With the recent influx of new homeschoolers, I thought I would share my top 10 must-have items to buy for your homeschool. I cannot even count the number of parents who have asked me for guidance as they begin to navigate through their homeschool journey. Deciding to homeschool is a huge decision in the first place, but add a pandemic to that and concerns about safety, and it makes it even more challenging. There are questions swirling in your head, one of which has to do with supplies. I know that many of you are wondering what you will need to buy to have a successful year and that is how this list came to be.
I am not even going to dive into which curriculum is correct for your child at this point (that will be another post). There are so many different ways to homeschool, different laws for each state (they vary greatly), and the biggest part, finding out the learning style of your child.
What won’t be on my Top 10 Items to Buy for Your Homeschool list?
Assuming that you have an idea about the curriculum, I am only going to list basic supplies. Many parents are so used to the mile-long lists that are required from the public schools, but this is not that! You do not need to spend nearly as much as you used to. The money that you save can go towards curriculum or field trips. (praying that those are possible during COVID-19) I will separate the items on my list by grades to make it easier.
My Top 10 Items to Buy for Your Homeschool
# 1: Notebooks
For 2nd and under, choose primary books. Primary composition books have a large space at the top for a picture. Buy 2 for now.
For 3rd to 4th grade, choose wide ruled books. Buy 3
For 5th to 8th grade, choose larger spiral, wide ruled notebooks. Buy 2.
For High School, choose larger spiral, wide-ruled notebooks. Buy 2-4.
# 2: Scissors
For younger lower elementary, choose small Fiskar scissors. For older kids, choose the larger Fiskar scissors.
# 3: Crayons
For Pre-K to 4th, buy 3 boxes of 24 count, Crayola Crayons. (I am brand specific because they simply work so much better!)
# 4: Colored Pencils
Used from First Grade through High School. 1 box of Crayola Colored Pencils. (again, brand matters!)
# 5: Pencils
For Kindergarten and above, buy 1 box of Ticonderoga Pencils. They are simply the best and will last so much longer. The ones you find in a pack at the dollar stores shred when you try to sharpen them. The leads are not strong and they break easily. You will end up spending more because you will need to buy more to replace broken ones.
# 6: Electric/Battery-Operated Pencil Sharpener
This will probably be the most used item in your homeschool. At least it is in ours. We bought a battery-operated one because we travel frequently and we can just throw it in a backpack.
# 7: Folders
I always let my kids pick out special folders. It gives them ownership over their materials and somehow makes using them that much better! Buy 4.
# 8: 3 Ring Binder(s)
For 3rd grade to 7th grade, buy 1. For 8th and High School, buy 4 – 3 ring binders, or 1 large 3 ring binder. Or you could also from 5th up, buy a Mead zipper binder that can hold everything! It makes it so much easier when you travel.
# 9: Glue Sticks
Buy at least 3 small packs or 2 large Elmer’s Glue Sticks. Again, the brand does matter. Elmer’s is the best out there and they don’t dry out as quickly!
#10: Laminator and supplies
Parents, this will be your best friend! Seriously. Especially with the younger grades. Being able to laminate your own charts and manipulatives will be a lifesaver. I use ours for everything from their first-day grade signs to study guides that they can use dry erase markers on. Our children are one grade apart and we were able to reuse a lot of the items that our oldest used. It saved us a bunch of money.
This list is meant to be a starting point for you. Please do not think you have to go out and buy everything because of what you were used to buying. Before you buy ANYTHING, go through your house with a bin and grab anything that you think you might be able to use. You would be surprised how much you already have! Once you do that, you will have a better idea of what you don’t need to buy.
Once you get started on your homeschool journey, see what you need. Your curriculum may state exactly what supplies will be required. I always wait until after all the craziness of back to school (or whatever we are calling it this year) and THEN I grab additional supplies. Most of the time I will be able to score some awesome deals on clearance.
So there you have it! My Top 10 Items to Buy for your Homeschool! Make sure you head over to my Facebook page and join in on the conversation. If you are a veteran homeschooler, feel free to join in and share your must-haves for your homeschool!