These practical homeschool supplies can help you breathe a sigh of relief. The knowledge that you have what you need, when you need, it is priceless.
And adding a few affordable fun materials never hurts 😉
I’m sharing my top 11 supplies that make a world of difference in our homeschool-and I truly hope that they help you rock your homeschool 🙂
The Benefits of Practical Homeschool Supplies
I’m not always known for being practical. In fact, I’m usually the girl with rose-colored glasses jumping down rabbit holes and squirreling left and right. Such a Luna Lovegood!
It’s because I’m not a naturally practical gal that I must take measures to ensure our homeschool flows. Without my practical planning and prep work, I’m floating around in la-la land, trying to find my favorite purple pen or scrambling for a magnifying glass to get an up-close look at our local flora and fauna.
The responsibility of homeschooling our five boys is something that I take seriously. I want to feel good about our homeschool life and know that I’m doing everything that I can to make sure my boys have what they need to thrive in our modern world.
In addition to my favorite homeschool planning and morning time materials, I’ve discovered that having these practical homeschool supplies help me be a better homeschool mom. A few of the benefits that you and I can reap from stocking up on these supplies include:
- Saving time (no more dashing off to the store because you ran out of one of these materials)
- Saving money (again, you’re not wasting gas running out to get a supply when it’s not on sale)
- Saving energy (say goodbye to scrambling around your junk drawer or praying that you actually bought those binder clips to organize your growth mindset copywork pages)
- Easing anxiety
- Keeping you grounded and focused
- Maintaining your homeschool budget (by getting these supplies on sale or in bulk)
- Better organization (see #11)
Top 11 Practical Homeschool Supplies for Improved Quality of Life
(Think I’m joking about that quality of life statement? Just see how much better your homeschool day flows when you’re using these materials!)
1. Quality Printer
We’ve gone through our share of printers in our homeschool. Some printers have sucked the life out of me and our budget. Running out for new ink cartridges every other week is draining.
Currently, we have two printers for our family. The first is a rescue from my husband’s office. Our black-and-white laser printer was going to get tossed out! (And I can get over 1,000 pages out of one $20 ink cartridge!). I use this printer for printable activities like our Mandala Multiplication Pages and Sight Word Coloring Pages.
Our second printer is my FAVORITE OF ALL TIME!! The HP OfficeJet 3830. I got it for a steal on Amazon. And the HP Instant Ink program helps me always have plenty of ink whenever I need it (no more frantic 25-minute trips to the store, thank-you-very-much!)
2. Library Card
Totally free and totally awesome! We use our library card several times a month. Our local library is super supportive of our homeschooling efforts (and that’s saying something in our area with few homeschoolers).
Our librarian gave us an extension for due dates (one month instead of the standard two weeks). Plus, I get email reminders for when books are due so I don’t get those late fees.
And don’t forget interlibrary loan! In our library system, you can browse and order books online. When our books are available for pick-up, we pop over into town and walk out with armloads. Great way to save time and get the books we need for our homeschool 😉
3. Special Writing Utensils
For both the kids and mom 😉
There’s just something magical about using a special pencil or pen. I like to have a stock of my boys’ favorites for their handwriting and writing work. Writing is not one of their favorite activities but using a glittery gel pen or smelly pencil helps get the job done.
I’m a #plannergal and love using different styles of pens and pencils in my homeschool planner to make it easy to pick out activities, assignments, and kids.
Here are a few of our favorite writing utensils that make our practical homeschool supplies list:
PILOT FriXion Clicker Erasable, Refillable & Retractable Gel Ink Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 7-Pack Pouch (31472), Assorted ColorsPILOT FriXion Light Pastel Collection Erasable Highlighters, Chisel Tip, Assorted Color Inks, 5-Pack (46543)Ticonderoga Pencils, Wood-Cased, Graphite #2 HB Soft, Yellow, 96-Pack (13872)Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils Coloring Set, Gift Age 3 + – 50CountCrayola Super Tips Markers, Washable Markers, Gift, 50 CountPencil Grip Kwikstix Thin Stix Solid Tempera Paint 24 Pack, Super Quick Drying, 12 Classic 6 Neon & 6 Metallix Colors, (TPG-620)
As a busy family with an erratic schedule, clipboards are wonders when we are on-the-go. My boys and I also use clipboards on a daily basis for to-do lists, securing handwriting sheets, and organizing work.
We LOVE the clipboard with storage box option. It’s fantastic for bringing along extra papers and making sure you don’t lose your favorite writing utensil.
Tip: Let your kids decorate their clipboards with stickers. A fun way to customize and make it special 🙂
Many homeschoolers are overwhelmed when it comes to planners. Like, how in the world are you supposed to find a planner that fits everything from meal planning, chores, family life, homeschooling, holidays, and more?!?
