What are the best homeschool supplies? And what do you actually need? Today I’m sharing a list of homeschool must haves to keep on hand as well as things you can put on your wish list for later.
We’ve been homeschooling for five years and I’ve always found it helpful to see what other families are doing and what supplies they think really have benefited their homeschool.
So I am going to share our best homeschool supplies list with you. Not so you feel like you have to run out and purchase everything, but so I can share what has worked in our home and help you think through what you might need for this next year.
What supplies do I need to start homeschooling?
In my opinion, the bare necessities of homeschool supplies would be: Curriculum, paper/notebooks, scissors, pencils, a sharpener, and glue.
After those, probably a printer. The rest you could borrow or thrift until you are able to build up your stash of homeschool supplies.
And honestly, that’s how it works, most homeschool families start off small and with each homeschool year we grow our supplies right along with our home library. So don’t get discouraged if you can’t afford everything overnight. Most of us can’t. Just start small and build from there.
What are the best homeschool supplies?
What are the best homeschool supplies? Best, meaning most necessary and of highest quality. I’m going to share our favorites but do your own research (especially on the larger items) to make sure they are exactly what you are needing for your family.
Best homeschool supplies? Here we go…
Best Homeschool Supplies
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1. Homeschool Printer
This is probably the biggest and most used of the homeschool must haves. Especially if you print your curriculum like the Good and the Beautiful’s PDF Curriculum or find yourself trying to print multiple Gather ‘Rounding Units. For these types of heavy printing jobs, I’ve heard that the epson ecotank 3760 printer is currently the best for handling these big ink-consuming projects.
If printing curriculum is not something you plan on doing, I recommend to looking for a printer that has these qualities: copy, scan, double sided, laser, color.
Note: We have a Brother Printer, I like it. However, I did not get the double sided feature and I really regret that. So for next time, that is a must for my printer purchase.)
2. Laminator for Homeschool
I’m always amazed how much I use my laminator. I’ve had it for years, and it’s still going strong. From laminating flashcards and homeschool printables, to posters and notebook covers, a good laminator is very useful to a homeschool mom.
Note: you will need to purchase the thermal pouches to go along with your laminator, they are consumable.
3. An iPad for Homeschool
Our iPad is a work horse for our homeschool. We’ve used it for everything from educational apps (like Seterra Geography app) to online piano lessons. We also bought a plug-in keyboard so the kids could do their typing lessons on the iPad as well.
4. Large Paper Cutter for homeschool
A large paper cutter is something you don’t think about having until you find yourself at the kitchen table trying to tackle a mammoth-sized cutting project with a child’s pair of beginner scissors. Trust me, invest in a large paper cutter and it will save you so much time.
Besides, they are affordable and will more than likely last many, many years.
5. Electric Pencil Sharpener
One word of advice: go with heavy duty! We’ve been through a few pencil sharpeners over the years and I finally broke down a couple years ago and bought the AFMAF Heavy Duty Classroom Pencil Sharpener , its still going strong and kids use it every.single.day.
6. Hole Punches for Homeschool
To name a few things I use hole punches for: assembling my kids morning binders, my daughter’s preschool learning folder, and for storing my kids homeschool work samples in my teacher binder.
7. Homeschool White Boards
White boards are super-handy, paper-saving machines! If you have space for one, you could probably find a large one on fb market or Craigslist for a decent price.
Personally, we prefer using the lap book white boards. From working out math problems to writing down spelling words they really are one of the best homeschool supplies.
8. Art Caddy for homeschool
An art caddy is very useful for containing all of the random supplies that clutter your school area like pencils, glue sticks, scissors, highlighters, erasers, etc.
I got one at Hobby Lobby that sits in the middle of our table during school time and helps to keep my kitchen table from looking like an homeschool apocalyptic catastrophe.
9. A Large Homeschool Calendar
We have a large magnetic fridge calendar but you can get as creative as you want. Ours is basically a family calendar where we keep track of extracurricular activities, lessons, appointments, vacations, and things of that kind.
As a side note, we often refer to it for teaching the months as well as the days of the week to our younger kids.
10. Paper for Homeschool
You will need lined paper (various sizes), copy paper, card stock paper, sticky notes, graph paper, construction paper, index cards, and more than likely, a roll of butcher paper at some point. You will go through a ton of paper.
Note: Be sure to check thrift stores, garage sales, and homeschool supply stores to find discounted paper supplies.
11. Homeschool Stapler
Everyone needs a trusty stapler. I don’ have anything fancy but if you plan on letting yours kids use it or if you are an avid stapler yourself, perhaps a heavy duty stapler should be a priority.
