Wondering what to include on your homeschool supply checklist? Here’s everything you need and more. Yes! Seventy-five items you shouldn’t forget, plus a free printable checklist so you won’t have to write it all down.
Be sure to stick around to the end of this post. I have a very SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT on an essential item you definitely want to include on your homeschool checklist.
Now that you’ve downloaded and printed your free Ultimate Homeschool Supply Checklist, allow me to make my case for the so-called essentials I’ve listed below. The truth is, you don’t need much to get started, but you do discover that there are many items that can enrich your homeschool journey and make your life a little easier. Please do not become overwhelmed with this list. Rather, use this list as a guide to identify items you may want to include on your homeschool checklist.
1. Pencils & Grips: For obvious reasons you want to stock up on pencils. I know there’s a lot of hype surrounding the Ticonderoga brand, but truly any pencil brand will do. They all get lost, anyway. Just be sure to get pencil grips for your little ones and older kiddos.
2. Pencil Erasers: Whatever erasers you choose, be sure they’re of good quality. The erasers that come with pencils tend to be of poor quality, disintegrating easily and leaving smudges. I find white cap erasers to be the best choice because they are the most convenient and erases cleanly.
3. Pencil Boxes/Pouches: Of course, you want something to keep all your pencils contained, especially when traveling for nature journaling, car-schooling, or extracurricular classes. Don’t overpay. Dollar Tree has great options for both pencil boxes and pouches.
4. Pencil Sharpener: The question is; which pencil sharpener is best? You most certainly want an electric one, preferably cordless. handheld sharpeners are also a good idea for each child to keep in their pencil pouch when traveling. Just make sure the handheld sharpeners have a container attached to catch and dump shavings.
5. Paper (Lined & Graph): Ruled paper is pretty standard, but graph paper is easy to forget. Be sure to include both on your checklist. You never know when you’ll need graph paper for a math assignment.
6. Construction Paper: Construction paper is pretty much a staple for any art project, experiment, or enrichment activity included in your curriculum. Always have it on hand in multiple colors.
7. Notebooks: Need I say more? You will always need notebooks for journaling, notebooking, or just completing everyday assignments. You’ll want to put both composition and spiral notebooks on your checklist.
8: Folders: You’ll want to pick up a variety of folders such as pocket folders for storing assignments, three hole-punch folders to include in binders, and folders with prong fasteners as a space-saving alternative to binders.
9. Binders (All Sizes): If you’re wondering if you should get that 5-inch three-ring binder, get it! You’ll need binders of all sizes to house curricula, assignments, PDFs, teacher manuals, activities, and much more.
10. Page Protectors: If you want to quickly make a worksheet reusable, page protectors are the way to go. Just slip the worksheet inside and have your child use a dry-erase marker to complete it. Page protectors are also great for keeping precious documents from getting damaged.
11. 3-Hole Punch: If you need to place something into a three-ring binder or folder, you’ll need this on hand.
12. Dividers & Page Tabs: These are pretty much essentials for keeping your binders and folders organized.
13. Dry-Erase Markers: Whether you’re teaching a lesson on the whiteboard or using dry-erase worksheets, you’ll be glad to have plenty of dry-erase markers within reach. Be sure to get the ones with eraser caps.
14. Sharpies: There are loads of unsuspecting reasons why you’d need to have a vast array of colorful sharpies in your homeschool supply collection.
15. Washable Markers: Markers are an essential for the littles. They can enjoy the wonders of coloring without causing permanent damage to your desks and tables.
16. Alcohol Markers: If You have older kids who take pride in their artwork, alcohol markers are a way to go. They allow your child to beautifully blend colors and make gorgeous masterpieces.
17. Scissors: You’ll need safety scissors for your little ones for all those cut and paste projects. Scissor cutting is one of the best ways to help your child build the fine motor skills essential for handwriting. Of course, get regular scissors for your older children. They’ll need them for a myriad of projects.
18. Glue & Glue Sticks: Many enrichment activities require having some sort of glue on hand. You’ll need washable school glue and glue sticks.
19. Sticky Notes: Everyone will need these for writing down quick reminders or to use as page markers.
20. Index Cards & Storage Box: Index cards are excellent for writing down spelling and vocabulary words. They also work well for making DIY flashcards.
21. Paint & Brushes: Trust me, you will paint. Whether it’s an art project, nature journaling, or part of your curriculum’s enrichment activity, you’ll be glad you added paint and brushes to your checklist. You’ll need washable paint, acrylic paint, and maybe even watercolor paint.
22. Painting Paper: Regular paper just won’t cut it for those art projects. Add painting paper to your checklist.
23. Dry Erase Board: To make things even better, get a magnetic dry-erase board. It’ll simplify your lessons and your kids will enjoy writing on it.
24. Pocket Chart: A pocket chart is handy for displaying spelling and vocabulary words or to use as part of a fun enrichment activity for grammar like working with sentence structure, parts of speech, etc.
