The Ultimate Homeschool Supply List
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Whether your child will enroll in distance learning or you’re all-out homeschooling this year, you’ll want to set up your home with the supplies you need. If you have never done anything like this before, know that you are not alone. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
What to Consider When Purchasing Homeschool Materials
- For furniture and the like, will it make learning comfortable and enjoyable?
- For supplies, will it help you stay organized?
- For hands on materials, does it enhance learning?
How We Chose Our Favorites
We spoke with classroom teachers and experienced homeschoolers to get the lowdown on what you really need to homeschool successfully, and what you can get by without. We also tapped into these expert’s advice to find out which brands were best.
Setting Up a Learning Space
If you’re going to homeschool, you must have a space where your child can learn. This space should be free of distractions. It should also be peaceful and comfortable. Lastly, you want it to be kid-friendly.
Here are our the must-have supplies for homeschooling:
We love this desk for a few great reasons. First, it’s foldable so you can make it work in small spaces that need to be used for multiple purposes. It’s a good height for kids to work at, and there’s no assembly required.
Having a rug space is important, even in the upper elementary grades. Lots of work (like sorting fractions) can be done on a rug and it provides a cozy space to read books together.
If you’re looking for something a bit more fun or interactive, consider this rug from Amazon.
Kids love bean bags. A bean bag is the perfect spot for independent reading time, which elementary-aged children can spend 30 minutes per day on. We guarantee that your kid will read more willingly if they have a special, cozy spot for it.
If you’re looking for an alternative to a bean bag for a reading nook for kids, consider this cozy piece of furniture from Amazon that is perfect for not only a homeschooling space, but any kids bedroom.
These plastic bins are the most versatile size. You can use them to store books or math supplies, and with bins, it’s easy to put everything away at the end of the school day.
You don’t need a full wall whiteboard to homeschool. But it’s great to have a mid-sized one to post a daily schedule. Kids like to know what to expect. Go for a magnetic whiteboard, like this one, so you can put up visuals and change them easily.
If you’re looking for a full-sized whiteboard, we recommend a mobile, double-sided option like this one from Amazon.
Getting Organized with School Supplies
Experienced homeschoolers will tell you how important it is to stay organized. One of the most common challenges beginning homeschoolers face is staying on top of the paperwork and keeping the most-needed supplies ready on-hand. Here’s what you need to keep a smoothly-running homeschool classroom:
Three ring binders are a great way to keep things organized. You can have a binder for each subject. We like these because they have a peekaboo front where you can slip in a cover. They are also the perfect width. An inch is wide enough to fit plenty of papers, but not so wide that it becomes cumbersome.
If you’re using three-ring binders to stay organized, purchasing a three-hole punch will make all the difference. There are so many flyers or handouts you’ll want to include that aren’t already three-hole punched.
No more staple jams or staple-related injuries. And since you’re not constantly pushing down on it, it doesn’t wear out quickly.
Pencils might seem obvious, but you may not realize how many of these babies you are going to need. We like these number 2 pencils, because they are durable and don’t have to be sharpened as often.
Colored pencils are super helpful for having kids diagram or illustrate scientific concepts. For example, you may teach them about plants’ vascular systems while they draw and label in their notebook. This 120-pack should last the whole year.
You will thank us for this. With this sharpener, you don’t have to waste tons of time cranking a hand sharpener. And best of all, it stops automatically when the pencil is sharp.
We are including a set of leveled readers in the organization section because so many homeschooling parents struggle with knowing what their kid should be reading and finding all the readers they need. A set like this will put your mind at ease. We love this one because the nonfiction topics provide content learning along with on-level reading.
Hands-On Learning Materials and Lesson Plans
Kids learn best with real life examples. The more tangible you can make things, the better. This is true for all ages but essential in the early grades.
Our favorite hands on materials that enhance learning:
Math must be taught in a hands-on way. This set includes everything you could need, including counters, base ten blocks, geometrical forms, and even a time-telling clock.
Science also really needs to be taught with as much doing as possible. This microscope will make kids feel like real scientists and give them access to so much knowledge. This one is a favorite among fifth to eighth graders, but it’s a great fit for all ages.
Ideal for upper elementary and above, this kit has everything you need to help your child master lines, angles, and everything geometry. Lots of kids love to use these tools to make creative art projects as well.
Keeping Up With Technology
Today’s classrooms make use of technology on a daily basis. When used intentionally, tech can greatly enhance education and learning. Just make sure that you supervise your kids because children can get off task easily when they’re connected to the Internet!
Coding is quickly joining the core subjects in schools all over. Keep your child on track and get them learning to code in a fun way with this iPad-compatible kit. The best thing about Osmo games is how they don’t just use a screen. Instead, pieces that kids can manipulate with their own hands interact with the screen.
Older children may need their own laptop for at-home learning, especially if parents are working from home on the only computers in the house. A Chromebook is a great choice. It is an affordable option at less than $300. Plus, Chromebooks solely operate on a browser, so the speed won’t get bogged down by a bunch of downloads and you can’t get viruses.
If you’re looking for a tablet for learning, check out The Best Tablets for Kids in 2020.