So what supplies do you need to homeschool? Figuring out the answer to that question can be overwhelming and confusing. Don’t worry though, I got you covered with this list of 20 Supplies Every Home School Needs.
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How much does it cost to home school?
Homeschooling is a funny thing as far as cost goes. It can range from free to very expensive depending on what you want to do and what your budget is.
The awesome thing about homeschooling is that it’s so flexible.
That said though, here is a list of 20 supplies I currently use and feel that every home school needs for success and sanity.
This list contains items I currently use or have used in my home school.
Ready to begin?
Oh, wait! First, let’s grab this handy checklist I created to help you keep yourself organized and to ensure you don’t forget anything.
Okay, now you’re ready to start. Let’s do this!
20 Must-Haves For Your Home School
1.) Binder Clips
These are amazing! I love, love, love them.
These are used for everything, seriously.
They have become my new chip/bag clips. I use them for keeping cords neat and to hang my kid’s artwork from pushpins on our art wall.
You can also use them in your home school to help keep large packets of paper together neatly.
These ones on Amazon are so cute and colorful and kinda expensive, honestly. I bought mine at the Dollar Store – 12 for $1 – can’t beat that!
2.) Single Punch – Hole Puncher
Great for anything you want to put on a ring such as flashcards. Definitely, a must-have.
Grab yours here or at any school supply store.
3.) 3 – Hole Puncher
Must have if you are planning to use binders at all.
Make sure you get a heavy-duty one that can punch at least 10 sheets at a time.
Don’t skimp on this one, I have done that and just ended up buying a nicer one after my cheap one broke, I bought mine at Walmart.
4.) 1″ 3-Ring Binders
Use one of these for each subject. It keeps everything in its place in a very organized manner. I make labels for them and use post-it tabs for different sections.
5.) Post-it Notes
Okay, so confession time.
I am obsessed with post-it notes. I mean it’s kinda ridiculous and my kids make fun of me for it, but I love them.
You can use these post-it notes in all shapes and sizes for homeschooling.
I also use them to leave myself teacher notes on a lesson for things like to this first or page number 27. They can be used to tell me which child that particular lesson is for. I even use them for putting dates or days of the week on worksheets or in books so I can stay organized.
The tab ones, as I mentioned before, are great to use in binders to help create sections.
6.) File Box
A file box can be a great place, one for each kid, to store any work that I want to keep.
I organize it by year.
It’s nice to look back on what they have accomplished. Also very helpful for grading. I’m not great at entering my grades on a regular basis, in fact, I am always way behind. Having their papers in one place if helpful for this purpose.
Another use for a file box is as a planner. You can read all about how I have used one file box to plan out our entire school year here.
7.) Hanging File Folders
Kind of a no-brainer.
You need these in order to use the file box. If you think you will have a lot of worksheets, you may want to consider these thicker ones.
8.) Dry Erase Boards
Dry-erase boards rock!
They save paper!
My kids have always loved using them. At times, so much that I have had to take them away.
These are great for quizzes and spelling tests, even quick art lessons.
9.) Dry Erase Markers
Gotta have these to use on the boards.
These are great for the kids to use because they are a fine tip and come with a build-in eraser.
Get these for the large whiteboard because the fine tip is too small for it.
10.) Dry Erasers
You’ll need these to erase the board obviously, but these magnetic ones are especially handy because they will stick right to the board.
Must have to staple things together. Again, get a good one the first time, it’ll save you money and the frustration of having to replace the cheap one when it breaks.
This one comes with a staple remover, which is handy for when your nine year old wants to help staple packets together.
12.) Glue Sticks
Way better than liquid glue simply for the less mess factor.
These are purple when they go on so you can see where you are putting the glue, ingenious!
We use clipboards on those days when the kids can’t sit at their desks even one more minute.
You know those days, right?
All squirmy and restless. Can’t for the life of them pay attention.
These are the days I pull out my List of Friday Fun Days Ideas, grab a clipboard and proceed to a new location for learning.
You can read more about ways to keep your kids engaged here.
14.) Desk Organizer
This is one of my favorite purchases we made this past year when I remodeled our home schoolroom.
It has really helped us keep things tidy and organized. I placed it right on top of my kids’ desks. We keep their textbooks, workbooks, whiteboards, and sketchbooks in it.
It’s a fantastic tool for keeping things simplified and convenient.
15.) Organizer Cup
Right now, we are using mesh cups to keep pens, pencils, highlighters, scissors, and compasses in.
When the kids were younger, we used these cute little buckets that you could write on with dry erase markers that were really fun.
As my kids have gotten older, though, they wanted something more sophisticated, so there you go.
These mesh cups are available in black or in color, giving you some variety.
16.) Frixion Erasable Ball Point Pens
Where have these been all my life?
Erasable pens have changed everything. These pens erase as well as a pencil.
I use them in my planners as well as in my home school. An awesome tool you must get for yourself, trust me, you’ll be very happy you did.
I have bought these from Amazon and also from Walmart, they are about the same price either place.
17.) Headphones or Earbuds
If you home school more than one kid, you will definitely want a pair of headphones or earbuds for each of them, maybe even for yourself.
I get everyone their own pair because who likes to share earwax, honestly.
I find that more and more, we are using digital/online lessons. With these lessons, there are usually instructional videos with sound.
If your kids in the same room, being able to have them use headphones, allows everyone to keep working at the same time without disturbing one another.
You don’t need to spend a bunch of money on them, these simple ones will do just fine.
For years, I dreamed of having a laminator but couldn’t justify the cost of one when there was always something else we needed to purchase.
A couple of years ago, I found this one and decided to go for it.
Do you know what I found?
Having a laminator actually saves me money!
It saves me money on paper and printer ink.
I print my planners out once and reuse them over and over. I use it to make posters and signs for our schoolroom. You can use it to make flashcards and bookmarks too.
Plus, my daughter loves the sound laminated paper makes, “Sounds like thunder!”
19.) Laminator Pouches
You need these to use your laminator. Simply place your document into the sleeve, then feed it into the machine and Voila!
20.) Laser Printer
I know what you’re thinking.
She’s lost her mind if she thinks I can afford a color laser printer!
I thought the same thing.
Until that is until I actually researched them, only to discover that they would actually save me money.
You heard that right.
Buying a laser printer paid for itself in one year.
Plus, I think you will be surprised to see how affordable they are now. When I had an inkjet printer, I was spending $120 on ink every three months. I rarely used color because the ink was so expensive.
Now, with my laser printer, having had it for 1 ½ years, I haven’t replaced the color toner and have only replaced the black once. I have printed 1200 black and white pages and 165 color pages, some of which were full color. The toner costs about $60 for two black and 1 of each color.
Here’s the one I bought, but now I see they have a newer one that costs less, even better.
I hope this list has helped you get an idea of what you need for your home school and how much it will cost.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by this, please.
It took me a number of years to be able to get everything on this list. Prioritize your needs and plan out your purchases.
That’s the beauty of homeschooling. You can do it on any budget. You are in control of it completely.
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You’ve Got This!
Looking for a way to save money so you can afford this stuff sooner? Check out my post about tips to save you time and money.
Until next time…