This homeschooling supplies list has my favorite homeschool essentials as well as my favorite “nice to have” items.
I love to buy homeschool supplies. Every year I get excited when the supplies go on sale! Since I have been buying homeschool supplies for over 15 years I definitely know which things have been absolute must haves for our school. I want to share them with you and also give ideas on how to get them as cheaply as possible. You can homeschool even on a very tight budget!
Homeschool Supply List
Essential Homeschool Supplies
- Spiral Notebooks- I usually pay under 20 cents for these! And we use them constantly. These are an extremely cheap way to organize your homeschool. You can label one for each subject. Or you can label each one with just your child’s name, and let them use it whenever paper is needed.
- Pencils-You can find these for a good price online as well. These Amazon basics pencils work well, and are a good price.
- Erasers-these pink ones are my favorite.
- Pens-Often there will be coupons for these. Use the coupon during the back to school sales to get very cheap or free pens!
- Crayons-these are usually really cheap during the back to school sales. These are very helpful for kids who need something to do while you read. Some kids listen better when their hands are busy. (These crayons are always a favorite.)
- Colored Pencils
- Glue and Glue Sticks-this should definitely be on your list of essential homeschool supplies if you have hands on learners.
- Scissors-It makes mom’s life much easier when everyone has their own scissors! At our house we are always needing them for something. There are also scissors with blunted edges for your younger students.
- Pencil Box-You can get one for each child, and put their names on them. We usually store pencils, markers, crayons, and glue sticks in them.
- Copy paper-We find all kinds of uses for copy paper. We use them for art lessons and crafts. I also print homeschool worksheets and planner printables, and so I always try to keep a stock of copy paper.
- Stapler-If you don’t already have one, you are going to want to get one!
- Construction Paper-kids have lots of fun with construction paper!
- Binders-these are super useful for organizing curriculum that you have printed.
- Homeschool Planner-You are going to need to do some planning for your homeschool-especially if you are an eclectic homeschooler. (Eclectic means you learn in all kinds of ways from all kinds of resources.)
Other Must Have’s for Homeschoolers
There are a few other purchases you may also want to consider for your homeschool. These are one time purchases that will be used for many years! These are items that we use constantly, and they are definitely must have’s for our family.
- Bookcase(s)-I read one time that one question that new homeschoolers need to ask is “Where am I going to put all the bookcases?” We have certainly found this to be true! Bookcases make life a lot easier because the books are easy to see and organize. Otherwise the books can seem to overtake your home!!
- Filing Cabinet-I use mine for organizing papers I want to keep. I also have a homeschool folder for records needed for the state. I also have a folder for curriculum ideas. You get the picture-I use a lot of folders! 🙂
- CD Player–This is a heavily used item in our homeschool! It is definitely a homeschool essential for us. My kids listen to character building resources like Adventures in Odyssey, or the Chronicles of Narnia radio theater (highly recommended!). We have also used it to listen to History CD’s. We also use it to listen to classical music cd’s.
- Pencil Sharpener-We have a manual pencil sharpener-it didn’t cost very much and has worked well for us.
- Globe–This is so nice to have! It gives a better perspective of where things are than just using flat maps, and it is more accessible than trying to find the right map. (Though we do use maps also!)
- Printer–I love my printer and use it for all kinds of things. I print schedules, chore lists, math worksheets, and much more! I would like to share that we didn’t own a computer or printer when I first started homeschooling. We learned bunches anyway. This might be a purchase that you could put off if you are on a tight budget. Of course, we use our computers a lot now!
I am just using my old printer right now, but if you want a printer that is highly rated by homeschoolers, check this one out. This printer is loved by homeschoolers because it prints a very long time without needing ink refills. That adds up to a lot of saved money.
- Dictionary-We have had a dictionary around for a long time. Both of my girls love words, and will read the dictionary for fun! I think it is an important for kids to learn how to use a dictionary.
Really Nice to Have Homeschool Supplies
- Counters-If you want you can use free things for counting like cheerios or clothespins. But it is really nice to have counters that are appealing to kids. We liked these bear counters.
- Laminator-laminated things can last a very very long time. But regular paper can get dirty or messed up really easily! You can make reusable posters, flash cards, crafts etc. with a laminator.
- 3 Hole Punch-I got this when my kids were older, so I am putting it in the “nice to have” list. However, it is a super useful tool! I can print out all kinds of curriculum online and then put it all neatly in a binder.
- Whiteboard-I have homeschooled mostly without one. However, if you are teaching multiple kids at the same time, I can see why it can be a big help!
Homeschool Essentials on a Budget
When the school supplies go on sale each year, I make sure to stock up. Super stores, office supply stores, and drug stores all have good sales on school supplies usually starting in August.
You may want to pick up a newspaper around that time to see which stores have the best prices. The newspaper will often have coupons as well.
For the larger items like bookcases, check out Facebook selling groups or Craigslist. Sometimes you can find some great deals that way! Superstores sometimes carry cheap bookcases, but the sturdiness varies.
We have quite a few bookcases, but we also use a piece of furniture that was given to us as a way to organize some of our homeschool books and supplies. I think it was a TV cabinet and has 3 drawers, and a door. So, if you can find other pieces of furniture for free or cheap you may be able to make that work!
Homeschooling Supply Checklist
Here is a free printable homeschool supply list that you can take with you shopping! (Or if you’re like me sometimes you just want a list to help you think about things!) Click here to download the homeschooling supples list. (The black and white homeschool supply checklist below is included in the download).
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