25. Sentence Strips: If you own a pocket chart, sentence strips are a must-have. Purchase the dry-erase ones so that you can reuse them.
26. Paper Trimmer: You’ll never know when you’ll need to cut something precise and in a straight line. Plus, with paper trimmers, you can trim multiples pages at once.
27. Political Wall Map: I think every homeschooler in the United States owns the political wall map from Dollar Tree. It’s handy for geography lessons and livens up your learning space.
28. Globe: A globe is one of those items that is both practical and makes for great homeschool room decor. There are many fun options to choose from. We have an antique globe and we also purchase the clear, inflatable globe from Dollar Tree every school year.
29. Wooden Craft Sticks: Each year I forget to purchase these and regret it. For some reason, just about every experiment, enrichment activity, and art project call for craft sticks. Who knew?
30. Laminator & Thermal Pouches: If you’re a DIY’er at heart, a laminator is essential. You can make educational posters, flashcards, labels, dry-erase worksheets, and much more. Don’t forget the thermal laminating pouches.
31. Printer & Ink: Printers are handy for obvious reasons. You may want to print extra worksheets, PDFs, booklets, curricula, posters, charts, or whatever else you need for homeschooling. A good wireless, inkjet color printer is your best bet. Even better if it’s an all-in-one so that you can also make copies.
32. Printer Paper: Multipurpose paper is good for printing and serving other homeschooling needs. Spend the extra dime and get the better quality version. Cheap, thin paper is frustrating.
33. Stapler & Staples: You’ll need them for obvious reasons.
34. Student Planner: If you have older children, a student planner is handy for keeping track of their assignments and teaching responsibility.
35. Homeschool Planner: Every successful homeschool starts with a solid plan. You’ll need a good homeschool planner to simplify the demands of homeschool. I use a Home Management Binder. You can read more about that, here.
36. File Folders & Holders: File folders are useful for homeschool record-keeping, among other things. You’ll want to also get a file holder if you don’t own a file cabinet. You can a get desktop file rack, an accordion-style holder, or a mesh hanging file organizer.
37. Flashcards & Rings: There are many fun enrichment activities to do with flashcards. You can buy a box for just about any subject. Don’t forget the binder rings. They are handy for keeping flashcards together.
38. Books & Bookmarks: Informational books, beautiful picture books, enlightening living books. You’ll need them all and then some. Also, add plenty of bookmarks to your checklist.
39. Bookcase: You’ll need a place to house all those books if you don’t have one already. Displaying your book collection entices your children to read more.
40. Clipboards: If you think your kiddos will solely complete assignments at their desk, you are mistaken. They will lay across their bed, the living room floor, the trampoline, or even the grass. Clipboards ensure your children always have a flat, solid surface to write on no matter where they do their assignments. They also are great for road trips and car-schooling.
41. Desktop Carousel or Caddy: You’ll need a storage solution for all your writing utensils and art supplies. A desktop carousel is a great option for shared supplies. Personal caddies are great to have on hand for each child to keep their personal school supplies.
42. Blue Light Glasses: If your child spends any amount of time at the computer or on the screen, you’ll want to have blue light glasses around to protect their eyes.
43. Highlighters: Highlighters are useful for visual learners to visually organize their notebooks and assignments. They also serve many practical uses. Get them in many colors.
44. Sticker Labels: If you like to stay organized, sticky labels are your best friend. You can organize your supply carts, bookshelves, book bins, file folders, and much more.
45. Organizer Cart: This will make a great storage solution for all the supplies on your checklist. You can also use them for storing your children’s curriculum and assignments.
46. Calculators: I know that cell phones replaced many things and that includes calculators. But if you’re looking to avoid screens during certain times of the day and want to limit distractions, old-school calculators are the way to go. They are great for self-checking math work or taking to the grocery store for real-life math lessons.
47. Rulers: Linear rulers are a must-have across the board. Grab a tape measure, yard stick, protractor, and compass while you’re at it.
48. Manipulatives: Math manipulative like linking cubes, base ten blocks, fractions tiles, and clock kits are great basics. Don’t forget to also grab reading manipulatives like letter tiles, sentence builder sets, and reading comprehension cubes. These items make learning hands-on and exciting.
49. Handheld Hole Punch: You never know when you’ll need to punch a hole into something. Unlike a three-hole punch, a handheld hole punch allows you to customize where you’d like to place your holes.
50. Paper clips: A document organization must-have. They also make great counters for math and you’ll probably need them at some point for your science experiments.
51. Laptop/Desktop Computer: Whether you have a family desktop computer or each kid gets their own laptop, a good computer with internet access simplifies homeschooling in wonderful ways. Your children will have access to thousands of virtual lessons, books, education websites, and many other resources. Just be sure to protect them online and install parental control software.
