Ultimate Homeschool Supply List
Prepping your homeschool area involves gathering supplies. Kids who are homeschooled need a lot of the same materials that kids who go to traditional, 4-wall schools, but there are some additions as well.
Here are our recommendations for the ultimate homeschool supply list:
Writing Utensils and Accessories
- Pencil sharpener (we love this one)
- Other writing tools – if you are okay allowing your students to do some of their work in color, we highly recommend a great set of colored pencils and flair pens
- Grips – kids who struggle with handwriting may benefit from a grip
- Composition books – we love composition books because they allow students to keep their work and refer back to it year after year, but whether you use binders, folders, or composition books, you’ll definitely want to have plenty of paper on hand
- Loose-leaf paper (wide-ruled for younger students, college-ruled for older students, lines with various size spaces or room for pictures for early learners). You can also print out paper on one of many websites. For example, if you have a kiddo who needs help staying within lines on dashed paper, you might want to make or purchase some highlighted handwriting paper.
- Computer paper
- Colored paper (construction, cardstock)
An Organizational System & Supplies
- You can use milk crates, bookshelves, binders, folders, a workbox system. See our post about organizing your homeschool life for more ideas. Your kids might benefit from having their own day planner or calendar.
- Office supplies such as: a three-hole punch, a single punch, stapler and staples, tape, calendar
Math Manipulatives and Supplies
- Counters of some kind (beans, Legos, counting bears, gems)
- Measurement tools (ruler with inches and centimeters, protractor, compass), yardstick and/or meterstick, string
- Base-10 supplies (if you can’t get your hands-on actual base-10 materials, you can make your own, or print out virtual supplies
- Playing cards
- Number cards
- It would be awesome to have a microscope and poster-sized periodic table available, but even if you don’t have these things, you can do a lot of science with some basic supplies, such as: aluminum foil, batteries, cups, soil, seeds, food coloring, baking soda, vinegar, magnifying glasses, etc. The key is to look at your science materials at the beginning of each year (or each unit) and get what you need on hand.
Social Studies Supplies
- A globe
- Maps (world map, country map, fold out city map) or an Atlas
- Literature or trade books from diverse cultures
- Basic art supplies – markers, paint (watercolor, acrylic, tempera), paper, tissue paper, pastels, charcoal, scissors. If you’re fancy (or able), an easel is great to have, as well as poster board, blank canvases)
- Smocks/old shirts
- Crafting supplies – yarn, knitting supplies, embroidery thread, modeling medium (clay, beeswax, Play-Dough)
- Chalk/chalkboard markers, chalkboard
Language Arts Supplies
- Library card (for each family member)
- Envelopes, stamps, stationary (for writing letters)
- Clipboards for each child
- Dictionary and Thesaurus (while these are both available online, it’s nice to have hard copies to practice with skills such as alphabetization)
- Computers, Chromebooks, or tablets/iPads
- Headphones (real headphones are better than ear buds)
- Strong WiFi (you may want to look into a WiFi mesh extender)
- A hot spot (to give yourself Internet access wherever you go)
- Printer and ink (you can use a program like HP Instant Ink to send you ink before you run out)
- This is a box where students can go when you will be with them in “just a minute.” Pick up small trinkets from the dollar store, such as Silly Putty, gems, Legos, fidget toys, etc.)
Things to help your sanity
- There should be a special area where you keep things to help you through difficult homeschool days. Examples might include special teas/coffees for yourself, snacks, essential oils/diffuser, candles, upbeat or calming music
Things to help your child’s sanity
- Think about your child and what might help him/her learn best. Does your child struggle with sitting still?
- Consider alternative seating such as an exercise ball or wobble stool.
- Weighted blankets or stuffed animals
- Special water bottle
- Timer (visual)
- Day planner or other organizational tool to help with scheduling
Your homeschool supply list should be different from your neighbor’s, because your needs are going to be different. You need to find the supplies that work for you and your family. These suggestions are just a starting point to get you thinking about what you need and what would make your homeschool experience the best it can be.