You have decided to educate your children at home! That's step one to being a homeschooling family. Step two is buying all the curriculum and supplies.
Based on my twenty years of being a homeschooling mom I know all the things you should probably have on hand that will be the best thing for your homeschooling lessons.
Better yet, I have created a free worksheet printable for you. You can take this to the store when you go shopping or use as a checklist while you shop on Amazon.com
By the way, if you do use any of the link I provide for you below I do get a small commission. Thank you!
Let's start with school supplies that will come in handy no matter what grade your children are in.
General Miscellaneous Supplies
- Clear Adhesive Tape
This is to repair a library book or one of the expensive curriculum books you just spent a fortune on. Trust me, there will be tears. #punintended
GOOD: a roll of tape from Walmart for less than a buck.
BETTER: 4 rolls of Scotch Magic tape
BEST: You're also going to need adhesive tape holder that's heavy duty. This may not seem like a necessity. However, it makes it a lot harder to lose and the stainless steel blade insures a clean cut. This starter kit comes with 6 tape rolls and the dispenser.
- Clipboards are great to hold those worksheets and allows your child to do their homework wherever makes them comfortable.
GOOD: A good old fashioned brown hardboard clipboard for about $2.
BETTER: I like to color code all the things so this multi pack of 6 colorful clipboards is awesome. Either have a color for each child OR a color for each subject.
BEST: I prefer these slim case clipboards because the day's assignments can go inside and then the child can go wherever they want to do their work. They come in several colors, too! You can color coordinate with subject or child.
- Glue and glue sticks
- Stapler and staples
- Post its for you and some for your kids
- Don't forget the reward stickers!
Writing and Drawing Supplies
- Electric pencil sharpener and pencils
- pencil grips
- pencil erasers
- Markers, highlighters, colored pencils, and crayons
- Penmanship letter charts
- Lined penmanship paper (elementary students)
- Notebook paper (5th grade and up)
- mini dry erase boards – get these from DollarTree for a buck each
- dry erase markers
- white board eraser
- white board cleaner
Planning and Scheduling Supplies
- Erasable year at-a-glance wall calendar – you can write all the important dates and plans at once, the kids will see it, and they'll also be learning the months of the year. #winning
- Lesson planner notebook or software
Lapbook and Flash Cards Making Supplies
- 3-hole puncher
- 3-ring binders
- Colored construction paper
- white card stock
- book binder rings
- index cards
Storage & Organization
- bookshelves that are 31″ tall for most things that way the wall is for free for posters, art, calendars, etc.
- bookshelves with doors that are 71. 5″ tall for long term storage and to keep special items away from the children
- Multi-drawer storage containers (store daily to-do lessons or completed work)
- food storage bags of various sizes
- Pencil boxes
Electronics & Technology Supplies
- Computer with internet access
- iPad or Kindle Fire (I discussed the pro's and con's for using in a homeschool environment in this article.)
- printer, preferably one that prints in color and scans
- printer ink cartridges, try to always have one backup
Field Trip Tools & Supplies
- Waterproof backpack with lots of pockets
- Advanced Scout Compass Camping and Navigation
- math manipulatives
- calculator – simple one for Elementary level, multi-functional for 6th – 12th grade
- cash register & play money
- Graph paper
- scratch paper (reuse the backs of printed worksheets and such, never throw those away for just this purpose)
English/Language Arts Supplies
- Dictionary – yes, there are many online, but it teaches a child how to alphabetize!
- thesaurus – buy the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus for your children and children's children.
- Journal and composition notebooks
- magnets of various sizes, shapes, and kinds
- microscope slides
History and Geography Supplies
- printed map of your state showing your state, state capital, city, and your home
- Timeline charts (also comes in handy for literature studies)
Art Making Supplies
- Art smock (an old, oversized shirt put on backwards works great)
- Art supplies
- Beads (can also be used for math manipulatives)
- Craft table
- Craft supplies
- watercolor paper
- Paint and brushes
I think that covers everything. Be sure to get enough for all the children you have, including the littles. A Preschool workbook can be had for under $10 and will keep them quite content so you can focus on the older students. A small lapdesk will help them stay in one place, too!
That should get you started. Except, I can hear some of you now.
JACKIE! WHAT KIND OF DESK SHOULD I GET?!
Yeah, about that. So, here's the thing about desks. I have seen many parents buy wood desks that would make the Amish envious. And… their kids maybe used them twice. Don't forget, our children are HOME, their home. This is the place where all their favorite foods are, their favorite toys, possibly even their most loving pets are there.
Who is gonna want to make sure their back is straight and their feet are on the floor when there's a perfectly useful and comfortable couch a few steps away?
The absolute very best desk you can get for your homeschool is maybe a lap desk. Even cheaper is a hard piece of wood to hold a clipboard. Seriously, trust me on this.
Did I forget anything? If you've already bought homeschool supplies what item was the most important, and well used, for your family? If you have any questions please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear about that!