It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been homeschooling for more than a decade now. The oldest will be delving into 9th grade curriculum in a few weeks, while the other two are starting 7th and 3rd grades. I have absolutely no idea where the time has gone.
As I was prepping for this school year, I started making a list of the school supplies that we have to replenish. After this long, that list has gotten a lot shorter than when we started the oldest on a preschool curriculum. It made me think a lot about what’s really important and needed for new homeschoolers. There’s so much out there that it sometimes feels like you must buy all of the things! Thankfully for your budget, that’s not the case. In fact, if you stick with the 10 suggestions below, you’ll be set for the school year.
School Supply List for New Homeschoolers
1. A Computer with Internet Access
I know, I know, that’s a huge one right off the bat, but hear me out. We’re living in a digital age and even if you’re doing a Charlotte Mason style curriculum, your child will still benefit from online learning. You can use a computer for everything from watching videos on how animals migrate to creating PowerPoints on nature studies to writing and illustrating simple sentences. You might also want to check out online classes for additional learning opportunities. It doesn’t have to be a fancy computer, but it should be one that has plenty of memory and runs quickly for optimal performance. You definitely don’t want to spend your day waiting for pages to load. One thing we learned not to skimp on was high-speed Internet service. With so many devices running during the day, the cheaper, but slower Internet access was just not working and caused more frustrations than necessary. Here’s the type of computer we use and love if you’re looking for suggestions.
2. A Wireless Printer
In addition to the computer, our wireless printer is the most used electronic in the house. It connects via wifi and we’re able to print from every device in the house from anywhere our wifi signal reaches. We’ve had our printer for about seven years now, but it’s still going strong. Here’s the latest model of the one we have.
3. Copy Paper
While you’re going to need copy paper for your printer, it’s also perfect for creating booklets, drawing, coloring, painting, recording science experiment results, and using as all purpose paper. We typically buy a case of it at the beginning of the school year and use it throughout the year.
If you have a pencil eating monster that sneaks into your house in the middle of the night and eats all of your pencils like we have, make sure you stock up on plenty of pencils. I think the pencil eating monster is a relative of the sock eating monster…
Whether you’re a Mr. Sketch smelly marker fanatic or a fine point Crayola washable fan, get a couple of packs of markers in different thicknesses. Fine points are great for detail work and thick points are better for filling in areas. I usually get each child their own set of each marker thickness just to cut down on any sibling arguing.
6. Lap Desks
While my kids have their computer desks and can work at the dining room table if they need to spread out, I’ve discovered that they also enjoy working while sitting on the sofa or in the rocking chairs on the front porch. Honestly, I don’t really care where they work as long as they can focus and concentrate. These lap desks have served us especially well and each child has their own. They’re big enough to fit their laptops too!
7. A Library Card
Want a free homeschooling resource? Grab a library card from your local library. You can take out books on just about anything your kids are curious about and most libraries now offer ebooks through a service called OverDrive. You can download the OverDrive app onto your smartphone or tablet so that you can read wherever you go.
I always let the kids pick out special notebooks at the beginning of the school year, because there’s just something motivating about a fresh, clean, fun notebook. Since a couple of the kids like to keep journals, I also let them pick out a new journal at the start of the school year, as well. I’d suggest keeping plenty of notebooks on hand for your children’s creative minds.
9. Magnifying Glass
I’ve been known to keep our school magnifying glass in my purse when we’re out. It’s weird, I know. BUT, it’s a great example of how we’re used to capitalizing on learning opportunities no matter where we go. A walk along the river? Break out the magnifying glass and take a look at the wooly caterpillar inching its way across the path. It doesn’t matter where we are, there’s always something to take a look at. So, grab a magnifying glass and keep it on hand for impromptu learning!
Yep, grab a ruler, because it’s one of our most used homeschool tools. We use them daily for math and art – and even music! Space-saving tip: Try to find ones with a hole at the top, because then they can be stored on a hook on the wall.
While it may be tempting to buy all of the things, keep in mind that homeschooling really allows you the flexibility of not having to over stock and to pick up things as you need them throughout the year. My advice is to start with the basics and add on as needed. Keep a list of what you’ve purchased and then re-evaluate next year to determine what got used and what you could have done without. By the end of your first decade of homeschooling, you’ll be a pro! 😉
Happy homeschooling, friends!
Find more school supply suggestions from other homeschool moms at this link-up!