Homeschool supplies make homeschool days easier for you and your kids. Find must-have homeschool supplies for you, your kids, and your homeschool room.
Do you remember that Staples commercial from a few years ago, the one that had a dad happily putting school supplies in a cart while the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays in the background?
That commercial always made me smile because that’s how I feel buying school supplies. I love it! I loved getting them as a student and buying them as a classroom teacher.
However, the best is getting to use them as a homeschool parent. No school supply list telling you what color folder to get, how many red pencils to buy, or that you need to get a package of 10 divider tabs when most of the ones in the store are packages of 8. You get to choose what will help you best in our homeschool. Your kids will be excited to start school so they can use the supplies they picked out.
Do you love buying supplies for your homeschool too? Or are you just starting out and unsure what you will need? In this post, you’ll find favorite homeschool supplies to help you determine what will work best in your homeschool.
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Many of your homeschool supplies will be for items that you’ll need to replenish each year. I always wait for the back-to-school sales to purchase these types of supplies. I also always buy more than I think I’ll need. Wouldn’t you rather pay $0.50 for a 24 pack of Crayola crayons in July than $1.39 for that same box in February?! Leftover supplies can always be stored to use the following year.
Student Homeschool Supplies
- Pencils: My favorite pencils are Ticonderoga. They sharpen better than cheaper pencils, so they last longer. (This is the pencil sharpener that we use. I love it and we’ve not had any problems with it.)
- Children’s Scissors
- Crayons: You can’t go wrong with Crayola. The quality is so much higher than off-brand.
- Colored pencils: Again, go with Crayola.
- Markers: Thin and thick packs of Crayola are great to have on hand.
- Glue: Elmer’s is the best.
- Glue sticks: The Elmer’s disappearing purple is perfect at helping kids can see how much is going on the paper.
- Rulers: Wooden rulers don’t break as easily as plastic ones.
- Paper: looseleaf, graph, construction: A wide variety of different types of paper is good to have on hand. If your kids need help keeping their math problems lined up, you may also want to get some graph paper.
- Index cards
- Notebooks: Spiral-for assignment notebooks, Composition-for schoolwork, Sketchbooks for Nature Study
- Binders: I use these to hold the boys’ notebooking papers and their music papers.
- 2-pocket folders: You will definitely want to get some of these at back-to-school sales. They are ridiculously high during the year.
- Supply caddy: Give each child his/her own caddy to hold personal school supplies. My boys keep theirs at their desk, and my daughter’s is on top of the bookcase above her book basket.
- Pencil boxes: Great to get during back-to-school sales. We use ours to hold extra crayons that we use outside of the classroom area. We also will use them in backpacks on nature walks or when traveling to hold supplies. They are also handy for storing card and dice games.
- Do-a-Dot Markers: These are wonderful at keeping little hands busy while you teach! Here are more ideas to occupy your younger children as you work with your school-age children.
- Chromebook: If you have an online math curriculum or other online lessons, you’ll want to get a Chromebook for your children. You can set parent controls on them so that they can only access sites you want them visiting.
How many supplies will you need?
You’ll notice there are no amounts to buy for the above items. That will completely depend on your family’s needs. Some of your curriculum may require certain supplies, and the amount of children you are teaching will also determine the number of supplies you need.
Personally, I usually try to mentally plan out how my children will complete their daily work. Looking through their books, I decide if they will need notebooks or folders for their material, or if I’m going to use binders to hold notebooking pages that I print out. Perhaps they’ll need colored pencils for a geography or science course. So you can keep a list of materials needed as you plan through your homeschool year.
I always buy spiral notebooks for each term and for each child because I use those as assignment notebooks. Composition books are used to complete their assignments because the pages do not come out as easily. We color code their supplies, so I buy all of their notebooks, folders and binders in their assigned color.
I usually buy other items like crayons, markers and gluesticks in sets of 2 for each child. That gives us an extra in case the first one gets lost or used up. I get a couple of 24 packs of pencils that we all use through the year.
Homeschool Teacher Supplies
- Pens: These Paper Mate Flair Pens are my favorite!
- Post-It Notes: A variety of sizes and colors are great to have on hand.
- Scissors: This brand is my favorite, and they come in left-handed. Yay! You fellow lefties know how great that is!
- Printer : I recently found this printer at Costco & it is amazing! In several months of printing lots of activity cards for my preschooler, I’ve hardly used any ink. So much better than my previous printer where I was buying ink every couple of months for over $70. The printer isn’t cheap, but I think in the long run, I’ll save on ink.
- Copy/printer paper
- Laminator and laminating pouches: I use my laminator a lot more with my younger kids, so if you only have older children then you may not need one.
- Cardstock: The kids will use this paper for cards and certain projects. I like to print off the items I plan to laminate on cardstock so that it’s more durable.
- Paper cutter: This is good for sizing printed items I’m laminating.
- 3 hole punch: I use this to put work into the 2 pocket folders or binders. It’s one of my most used tools.
- File folders: I use these to organize printables, to hold my receipts, and I have one for each child to hold important papers.
- Paper clips/binder clips
Related Post: How to Organize Your Homeschool for Stress-Free Day
Must Haves for Your Homeschool Room
Many of the must have items listed below are one-time purchases. Obviously you can homeschool without them, but they do make your lessons more effective. Cost-wise, I find some of these items may be less expensive at back-to-school time, and perhaps even in January when many people organize their homes. These supplies will be useful in your homeschool room.
- Magnetic whiteboard: This large wall board has worked great for us. You definitely want a magnetic board if you have a large one. I use ours many times everyday.
- Dry erase markers: I always use Expo brand–they don’t smell and don’t leave marker stains on our whiteboard.
- Eraser for whiteboard
- Radio with CD player: We’ve had this one for years with no problems. I use the CD player with our history audiobook and also to play classical music CD’s.
- Dictionary: Your kids can use a dictionary to find word meanings, correct spelling, and to practice necessary dictionary skills. We actually have 2: one for younger children and an intermediate dictionary for older students.
- Globe: Globes get quite a bit of use in a homeschool. Use one to find the location of read aloud settings and with geography books. It is also very helpful to show the earth’s rotation when studying astronomy and earth science.
- Maps: World and United States (or your country) maps, like globes, are used quite often with geography books. I’ve caught my kids just studying the maps in free time. I got ours at Walmart and bought poster frames to put them in for protection.
- Bookcases filled with lots and lots of books: I love having lots of picture books and chapter books available for my kids to peruse. You don’t have to buy all of them brand-new. I get most of ours from Thriftbooks and thrift stores or garage sales.
These homeschool supplies are pretty essential to our homeschool. My kids and I look forward to buying them each summer for the new school year. Not only can buying school supplies get you excited for the upcoming year, but buying them in the summer means back-to-school sales and more money in your pocket!
Related Post: How to Plan for the Best Homeschool Year