Let’s Talk Shop: What Supplies Do You Need for Homeschooling?

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Times are…weird. And if you’ve successfully transitioned into your new role as a homeschooling teacher without nine mental breakdowns, we totally applaud you. But now that you’ve put your nose to the grindstone, you might be realizing that your classroom is woefully understocked. (No big deal, you have toilet paper for days.)

There are so many products you might want to purchase, but it’s certainly best to begin with the basics. So what supplies do you need for homeschooling? Read on for an essentials-only guide for the pre-k to fourth grade set. (If you’ve got older kids, we hope they’re getting a distance-learning plan from their teachers.)

1. spiral-bound Sketchpads

There’s a good chance that a lot of art is happening in your homeschool—and that’s just the way you want it. Opt for a spiral-bound sketch pad to spare yourself the loose-leaf mess.

2. composition Book

Daily journaling can help kids process the situation and continue to improve their literacy skills. (For younger kiddos, try handwriting practice paper.)

3. washable Markers

Now that you’ve got your paper, you’re going to need something to write and color with. A washable option will keep clothes and furniture from getting ruined.

4. glue And Glue Sticks

Parents are divided on which works best: Your standard Elmer’s is best for bulkier materials, while glue sticks are mess-free and work fine on paper projects. Either way, be sure you have some sort glue at your disposal in order to keep the creativity flowing.

5. desktop Pocket Chart

This handy pocket chart includes easy-to-clean cards that can be used for early-learning spelling and sentence building (cat, dog, mom) or the Pythagorean theorem (Google that one, though). Feel free to use it for your daily schedule too.

6. reward Punch Cards

Struggling to maintain discipline in your tiny home-based classroom? These punch cards will help you define, encourage and reward good behavior...and the hole punch is included.

7. Dry-erase Whiteboard Easel

Chalk is dusty, guys. Get yourself a whiteboard and whip up any lesson with ease while your kids watch. This option is big enough to get the message through. Bonus: Mistakes are easy to erase.

8. Dry-erase Lap Board

There are many benefits to this lap-sized learning board—but mostly it helps kids follow along and stay engaged, while also practicing their penmanship without fear of making mistakes.

9. dry-erase Markers

You have all the whiteboards, so definitely scoop up these dry-erase markers. They work well and they don’t stink. Best of all, they have a built-in eraser and they’re magnetized, so they will stick to your new supercool teaching surface.

10. heavyweight Construction Paper

There’s construction paper, and then there’s crafting construction paper. If you are hoping to incorporate arts and crafts into your new homeschooling routine, definitely go for the good stuff. This heavyweight paper gets high marks for quality—and the hues are quite nice too.

11. magnetic Storage Boxes

So many art projects and so many art supplies…and so much time spent picking up markers off the floor when you could’ve been teaching those kiddos. Homeschooling veterans say the key to success is staying organized. These storage boxes (designed for school and art supplies) work well when stuck to a whiteboard or as freestanding desktop organizers.

12. demonstration Clock

At one point or another, you and your child are both likely to “watch the clock.” If anybody in your school is still learning to read the clock, this experience of boredom can be seamlessly combined with time-telling education. Either way, this write-and-wipe clock is easy to manipulate and helps children learn about time (and possibly promotes solidarity, as you pass the hours together).

13. scissors

These blunt-tip bad boys can cut out butterflies and flowers, and are made to fit both righties and lefties, in case you’ve got a southpaw in the family. Older kids can, of course, use older-kid scissors.

14. colored Pencils

Colored pencils teach precision and fine motor skills—perfect for art projects, coloring books and letter-writing practice to boot. Older children can hone their pencil-holding form, and younger ones won’t be able to color on the walls so effectively…so everybody wins. These guys are erasable too, so if you have a budding artist/perfectionist, look no further.

15. educational Posters

Your lesson plans are legit, but you still aren’t getting the respect you deserve. Stick some educational posters on the wall so your home-based classroom looks the part, and be sure to use them. These wall hangings cover a variety of subjects, and the bold visuals make them perfect for a wide age range.

16. Twin Pocket File Folders

Just because they’re at home doesn’t mean that they don’t need to keep things organized on their own. These color-coordinated folders are ideal for splitting work up by subjects. Not to mention, the two pockets can be used to hold handouts on one side and homework on the other.

17. Wooden Desk Organizer

You’re simply going to need a place to organize all of these learning supplies. Unless you want them to end up all over the house.

18. pipe Cleaners, Googly Eyes And Pom-poms

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...