52. Kid’s Dictionary & Thesaurus: Once again, in the world of Siri, technology makes it extremely easy to search words. Still, I think it’s worthwhile to have a children’s dictionary and thesaurus on the bookshelf. For one, I’ve noticed some lessons cover dictionary skills. Second, most children’s dictionaries have gorgeous illustrations and you may find your kids reading them and learning new words for enjoyment. Lastly, it cuts down on the amount of time your child spends on the screen.
53. Nature Journals: Nature journals are great to take along on your family hikes or trail walks. Your children can record anything they find interesting by drawing or writing it down.
54. Backpacks: Going on a nature walk? You’ll need a backpack. Going to the library? You’ll need a backpack. Going to co-op? You’ll need a backpack. Even though your children aren’t going to traditional school, backpacks are still needed to carry along essentials for your many excursions.
55. Display Easel: Display easels are great because they’re portable. You can take them on your nature walks with a canvas and allow your children to paint a picturesque scene. You can take them to the park and display your whiteboard for outdoor lessons. Or, your children can use them for their presentations. The possibilities are endless.
56. Camping Chairs: For all those inevitable outdoor field trips, sports, and activities. Camping chairs also come in handy when you need a quick spot to nature journal in the middle of the woods. Get the folding chairs that come with the bags that have the handles attached. That way, you can easily carry them over your shoulder.
57. Outdoor Blanket: I can’t tell you how many times our picnic blanket came through in the clutch. It came to the point where we just leave it in the trunk of the car. It’s useful for relaxed outdoor lessons, extra seating for homeschool friends who forget their camping chairs, and of course random beach days and picnic playdates.
58. Digital Timers: For math drills, games, and enrichment activities.
59. Bean Bag Chairs: Because your children will not always do their assignments at their desks. Bean bag chairs make for cozy reading, relaxed schooling, and extra seating if you have a large family to teach. Floor cushions work just as nicely.
60. Rolling Cooler: Some field trips will last all day, so you’ll want to have somewhere to store your lunch, snacks, and drinks.
61. Reusable Ice Packs: You’ll want to throw these in the cooler to keep your food from spoiling. They are easy to forget. Ask me how I know.
62. Lunch Bags: For each of your children to pack a snack and take it with them to co-op, sports/dance practice, or other extracurricular activities.
63. Command Strips: To make decorating your homeschool space quick and easy without ruining your walls.
64. Command Hooks: Great for hiding cords behind desks and tables. Command hooks are also organizing must-haves. Use them to hang canisters for organizing school supplies. Or, use them to hang posters, file folder organizers, and headphones.
65. Colored Pencils: You’ll use these almost every day.
66. Magnets: Grab some letter magnets for spelling fun on a metal sheet pan. You’ll also want to grab regular magnets to display charts and artwork on your magnetic whiteboard if you have one.
67. Calendar: A family calendar hanging in your learning space is a great way for everyone to keep track of upcoming events.
68. White Out: To reduce the tears when mistakes happen.
69. Pens: You’ll need pens for older children and for yourself.
70. Colored Gel Pens: Because they’re just fun to write with and may encourage your teens to complete their assignments. Like I stated before, colorful writing utensils are awesome for helping visual learners visually organize their schoolwork.
71. Masking Tape: It’ll be a staple for art projects and other enrichment activities.
72. Tape & Dispenser: Again, another staple that needs no convincing. Just have loads of it on hand and don’t forget a tape dispenser to sit on the table for easy access.
73. Crayons: If you have small children, crayons are a must.
74. Wicker Baskets: They make a decorative storage solution. Get at least three. You can store your morning basket reads in one, your library books in another, and use the third for storing manipulatives.
75. Poster Boards: Some assignments may call for them and you’ll need them for student presentations. You can also have your children create vision boards for the school year or use them as a fun way to display your lessons.
76. Headphones: Headphones are great for limiting distractions. For instance, one kid may be listening to an audiobook while another is listening to their virtual math lesson. Going to a different room may not always be feasible. Likewise, you may have one learner who loves listening to light classical music while they work and another who enjoys complete silence.
77. Curriculum: For information on choosing the right curriculum, click here.
78. The Holy Bible: Because God’s Word must be the foundation and at the center of it all.
79. Homeschool Super Heroes Conference 2021: This post is brought to you by the Homeschool Super Heroes Conference. I will be one of the speakers this year! Plus, there will be other amazing veteran homeschoolers to learn from. The event will take place August 23rd-27th. Will you be there to hang out with me? Take a look below for details on my presentation:
Incorporating Whole Child Learning into Your Homeschool, by Nike Anderson
In this workshop, we will discuss the tenets of Whole Child Learning, why it’s essential, and how to seamlessly incorporate this education model into your homeschool routine. At the end of this workshop, you will have a clear understanding of how to prioritize and foster the full scope of your child’s development to help them reach their absolute potential. We will delve into key developmental areas: physical and cognitive development, social and emotional intelligence, creative freedom, and spiritual nourishment. Grab your notebooks and let’s have a fun chat!