I get it. In fact, I often have at least three planners that I’m using at any given time. I know that sounds crazy but it helps me compartmentalize and sort it all out.
The best planner is the planner that you’ll actually use. Paper or digital. DIY or purchased. Expensive or free.
If you have the time and money, it’s cool to try different styles out. If not, I suggest getting a simple, affordable binder and using free homeschool planning printables to get started. For that matter, use free planning printables that appeal to you for budget, family, and more.
Avery Durable View Binder, Slant Rings, 500-Sheet Capacity, 2 Blue Binder (17034)Avery 1 Inch Economy View 3 Ring Binder, Round Ring, Holds 8.5Avery + Amy Tangerine Designer Collection Binder, 1AmazonBasics 3-Ring Binder, 1.5 Inch Rings – 4-Pack (White)18 Month Homeschool Lesson Planner 2020-2021: Weekly and Monthly Calendar Planner January 2020 – June 2021The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (Paper Flowers Edition)me & my BIG ideas The Happy Planner – Year To Shine Theme – January 2020 to December 2020 – Vertical Layout – Weekly & Monthly Disc-Bound Pages – Scrapbook – Classic Sizeme & my BIG ideas The Happy Planner Box Kit – Live A Happy Colorful Life Theme – 12 Month Undated – Monthly Layout – 552 Stickers, 1 Bookmark, 3 Sticky Note Pads, 12 Dividers – Classic Sizeme & my BIG ideas The Happy Planner Box Kit – Best Year Ever Theme – 12 Month Undated – Vertical Layout – 4 Sheets of Stickers, 2 Magnetic Bookmarks, 4 Sticky Note Pads – Classic Sizeme & my BIG ideas The Happy Planner – Glam Girl Gorgeous Theme – January 2020 to December 2020 – Lined Vertical Layout – Weekly & Monthly Disc-Bound Pages – Scrapbook – Classic Sizeme & my BIG ideas The Happy Planner Box Kit – Rainbow Foil Theme – 12 Month Undated – Horizontal Layout – 3 Sheets of Stickers, 1 Pen, 1 Pocket Folder, Sticky Note Pads – Big SizeThe Happy Planner Big Planner, Horizontal Layout – Black & Gold – Disc-bound Planner – Weekly & Monthly Pages – July 2019 to December 2020 – Stylish & Functional – Big Size – 8.5 x 11 in.Erin Condren 12 – Month 2020 Coiled Life Planner 7×9 (January – December 2020) – Kaleidoscope Colorful, Vertical (Colorful Layout). Organizer with Monthly Calendar Tabs
6. Dry Erase Supplies
You can save so much money and time with dry erase supplies! My boys and I use our dry erase boards and markers every day. We added dry erase sleeves to our practical homeschool supplies this year which have been great for our printable activities.
We use our dry erase supplies for handwriting, jotting down math work, brainstorming writing projects, and more.
(Check your local dollar store for dry erase supplies or order these quality supplies by clicking on any of the images below.)
Charles Leonard Dry Erase Lapboard Class Pack, Includes 12 Each of Whiteboards, 2 Inch Felt Erasers and Black Dry Erase Markers (35036)6 Pack Dry Erase Lap Board 9U Brands Contempo Magnetic Dry Erase Board, 11 x 14 Inches, White Frame – 252U00-04Pack of 10, Multicolored Dry Erase Pockets, 10EXPO 1884309 Low-Odor Dry Erase Markers, Ultra Fine Tip, Assorted Colors, 8-CountEXPO Dry Erase Marker Starter Set, Chisel Tip, Assorted Colors, 6 Piece
7. Washi Tape
I feel like washi tape is magical.
This decorative tape has just enough stickiness to hang pictures on walls and add flourish to art projects but can easily be readjusted if misplaced.
One of my favorite ways to use washi tape is in my homeschool planner and for color-coding materials (see #11).
Super affordable and available in a wide variety of colors and themes, washi tape is one of our must-have practical homeschool supplies.
Oh, and glitter washi tape is an excellent way to add glitter to your homeschool without all the mess 😉
**I often purchase washi tape at Michael’s (or you could check out Hobby Lobby or other local craft store) with a coupon. Another fabulous place to find washi tape is your local dollar store!
