Today I want to bring you my top 10 homeschool supplies. Everyone has their favorite homeschool supplies and things they think are necessary to homeschool. I am not including things like a homeschool room. Although I love our homeschool room and enjoy being able to keep all the mess in a room that does not include our main living spaces, we homeschooled for several years without that luxury. I’m going to count down my top 10 list as I tried to put them in a priority order. So without further ado…
TOP 10 HOMESCHOOL SUPPLIES
#10 Magnetic White board
I love having my magnetic white board and for several subjects it was a must have. We use reading and spelling from All About Learning Press. These curricula come with magnetic letter tiles that you are supposed to display on a white board on the top and sides so that you can assemble and make words in the middle. I also expect to use it more for things like math, science and history as my child gets older. Our magnetic white board is 2ft x 3ft and I wouldn’t recommend getting one smaller than that as your main board. I do have a smaller one for my son to use at his desk for spelling as we don’t generate a lot of useless paper that way.
#9 A Good Pencil Sharpener
For some people this is much higher on their list and a year ago it would have been for me as well. But, since then my son has discovered and developed a love for mechanical pencils. I still use the pencil sharpener for colored pencils and my red grading pencils, but we don’t have to sharpen regular pencils all the time anymore. Still a good one is a necessity so it doesn’t chew up your pencils and that’s why it made my top 10 homeschool supplies list! I am currently using a battery powered version and have had no problems.
#8 Storage Carousel
I first saw another homeschool mom have one of these in a Youtube video of her homeschool room. I knew I just had to get one because they looked so useful for keeping all the necessary items at your fingertips while also keeping them organized. In our carousel we have all of our pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, erasers, glue sticks, scissors and led refills. It holds a ton! These are typically marketed as craft or scrapbook storage. You can get them at places like Joann Fabric, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. Amazon even carries this one. Some have more compartments than others and some have drawers while others don’t. My version is the one from Hobby Lobby.
#7 Binding Machine
This is my binding machine. I only got it about a year or so ago. Before I bought my own binding machine I would take books I printed out to an office supply store to have them bound. I would then pay for a front and back cover and the binding coil that would never be used again. Now, I invested in packs of coils and front and back covers and if I want to I can remove them at the end of the year from the books I made and use them again. In the first year along the machine paid for itself. You can sometimes get these on significant sale at office supply stores, which is when I picked up mine.
One of the first things I bought specifically for homeschool was this laminator. For multi-child families this should be a no brainer. Laminating a lot of curricula will allow re-use for many years to come. I only have one child, but I still find it very useful especially in younger years. You can make playdoh mats for learning your letters, dry erase pages for practicing letter formation, or just strengthen pieces of curricula that you will be using over and over throughout the year. The initial cost is less than the binding machine, but where you can use binding materials over and over, you cannot do so with lamination sheets so there is definitely ongoing costs if you do a lot of laminating. The best price you can get is to buy the sheets in bulk.
#5 Rolling Cart
Rolling cards can be very useful. So useful that I have 3 different kinds of rolling carts which is why they had to make my top 10 homeschool supplies list! I started out with this one I got from Joann Fabrics. By labeling each subject and putting all the materials we needed for that subject in the drawer, it made our school day very organized. I then kept the bottom drawer for saving finished papers. This worked well for the preschool years while we homeschooled in our dining room. Many places have a version of this cart, here’s a very colorful one on Amazon.
As we moved on to kindergarten and had more and more books, I bought this rolling cart from Target to store all the books. Again we were homeschooling in our dining room and didn’t have a bookcase there to house all the books that supported our curriculum. Even though I have a whole homeschool room now, I still find this cart useful to house a lot of overflow. Sadly, Target no longer carries this cart, but I bought it during back to school in their organization section so maybe it will come back around. There are many other book carts out there, but many of them are metal and more expensive.
Finally I have this cart that I bought from Joann Fabrics this past year to house a little art station. I had been using a basket for these things, but it was always a mess and ended up all over the floor. This station still isn’t as organized as I would like (what is when an 8 year old is using it?!), but it keeps the mess off of the floor and can be rolled around to where ever my son wants to craft. Many places have versions of this cart ranging from Amazon to Joann Fabrics to Ikea.
#4 Sticky Notes
Sticky notes are so versatile and definitely one of my must haves to homeschool. I use the smaller ones as bookmarks in all of my curriculum. No more searching out where the page was we left off as a sticky note bookmark cannot fall out! I use sticky notes to make notes to myself about changes that need to be made, upcoming curricula needs, and books I need to hunt down at the library. I then put the sticky note on the front of my phone for when I am done with homeschool. This insures I won’t forget about it and it’s first thing on my agenda once homeschool is done for the day. Sometimes I use a sticky no as scratch paper to show my son something quick in the course of a lesson. Sticky notes are like the jack of all trades of my homeschool.
#3 Frixion Pens
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!! I honestly love Frixion pens and all of the other Frixion product line. I don’t know what I did before I found out about them. These pens are like magic. They are erasable pens. You may be thinking, “Mindi, what’s the big deal about erasable pens? They’ve been out for years!” Well yes and no. Erasable blue and black ink pens have been around for years, but they often don’t erase very well and they’re only in blue or black.
Frixion pens are beautifully colored pens that erase with a little silicone like nub on the end. I believe they are actually making it disappear with heat. They erase completely and not only come in a variety of colors of pens, but they have markers and highlighters as well and they all erase beautifully. I love them so much I originally had them as my number 1 on my top 10 homeschool supplies list until I sat down and thought a bit more about my list and how I use each item. I use these pens in all of my planners. Which leads me to #2…
#2 Homeschool Planner
A good homeschool planner is a thing of beauty! You ideally want one that can help you plan out your year and then break it down into weeks and days. Having calendar pages and planning pages for each month can help you organize things like needed supplies and upcoming field trips.
I started out trying to make my own planner with the help of some online printables and making my own pages. I failed. My planner was 2 inches thick, y’all! It was unmanageable! Like my schedules vs. routines post, it was the ideal of what I thought I wanted, but was completely impractical. I then got a rather basic lesson planner for free when I bought a minimum order from Lakeshore Learning. That weekly/daily layout was perfect for me but I needed more pages that worked better for a homeschool mom. That’s when I found A Simple Plan by Mardel and although I have looked at a couple others, I can’t find a better setup than A Simple Plan.
#1 Color Laser Printer
Drumroll please….the number one thing I think you need for homeschool is a color laser printer! You can use an inkjet printer, but you will spend a lot more money on ink if you print a lot. I print a lot. A. LOT. I download books and print them out, I purchase lapbook units to print out, I download unit studies to print out….you name it, I’ve probably printed it.
Laser printers, especially color laser printers, are obviously a much bigger up front investment, but they will last for many, many years. They print faster than an inkjet and they use less ink. I have a multi-function color laser so that I can also scan and duplicate. This is especially useful for those who have multiple kids and use curriculum that allows you to make copies of things like worksheets for your family. Here is the newest version of the HP multi-function color laser printer I own.
So there you have it, my top 10 homeschool supplies. There are many other supplies that are useful, but these are definitely the top 10 supplies I couldn’t live without. What are your necessary supplies? Leave a comment down below and tell me any hidden gems you have found for your homeschool. I love school supplies and would love to check them out!Thanks for reading!