This list of homeschool supplies cuts out the junk you don’t need while focusing on the items that you really do want for starting homeschooling. Some homeschool supplies are over-rated while other homeschool supplies are essential...learn what you need and what you can skip.
One of my fondest memories about back to school was going school supply shopping. There’s nothing better than getting fresh, brand-new pens, markers, notebooks, etc. I remember how exciting it was to pick out which Lisa Frank folder was the perfect one for me. As a kid, it was so exhilarating to me whether I got the purple pencil case or the turquoise pencil case. School supply shopping is fun for kids….even as homeschoolers, I still take my kids homeschool supply shopping to get them excited for the new year!
But, remember, homeschooling is NOT recreating school at home….so there’s a few essentials that you do need to make life easier, there’s a few fun things to pick up, but there’s definitely some homeschool supplies that are over-rated.
Homeschool Supplies: What to Buy and What You Can Skip
These homeschool supplies are perfect for any age...the nice thing about homeschool is that you don't have to buy new school supplies every year. So, invest in some really good quality items that will last and you can use year after year.
Watch for future posts on age specific homeschool supplies.
I never realized how much use we would get out of a globe. In fact, I skipped this purchase during our first year homeschooling and regretted it. I bought a cheap blow up globe from the dollar store to get us through.
When I discovered this globe and all of the interactive elements, I knew it would be perfect for our homeschool!
We do a TON of art in our homeschool. Which is great....but....it also leaves us with piles of artwork laying everywhere.
I bought 4 of these frames and hung them up in our living room. Now, when the kids create their artwork, they can hang it in these frames. Which means no more piles of artwork laying around cluttering up the house.
Speaking of artwork....this is the BEST multi-purpose paper that I have found for making art. It's thicker than regular construction paper and holds up amazingly well to painting, oil pastels, markers, etc.
If you do a lot of art, it's a good idea to invest in decent paper...not only will the paper hold up better to different mediums, but it will also allow those mediums to come out properly.
A good printer is a must have for any homeschool family! I love the HP printers because they come with HP InstantInk....basically a subscription service that tracks when you need ink and sends it to you automatically.
This particular printer comes with 6 months of HP InstantInk service for free. So, my suggestion is, when you register, sign up for the highest print plan...then you can change it to a lower plan before your free months end.
If you're getting a printer then you're going to need paper. I prefer to get the Amazon Basics Copy paper because it's inexpensive and I can put it on a regular shipping schedule....no running out of paper for us!
A laminator isn't a "must have" but it's a "nice to have" homeschool supply. You'll have certain pages in curriculums that you'll want to keep for coming years and a laminator is a great way to preserve it.
A laminator is also great for pieces to educational games that you print out. Or to preserve special pieces of artwork or writing assignments. I use this guy more than I originally thought I would!
This rolling cart has been a game changer in our homeschool organization!!
Early on I found that having a "homeschool room" was a complete waste! We were always doing schoolwork in other places and very rarely did schoolwork in our "homeschool room". Most of the time we're doing school right where we live....in the kitchen, living room, dining room table, and outside.
This cart allows me to keep all of our essential school supplies in a central location that we can roll around to wherever we want.
A high quality pencil sharpener will save your sanity....trust me!
I've tried cheapsy pencil sharpeners and they just eat up the pencils, don't sharpen correctly, or break easily. I was turned onto this pencil sharpener by a teacher friend...it's the only one she'll use in her classroom...in fact, she has 3 of them!
These are the ONLY pencils I buy anymore. When my kids were in public school I thought the teachers were just being picky by requesting "Ticonderoga Pencils"...but I quickly realized that these really are "The World's Best Pencil".
Other pencils break easily, don't sharpen properly, and cause lots of frustration. But, since these use higher quality lead and higher quality wood, we haven't had any pencil troubles since switching.
Trust me....it's worth the extra dollar to get a good quality pencil! Because once you start using a good quality pencil...you'll notice you won't be buying them as often and ultimately one box will last for years!
I used to buy the 12 pack of colored pencils every year when our local stores would have their back to school sales. But the kids were limited on color choices when doing art projects.
So last year I invested in the big pack with 100 different colors....and I'm not needing to buy more this year. The kids just know that this BIG pack of color pencils stays on our school cart. And it wasn't that much more than buying the little 12 pack....plus, these will probably last us several years.
Just like with the color pencils, I went ahead and invested in the larger pack of crayons to give the kids choices in colors.
Instead of traditional crayons, I found the kids prefer these Twistables because they hold them just like pencils which is more comfortable for them. And, you just twist them upwards instead of trying to find a crayon sharpener.
Do you have a child who prefers to write in pen? Does it drive you crazy that they want to write in pen all of the time?
Well, my son is one of those kids. He hates using pencils and we were constantly arguing about why he needed to use a pencil for math...and then I realized....I have the hang-up of using pencils because of my traditional school days. It's one of those things that was ingrained in us.
Well, a few weeks ago I read an article that explained how kids with ADHD don't do well with pencils because the tactile experience is in constant flux. Since pencils use lead that starts out sharpened and consistently dulls as you write more it creates a new experience which causes ADHD individuals to lose focus on what they're working on.
It totally made sense! So we switched to pen....and then a friend told me about these erasable pens. Now we use these and there's no more arguments. My son can erase things as needed and he doesn't need to use a pencil.
And unlike erasable pens from when I was a kid....these actually erase!