21 Rolls Foil Washi Tape – Gold & Colored Metallic Washi Tape – 15mm Wide DIY Craft Masking Tape by leebeeAgutape 48 Rolls Washi Tape Set,Foil Gold Skinny Decorative Masking Washi Tapes,3MM Wide DIY Masking Tape30 Rolls 15mm Wide Washi Masking Tape Set, Colorful Rainbow Tape，Decorative Writable Craft Tape for DIY Scrapbook Designsmolshine Set of 6 (7.6yd/roll) Natural Color Washi Masking Tape,Crafts Tape,Adhesive Tape for Planner DIY,Decorative Notebook,Gift Wrapping,Scrapbook,Nordic(0.6inch width)
When you need durability and sturdiness, cardstock is the way to go.
In many homeschool circles, you’ll hear that a laminator is just not worth it. And that may very well be true for your homeschool.
I’ve found that the cheap laminator that I got at Aldi has served us well. I think I’ve spent a total of $25 on the laminator and laminator sheets for it. Totally worth the ability to lamintate at will for our homeschool!
Self-sealing aminating pouches are a brilliant option if you just don’t want to go down the laminator path. Buy a set of 25 or so and see how many you use in a year. You may find that you need more or barely touched the stack. In any case, you’ll have them when you need them 😉
AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator MachineScotch Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System for a Professional Finish, Laminate up to 9100-Pack Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets by Office Square, Self-Seal, No Machine Needed, Letter Size, 4 Mil ThickScotch Self-Sealing Laminating Pouches, 25 Sheets, 9.0 in x 11.5 in, Gloss Finish Letter Size (LS854-25G-WM)
10. Binder Clips
You’ll want to stock up on these babies in all sizes.
We use binder clips for all sorts of homeschool and family things like:
- Organizing papers
- Impromptu bookmarks
- Color-coding materials
- Potato chip bags (my boys like their snacks!)
- STEM projects, especially with their frugal inventor’s box
DSTELIN Binder Clips Paper Clamps Assorted Sizes 100 Count (Black), X Large, Large, Medium, Small, X Small and Micro, 6 Sizes in One Pack, Meet Your Different Using NeedsMr. Pen- Binder Clips, Small Binder Clips, Pack of 100 Clips, Binder Clips Small, Paper Clips, Office Supplies, Colored Binder Clips, Paper Clamps, Office Clips, Mini Clips, Clips for Paper120Pcs Binder Clips Paper Clamps Assorted 4 Sizes, Paper Binder Clips Metal Fold Back Clips with Box for Office, School and Home Supplies, Multicolor
11. Color-Coding Supplies
Think stickers, stamps, pens, folders, binders, binder clips, paper clips, etc.
If it’s got a color and you can assign it to a child, subject, or activity, grab it!
We are visual beings. Color-coding provides easy reminders and makes it simple to organize.
For example, each of my boys has been assigned a color in our homeschool:
- Captain (17) – green (his favorite color)
- Professor (14) – red (after his favorite soccer team)
- Smiley (10) – orange (he thinks it’s fun)
- Bear (8) – pink (for his favorite creature in the entire world, blobfish)
- Xman (5) – blue (another favorite color)
I also assign colors to our morning time work and different subjects. After 8 years of homeschooling, I’ve found that color-coding has been such a helpful practice for allowing our homeschool day to flow.
Avery Removable Print or Write Color Coding Labels, Round, 0.75 Inches, Pack of 1008 (5472)2800 Pieces Round Dot Stickers 3/4 Inch Diameter Circle Dot Labels (Multicolor)Pack of 2400 3/4Pack of 2100 3/4Do A Dot Art! Markers 6-Pack Rainbow Washable Paint Markers, The Original Dot MarkerFive Star 4 Pocket Folders, 2 Pocket Folders plus 2 additional Pockets, Assorted Colors, 6 Pack (38058)Pendaflex Two-Tone Color File Folders, Letter Size, Assorted Colors (Bright Green, Yellow, Red, Blue), 1/3-Cut Tabs, Assorted, 36 Pack (03086)Samsill Earth’s Choice Biobased Durable 3 Ring Binders, Fashion Clear View 2 Inch Binders, Up to 25% Plant Based Plastic, Assorted 4 PackMr. Pen- Binder Clips, Small Binder Clips, Pack of 100 Clips, Binder Clips Small, Paper Clips, Office Supplies, Colored Binder Clips, Paper Clamps, Office Clips, Mini Clips, Clips for PaperOfficemate PVC Free Color Coated Paper Clips, 450 Per Tub Office Paper Clamp (97229)KAZOKU 1 Inch Assorted Color Mini Paper Clip Holder，Color Coated Paper Clips for Files, Papers, Office Supply（200 Pack）
So, that’s my list of practical homeschool supplies. These gems have allowed our homeschool to thrive and grow.
Now that I’ve shared my suggestions, I’d love to read your ideas! Please share your practical homeschool supplies suggestions in the comments area below 🙂 Happy homeschooling!