I’m sharing what our family has found are the most useful supplies and materials for homeschooling.
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Gathering school supplies has always been one of my favorite shopping trips of the year. As a little girl I remember my mom taking us all to Walmart to pick out our back to school clothes, notebooks (trapper keeper IYKYK), a new backpack, pencils, a fresh box of crayons, and lunchbox. Years later as I was teaching in the public schools I would spend hundreds of dollars of my own money on my classroom supplies and not even feel the least bit upset about it because I enjoyed it so much.
Now that we homeschool, our list is much smaller but we still load up every August and go back to school shopping. It’s a fun way to spend the day together browsing the back to school isles and choosing a few items here and there. We typically come home with glue sticks, fresh art supplies, and of course pencils!
Deciding What Homeschool Supplies You Need
An added bonus of being in charge of your homeschool classroom is deciding what supplies are necessary and what aren’t. Honestly, I believe less is more when it comes to a quality education. When we first began homeschooling I thought I needed all the things. I had our spare room set up just like a classroom, complete with ABC’s around the walls, a calendar area with a rocking chair, and even centers. I’m not kidding.
What I realized is that the kitchen table is a great place to teach any grade level and you most likely already have one. We spent the first several years homeschooling all around the table will a rolling cart within arms reach that held all of our books and supplies. Your learning space need not be fancy. Over the years we’ve homeschooled at the park, in the back yard, on the couch, and even in the car. My advice is don’t spend too much time deciding where. Kids can and should learn everywhere.
Let’s get down to the business of what I 1000% believe are the most useful supplies and materials for homeschooling. Before I begin, let me say that you can totally do a fantastic job with your child’s education without spending a dime. However, I want to share a few things our family loves and uses on a regular basis.
The Best Things are Free
The most important homeschool supply is a card for your local library! Books are a necessity and the library is the best place to get them because they are FREE (except when you don’t return them and you pay a fine- or two). You can also get videos, audiobooks, and not to mention free WiFi.
The Yoto Story Reader
Speaking of books, our favorite high quality learning item right now is the Yoto Player! Moms this is a game changer and a great educational resource. The Yoto is an audio player that allows kids to play their favorite books without handing over your smartphone or worrying about intrusive ads or all the weird stuff on the internet.
Kids simply pop a card in the slot on the top of the player and boom, a story starts to play! There are hundreds of cards to choose from and you can even record your own.
There are two versions to choose from but we have the mini Yoto. It’s perfect for little hands and on the go traveling. My daughter takes it with us everywhere! We keep the story cards and headphones in a mini backpack so that it’s ready to go at all times. I shared more about it here.
If you’d like to purchase, I have a discount for you if you shop using this link! I also recommend joining the Yoto club where you earn free cards and get a discount on all of your purchases because trust me, your kids will want all of the stories. Bonus…there’s a free app that you can use to access your story cards in the event that you forget your Yoto player at home.
Craft Supplies for Your Homeschool
My girls love any enjoy anything arts and crafts! Each year we purchase a clean mixed media journal for water coloring and nature study. We also start the year with a fresh palate of paint and of course new glue sticks.
Educational Resources: Books & Materials
There are several books that we’ve purchased both new and used throughout our homeschool journey. These are books that have gotten a lot of use and have truly proved useful time and time again. I recommend checking sites like Thrift Books before purchasing new especially if you’re on a tight budget. You can find most of my book recommendations at your library but I promise you will want your own copies to use over and over throughout your homeschool days.
Nature study may just be my favorite part of our week. My girls love to explore all of God’s creation down to the tiniest bugs and beetles. Throughout the years we’ve collected several books and supplies that we use frequently in our studies. My girls love the magnifying containers where they can collect and view insects and other nature finds.
- Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World
- The Handbook of Nature Study
- The Burgess Bird Book for Children
- Ocean Anatomy
- Farm Anatomy
- Magnifying Containers
These books have been a tremendous help in finding appropriate good quality literature for both my younger children and older children. Our copy is torn and tattered from all of the times my girls have flipped through searching for their next read.
Homeschool Parents Must Reads
Wether you’re a beginning homeschool parent or veteran, I highly recommend reading at least one of these over the summer as you prepare your heart and mind to homeschool. If you’ve already started your school year, it’s not too late to get inspired and make some changes anytime you see fit.
Homeschool Planner and Organizers
Lastly, as you prepare lesson plans, I would like to share with you my Simple Homeschool Planner! There are 2 versions available; a downloadable PDF or have it shipped directly to your home. This is an undated 357 page planner that will take you from understanding state requirements and setting goals to lesson planning for up to 6 children. I think you’ll be surprised at all that’s included! It’s a great way to keep everything all in one place.
If you’re more of a big picture type of planner, you’ll want the $5 Planning Bundle which includes undated monthly, weekly, and daily planning sheets. These are so handy to print and have as you are planning your rhythms and routines for the school year.
One thing I want to reiterate is that you really don’t need a lot to homeschool your children. You simply do not need all the materials, gadgets, and supplies out there. There are so many free resources out there that you truly can educate your child at no extra cost. With a simple google search you’ll find free homeschool curriculum and online classes for grades k-12.
These resources are just a starting point for beginning your own homeschool supply list. As the years go by, you’ll decide what you like to have availble for your families learning experiences.
My goal by sharing what I believe are the most useful supplies and materials for homeschooling is to inform and inspire you as you learn alongside your children at home!
Additional posts you may enjoy:
If you’re child is preschool age, I have a post on all the preschool homeschool supplies you need and you can check that out here.
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