12. Homeschool Measuring Tools
Ruler, protractor, kitchen scale, thermometer, yard stick, compass, and tape measure are all measuring tools that you will find yourself needing at some point during the course of homeschooling your kids.
These items are fairly inexpensive but are definitely homeschool must haves. Usually, you can find them for cheap at a back-to-school sales or even at thrift stores for next to nothing.
13. Glue and Tape for homeschool
Scotch tape, masking tape, washi tape, duct tape, double-sided tape, Elmers glue, hot glue, glue sticks, and maybe even super glue…whew! Perhaps you don’t need all of these adhesives at one time, but definitely a handful of them.
Glue sticks, scotch tape, and hot glue are considered essentials in our homeschool.
14. Craft Supplies for Homeschool
Whether you consider yourself crafty or not, you will more than likely need some craft supplies along the way. Here are a few things that I like to keep on hand: Wooden craft sticks, pipe cleaners, stickers, buttons, pom-poms, paper plates, felt, tissue paper, yarn/string, paint/brushes, brads, and chalk.
15. Writing Utensils for Homeschool
Obviously, number 2 pencils are a homeschool must have. I also like to keep colored pencils, crayons, markers, dry erase markers, and highlighters on hand.
I normally stock up on writing utensils during the back-to-school sales at the end of the summer. Also, as a side note: buy double of what you think you will use in pencils. Trust me, pencils are notorious for magically disappearing.
16. High-Quality Homeschool Art Supplies
This may not be a starter item, but as your kids get older and more experienced, they are going to graduate from Crayola and want some high-quality (more than likely, more expensive) homeschool art supplies. To name a few: richly pigmented watercolor pallets, varied paint brush sizes, soft oil pastels, canvases, pottery clay, and Acrylic paints.
We have slowly been adding some of these as our kids get older. In fact, if your kids are really into their art, these items make great Christmas or birthday gifts.
17. Three-Ring Binders
I feel like I buy these by the dozen! My kids use them for their morning binders, and for storing loose papers. I use them for printed resources, downloaded unit pdfs, and for everything else paper related.
In fact, we just switched from the file system to the binder system and it is working wonderfully.
18. Notebooks and Sketchbooks for Homeschool
I like to keep a stash of notebooks on hand for writing projects, nature notebooking, and drawing. I like to get the larger-lined composite notebooks for the younger kids, and then the regular, spiral bound, college rule for the older kids.
Notebooks are another homeschool supply item that you can find for cheap if you keep your eyes open. I’ve found tons of really unique notebooks (even leather bound) at thrift stores for a really great price.
19. A Homeschool Globe
You can get a homeschool globe online, at a department store, a homeschool school supply store, or possibly a thrift store. We have a small one I picked up a few years ago, and it has worked well for us.
Note: I do think, as my kids get older, we will probably need to upgrade to a larger, more detailed globe.
20. Homeschool storage containers
Storage containers are very helpful in keeping your homeschool organized, especially if you homeschool in a small space. Baskets, tubs, shelves, bins, and carts are just some of the practical items you can use to organize your homeschool.
Homeschool can sometimes take over a space. With that being said, every so often I do a good homeschool declutter, then organize and reorganize using the storage containers I have. And if I need to, I’ll purchase a few more.
21. Homeschool Wall Decor
Chalk boards, maps, and nature posters all are great ways to incorporate learning into your home decor without it looking too much like a classroom.
On the other hand, if you are blessed with a dedicated homeschool room, you can add your periodic tables, multiplication facts, or even a cute alphabet border.
How do I organize all of our homeschool supplies?
How do I store all these homeschool supplies in way that doesn’t take over my house? First of all, good luck. Homeschool doesn’t typically lend itself to minimalism. However there are definitely some tips and tricks to having an organized, aesthetically pleasing homeschool.
Here’s what I do:
- Declutter regularly
- Store what you are not using
- Use storage containers to organize your supplies
- Find a home right away for any new supply you add to your homeschool space
What are consumables for Homeschool?
Consumable supplies are items that will need to be replaced regularly. For your reference, here is a general list of homeschool consumables:
- thermal laminating pouches
- art/craft supplies
How do I prepare my home for homeschooling?
Above all, work on nurturing a home where your kids feel happy, safe, and loved. Because, regardless of how many supplies you have, the quality of your home will determine the quality of your homeschool.
As you shop for supplies, keep your priorities in mind and don’t sweat the small stuff. You can always get along with the bare necessities, use your local library, online resources, and thrift where you can.
Free Printable Homeschool Supply List
There is a free printable homeschool supply list in the Inspire the Mom free resource library. If you are already a community member, just hop on over there and get your copy. If not, you can sign up below to become a member and get access to the free homeschool supply list along with other exclusive content.
What would you add to this best homeschool supplies list?
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.