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Looking for a must-have list for elementary homeschool supplies? You are in just the right place.
You have taken the leap and decided to homeschool your kids. But now what?
Time to decide what supplies you really need for your “classroom.” Check out my must-have homeschool supplies list below that includes my exciting commentary on why I think they are must-haves. 😃
Be sure and check out the back to school sales stock up on all the basics!
Must-Have Homeschool Supplies
Don’t have one? You better go out and get one for you and each of your kids ASAP.
Having a library card will save you hundreds of dollars on books, audiobooks, and DVDs. We load our library book bag up every week with daily reading books and supplements for our science and history curriculums. Between myself and both of my kids, we almost always have the max checked out on one of our library cards!
That Sticky Wall Stuff
No…that is not the technical name, but that is what I refer to it as. I previously had this on the optional list, but love it soooooo much that I moved it up to the must-haves!
Plasti-Tak has transformed our dull and boring homeschool room into my kids’ art gallery. I love this stuff, seriously. If you have any space at all to put up maps, favorite quotes, kids’ art then you need this sticky stuff in your life!
If you plan on teaching social studies or science, invest in a world map or globe. Maps and globes help children really visualize our world and where things fit into it.
A map is easy to stick to the wall for hands-on use, but a globe really helps them visualize Earth. If you have the budget and space, get both, if not, go with the map. You can store it easier and use it on a tabletop if needed.
Pencil Sharpener – A Good One
Let me be honest, I tried to get away without investing in a good pencil sharpener. We made it several months, but we’ve “seen the light” of a good pencil sharpener and our world has changed.
Seriously, don’t put it off like I did. Between dropped and lost pencils, a sharpener will be used every single school day and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a crummy sharpener.
You may be asking yourself, do I really need this? Personally, I don’t know how we’d make it without one, but you may be different. We use ours multiple times a week for printing or copying lessons, worksheets, weekly checklists, color sheets and other fun activities.
I know this is a larger purchase, but consider:
- Do you have multiple children that will be working on the same worksheets at the same time?
- Will you need to save original worksheets for another year?
- Do you want to be able to resell your worktexts?
- Will you be purchasing a curriculum online that you’ll need to print and bind yourself?
- Would you like to be able to make or print off your own color sheets, flash cards, or other resources?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then chances are that you should invest in a color printer and copier.
Paper, Paper, and More Paper…
Obviously, if you have a printer you need printer paper. Cardstock is perfect for flash cards and other resources that you plan to use more than a couple of times.
Some homeschool moms like to use laminators for long-term use resources, and you may want to do that, but I don’t think it is a must-have – just personal preference. Since I am only homeschooling two children, the durability of cardstock is working just fine for us.
Clipboards are awesome for on the go homeschooling. If you need to do school in the car while traveling or need to have a flat place to write on while on your nature hike, a regular sized clipboard is great!
I use our clipboards for on the go schooling and for everyday school. The clipboard is the home for the kids’ daily checklists. I honestly have no idea why, but we already had clipboards around the house. I am suprised at how handy they are!
Yes, this one probably goes without saying but be prepared with LOTS of pencils. I know it is shocking, but kids lose pencils like they lose socks. It’s there next to them one minute and then “poof” it is gone….maybe it will found in a few days, maybe not. (Just like the infamous sock monster…. maybe the pencil and sock monster have a side business together.)
But seriously though, you will need to invest in a box of good #2 pencils, more if you have more than one child. It’s a good idea to allocate one box per child. Yes, I know that may sound a little crazy, but trust me it will help keep you sane.
This goes alongside number one, but it’s still a must-have. Whether you want to invest in the little pencil cap erasers or a good stand alone eraser, you still need extra erasers. Why, you ask? Because your kids will LOVE to erase…not just erase what needs to be changed but EVERYTHING on the same line as that tiny mistake.
Unless you want to use even more pencils, go ahead and invest a couple dollars in some extra erasers.
I’m sure you already have a lot of crayons hanging around the house that need to be used. Do like we did and toss them all, no matter the shape or size, into a fancy bowl to add some color to your school table. A bowl of crayons is handy to have around for everyday coloring activities. But go ahead and plan to buy a new 24 pack of crayons for each child to keep in the box. The box crayons are perfect for “on the go” school or special crafts.
If you want to invest in color pencils or markers go for it, but they are not really a necessity. Colored pencils are great for detail work, so they would be a good addition if you plan on notebooking or journaling.
Scissors and Glue
You’re working with elementary kids, so of course, you’ll need scissors and glue periodically for activities. Stick glue, white glue, clear glue….take your pick, just have some glue on hand. Be sure and invest in a good pair of scissors for you and your kids, they will come in handy.
It is so hard to find a good pair of scissors for kids that cut well, but won’t cut them! I was able to find some great ones at Ikea for really cheap. But if you are like us and don’t have an Ikea nearby, these scissors get really great reviews on Amazon.
3 Hole Paper Punch
Okay, so now what are you going to do with all of those math worksheets you just printed off? Well, hole punch them and put in a binder of course!
At the end of every day, or at least every week, the kids gather their loose papers, hole punch them, and place in their corresponding labeled binder. This is a nice little cleanup and organization lesson for them.
Binders are very durable and are great for keeping your curricula organized. Unless you just want to stock up on binders that are a variety of sizes, this one should probably wait until you have your curriculum mapped out. Once you know what you won’t get in neat little-prebound worktexts, you can figure out how many and how large your binders need to be.
White Out, Stapler w/ Staple Remover and Paper Clips
Need I mention why? One day a time will come and you will need each of these items, then you will wonder how you never had it before!
Optional Fun Stuff
Now if your budget allows, it’s your turn to have some fun with homeschool supplies you’d like to have on hand! Here are some things that will come in handy and some that are just fun to have.
- “Teacher Bin” – Treat yourself with a cute basket or bin to keep your materials in.
- School Room Decorations – Have fun and decorate it up!
- Colored Pens – Who doesn’t love colored pens?
- Glitter glue & Glitter – Um, doesn’t that just sound fun…. or just messy?
- Sticky Notes – Fun colors and a variety of sizes to use as bookmarks and handy notes.
- Fun Craft Supplies – It is always handy to have some basic craft supplies on hand. You know best what your kids will enjoy and is practical for you.
Go Shopping and Have Fun
It really doesn’t take much to get your homeschool stocked and ready. Whether you have a school room or just your kitchen table, your homeschool supplies don’t need much space and don’t need to break the bank. Just another perk of homeschooling… no long lists of supplies to shop for or large supply fees to hand over!
Start with your basic supplies. Then as you figure out what will come in handy or just fun to have around, add it to your homeschool stash!
If you would like a shopping checklist with these basic homeschool supplies, click to download my Elementary Homeschool Supplies Shopping List.
Homeschooling is hard work but is also pretty awesome. I wish you the best in your new homeschool adventure!
New to homeschooling, you may also find these posts helpful:
- Homeschool Expenses: A Look Inside Our First Year
- How to Start Homeschooling Checklist
- 8 Must Watch Homeschooling TED Talks
- 10 Fundamental Questions to Ask Before Homeschooling
- Should I Homeschool: Our Homeschool Decision Story
- Why Not Consider Year-Round Homeschooling?
- New to Homeschool: Making Sense of Homeschooling Styles
- A Week in an Eclectic Homeschool