion. Here’s the best part- its low-heat and energy efficient bulbs last up to 10,000 hours. $60.

6.   Rally Techno-Mesh Chair: This chair is made of unique techno mesh fabric and is available in black/gold and navy/light blue. Its molded form cushions are made for comfort all day long. With one-touch seat adjustment, it’s the perfect chair for students and teachers. Priced at just $50.

7.    Optical Mouse Pad: The Fellowes Optical Mouse Pads provide superior mouse tracking with fun and elegant images: tropical storm, beach shore, earth and moon. The secret lies in the printing method and hard non-reflective surface. Features a durable, easy-to-clean surface with non-stick backing and a slim profile 7.5” x 9 3/8” size and priced between $7 and $8.

8.    Standard Foot Rest: The ultimate touch to the homework station, this premium foot rest ($19) has simple and elegant designs with numerous options and simple, hands-free, front-to-back tilt adjustment that allows you to position your feet in the most comfortable position possible.

9.    SmartLap Lap Desk: An awesome solution for kids who are always on the go. For only about $15, the SmartLap Desk allows them to take their homework anywhere! This durable plastic lap desk comes in cool shades and has a top that flips up to hold essential school supplies. Perfect for working in the car or at their brother’s soccer practice.

Environmentally Friendly “Hottest Products” for Back to School 2005

Kids and parents want to be environmentally friendly in their back to school purchases, and with Office Depot’s wide selection of green products, it’s hard not to be this year! Here are Office Depot’s top products for those students looking out for their environment. 

1.   Banana Paper 2-Subject: Saving the rainforest one notebook at a time, this two-subject, 70-sheet notebook by Roaring Springs is made entirely of recycled paper: 100% post-consumer and banana fiber paper. It uses original recyclable die-cut plastic covers and gives 4% of the product’s profits to Earth University, which supports student leaders from the world’s Tropical Regions. Priced at $5.

2.    Liquid Graphite Pencil: Exclusive to Office Depot, this liquid graphite pencil eliminates the need to ever sharpen again! This No. 2 pencil looks and feels like real wood. Research shows that only 1/3 of the typical pencil is used. With the liquid graphite pencil, you will use 100% and stop wasting. Comes in a pack of 3 for under $3.

3.   Second Nature Recycled Memo Pads: These 3” x 5” memo pads by Tops are made of 100% recycled paper with a minimum 40% post-consumer fiber. The sturdy back provides support when away from a writing surface. 100 sheets per pad, priced at $9.

4.    Foray Liquid Highlighter: Exclusive to Office Depot, this $1.40 item is available in an array of colors including pink, blue, green, yellow, orange and purple. A pocket clip makes it easy to take this highlighter with you wherever you go. Best part – it isn’t harmful to the environment!

5.    Crayola Watercolor Sets: Eight-color oval set of paint with brush, by Crayola. The oval set features eight pans with natural-hair-brush and durable paint tray. Other sets come in half-pan or whole-pan; certified AP non-toxic. Priced at under $5.

6.    Art Street Glitter Construction Paper: With glitter construction paper, kids can create great looking, unique art projects. The glitter is already in the paper! That means no loose glitter, no glue and no mess. Made of 90% recycled paper and sized at 9” x 12”. Priced at under $5.

7.   Pad and Paper Primary News Writing Tablets: Kids can now practice writing on tablets made with 50% post-consumer material. The red baseline style conforms to the Zaner-Bloser handwriting method. For storybook writing up to grade three, beginning students can practice with pencil on newsprint sheets. Cost $3.

8.   Class Record and Teacher Planner: At-A-Glance has created a teacher planner and class record book with 30% post consumer fibers. With double wire bound locked ends, a soft vinyl cover and pages created specifically for seating charts and other essential class information, these $11 items are a teacher’s best purchase! 

“Hottest Products” for Teachers for Back to School 2005 

Every teacher wants to be prepared for the new school year, new students and a new classroom. Office Depot has put together a list of tools that teachers need to succeed. 

1.   Corkwork Tile, Foam-Fiesta Board and Block Dry Erase Board: Crayola interlocking corkwork tiles let kids, parents and teachers design their own cork boards. Use multi-packs of the interlocking tiles to cover a wall of the classroom. The tiles come in fun colors (rainbow, pink, blue, natural) and various sizes (4” and 8”). The Foam-Fiesta Boards are great for message and note posting. The 8” x 10” boards come in blue, green, pink and yellow. The 12 x 8 black dry-erase board is exciting to draw on and comes with its own pen. These boards range in price from $4 to $10.

2.   Go-Write Dry Erase Sheets: These dry-erase sheets, rolls and easel pads instantly turn any surface into a dry-erase marker board. By utilizing an ultra re-positionable adhesive, GoWrite sheets and rolls apply easily to walls, refrigerators, lockers, desks, chalkboards and more. Guaranteed to erase and never leave residue, custom dry-erase to-do lists, charts, learning aids and message centers can be created. Available in 8 ” x 11” sheets and 8 ” x 11” sheet lines. Priced between $2 and $3.

3.   Microsoft Office Student/Teacher Edition: Fully functional Microsoft Office, designed specifically for the student and/or teacher. The 2005 edition includes Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Priced at $150.

4.   Class Record and Teacher Planner: At-A-Glance has created a teacher planner and class record book with 30% post consumer fibers. With double wire bound locked ends, a soft vinyl cover and pages created specifically for seating charts and other essential class information, these $11 items are a teacher’s best purchase!

5.   Sanford Expo Dry-Erase Kit: This portable, all-in-one 12-marker kit has everything teachers need for presentations and class. It includes: four fine-point markers, eight chisel-tip markers, an eight-ounce bottle of spray-on cleaner and soft-pile eraser. Comes with a hand case for traveling or storing anywhere. Priced at under $20.

6.   Learn to Write with Raised Ruling Tablet: This tablet by Mead is perfect for every elementary classroom. Printed and embossed solid lines and printed dotted lines are ideal for practicing writing and the alphabet in cursive. At just $3, every child in class should have one!

7.   Johnson & Johnson Safe Travel First Aid Kit: A must for every classroom and teacher! The sealable plastic shell holds the most daily used first aid supplies. This small kit is waterproof and can easily be stored away in a classroom desk, office, or any other compartment. Just $9.

8.   Kleenex Splash n’ Go: The Splash n’ Go! Moist Wipes for hands and faces come with 35 in each package and are great to have in every teacher’s classroom desk. Wipes are alcohol free and contain Aloe and Vitamin E. The package is re-sealable and convenient to take anywhere or store away. Just $1.40 for guaranteed cleanliness. 

“Tools not Toys” for Students Everywhere 

Here’s a list of the products geared towards your child’s success in school rather than simply their entertainment. 

1.   My First Leap Pad: This best seller gives kids the skills they need for kindergarten, including lessons with letters, words, numbers and stories with fascinating plot twists and turns. My First Leap Pad also offers interactive learning games, sing-a-longs and word play. Priced at just $30.

2.   Microsoft Age of the Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion 2.0 edition, this Microsoft computer game combines fun with strategy and history. The official add-on to the award-winning best-selling real-time strategy game, “Age of the Empires II: The Age of Kings,” this software will challenge veterans and novices to wage war on an epic scale – based on the infamous conquerors such as Attila the Hun, El Cid and Montezuma. A game both parent and child will love for just $20.

3.   Electronic Flash Magic Flash Cards: These extremely popular flash card games are perfect for ages 4 and up and 7 and up – with addition/subtraction and multiplication/division editions. These electronic gadgets are both entertaining and educational. Play the Learn It mode and shout out your guesses before you shake it to reveal the correct answer. The Quiz Time game challenges kids to solve as many equations as possible in 60 seconds- then a quick flick flashes the answer on the screen. Under $10!

4.   Read Aloud Leap Pad plus Microphone: LeapFrog’s Read Aloud Leap Pad plus Microphone makes learning to read fun. Children can put a book in the player, pick up the magic pen and an adventure. Students can talk into the built-in microphone to record their voice and hear it played back as part of the story. Music and sound effects, volume control, headphone jack and two interactive books are included, all for just $40.

5.   Crayola Activity Kits – Stamping/Rubbing/Stenciling: Help kids learn as they create! Kits include decorative papers, activity-specific tools and a re-sealable storage pouch. These Crayola brand stamping, rubbing and stenciling kits will entertain kids and assist them in reaching their artistic dreams. Priced at under $7.

6.   Microsoft Zoo Tycoon Marine Mania: Zoo Tycoon Marine Mania is a fun expansion pack that works with the existing Zoo Tycoon game, enabling players to integrate more than 20 aquatic animals into their existing zoos (and more importantly, their minds). This educational and fun software costs just under $25.

7.   Spelling Ace Electronic Spelling Device: Phonetic spell correction for over 100,000 words and over 500,000 synonyms and antonyms, this gadget will have kids mesmerized. It includes eight games: anagrams, deduction, flashcards, hangman, jumble, spelling bee, word blaster and word builder., all with the goal of educating kids. This device also includes a calculator, phone list databank and auto shut-off. Priced at $20. 

Information provided courtesy of Office Depot. All products listed are available at Office Depot Stores nationwide or online at  or at


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