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My Favorite Homeschool Supplies

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Everyone has a few school supplies they just cannot do without in their homeschool day. I’m willing to guess you have a few ‘must have’ items, right? Yours may be different from mine – and I’d love to hear what you all consider the MOST necessary to have on hand.

Favorite Homeschool Supplies


A few of the things on my list you may have already guessed, but these are the ten things that I turn to a daily basis {well, almost daily for most of them!}.

1. A Dry Erase Board


Our dry erase board has been one of the best purchases that we’ve made. It hosts our All About Spelling letter tiles, gives me space to sketch pictures during our group Bible learning time, and is truly a huge help. Every now and then there are fun notes scribbled on it from the kids along with a picture to start our morning – which makes it even more fun.

2. An iPad

Aside from the learning games and apps that we have loaded up on our iPad {we have an iPad 2}, any of the teacher’s manuals for our curriculum are on it as well for easy access. Currently we have our Picture Smart Bible manual, WriteShop manuals, All About Homophones, our Home Art Studio pdfs and a few other homeschool ebooks for me to read if there is a snippet of time open in our school day.

3. Post-it Flags


They may be little and simple, but the Post-it flags are all over the place in our schoolroom. They don’t stick to pages permanently and peel off easily, so they are great to use in the many different books that we are using for our lessons.

4. Ticonderoga Pencils

Not sure exactly when I became a pencil snob, but after dealing with several miserable packs of cheap pencils that just kept breaking and wouldn’t stay sharpened, I purchased a big pack of Ticonderoga pencils. Since then, we’ve never looked back and they are one of the first things in my cart each school year…and during the school year.

And before I forget, Ticonderoga also makes some great pencils that have a black exterior instead of the standard No. 2 yellow. I typically pick up a pack or two of those for myself – so the kids don’t try to walk of with my pencils {I’m not territorial or anything}.

5. Weekly Homeschool Planner


It pretty much goes without saying that I love my homeschool planner. {grins} Every day I’m tracking what we’re learning and recording our lesson plans.

6. A 3 Ring Hole Punch

With the various coloring pages, lessons, and papers around our home, I find the 3 ring hole punch out and being used daily by our kids. As I type this up, I’m staring at it on someone’s desk – and it’s the third time today that I’ve already picked it up and put it away.

7. Papermate InkJoy Pens


The last year or two I’ve been using a set of Papermate InkJoy pens that just make me happy {it’s the little things, right?}. We color code our kids, and each of their colors are included in the pack so this gives me a quick visual when I print off lesson plans and add things in.

8. Crayola pencils, crayons, and such

This year I officially became a Crayola snob {yes, I’ll admit it openly}. We had purchased some less expensive crayons and colored pencils for about half the price, and within the first WEEK of school, many of the colored pencils had been sharpened down to little nubs of nothing because the tips kept breaking off {and on the crayons as well}. We switched out to Crayola and haven’t had any issues. {have to love it}

9. My 31 Bag

31 Bag for School

It’s a simple bag really, but we have three 31 Bags in our homeschool room to help keep supplies organized. One of the organizing utility totes holds my binder and daily teaching supplies, another holds our writing folders, and still another holds our reading materials. The bags are quick and easy to pick up and go, especially if we are traveling {not that I would make our kids do school work on the go – cough}.

10. A Laminator

The Scotch Laminator has been put to the test in our home. We’re still using the original one I purchased at least 4 years ago, but know that I have a spare one on hand just in case. We use some cheaper laminating pouches as well, and they have worked fabulously over the last 2 years.

What about you? What items are on your

‘must have’ list for homeschooling?

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  1. April Christmas says

    The laminator for sure and was so glad to hear about the cheaper pouches on amazon! Crayola for sure, too, you can’t get that awesome crayon smell anywhere else. We use tons of glue sticks and single subject spiral notebooks! I really enjoy your blog!

  2. I’m a total pencil snob as well. I discovered the love of Ticonderoga a few years ago as well. :)

    • Have you tried their black {on the outside} and red ones as well? I buy the black ones for myself {so the kids don’t steal them} and the red ones are great for correcting/editing.

  3. Kerrie Rich says

    I’ve been seriously considering buying a laminator myself…where did you buy yours? Any tips on how to get this one at the lowest price? Also the packs seem to get a bit pricey, so same question for those:)

    • I purchased both of them from Amazon. Occasionally they drop the price to $15/$16 and that’s the best price around. If they aren’t on sale on Amazon, the cheapest place to buy them is either Walmart {office supply aisle} or Target. And I have a link in this post to the pouches we use {not from Scotch}. They are quite a bit cheaper and work equally as well.

  4. love your list, the only thing I don’t have is a laminator and been wanting one for so long!!!!

  5. mnewell0293 says

    Yes Yes Yes to the laminator! For us also, glue sticks…seems we run out of these before everything else….lol….new crayons – no matter how many crayons we have in the house, new sharp pointy ones are the most fun! Huzzah to your new year!

    • Glue sticks are in hot demand here too. :) I made a note to buy DOUBLE what I had purchased last year. And I may have hidden a stash from the kids – just in case…

  6. Thanks to you, I discovered Ticonderoga pencils too. I used to think a pencil was a pencil, but then my boys just kept breaking them. I would fuss at them until one day I decided to sharpen them myself. You couldn’t even sharpen them. They would fall apart in the sharpener and then huge chunks of lead would come out. After trying Ticonderoga I said, “Now this is what a pencil is supposed to be like!” I think I must have had them when I was homeschooled as a kid because mine worked like them, but my mother never told me! That’ll be hard to get over. ;) My new favorite thing is 1/2 inch binders that I put each child’s work in for the day, not the week, just the day. They look at that small amount and think to themselves “I can do this. Is that all?” When I would put the whole book out it just felt overwhelming-all those huge books. It’s the same amount of work, but it’s a mental thing for them.

  7. I use my 31 bag the same way and love it! It keeps me organized and ready to go when my other kids have appointments! Those pencils are great too. I finally gave in and bought some. I used to teach ps and still have so many other pencils left from that 6 years ago but they don’t compare!

  8. I am right there with you when it comes to pencils. I have been a pencil snob for years. I am looking forward to getting a laminator this year. In the past I have used clear contact paper.

  9. Amy Francom says

    Add me to the pencil snob list! We love Ticonderoga pencils. I also discovered Crayola is the only way to go with crayons and washable markers.

  10. Thanks for sharing! I have only been homeschooling for 6 months & am becoming a total product snob. I am finding it is much better to pay higher prices for certain products THAT WILL LAST than to pay pennies for cheap junk that will end up in the garbage within days. I don’t know how many glue sticks I have thrown away….

  11. desiree tomlinson says

    We use Ticonderoga or Dixon (same company), Panel pens & Crayola for being latex free.

  12. Desiree Tomlinson says

    I am a brand snob for Ticonderoga/Dixon pencils, Pentel Pens & Crayola brands to name a few. These are latex free and we have a latex allergy in the house.

  13. So fun!! I have a fair number of those supplies on my top 10, same pencils, laminator, white board, crayola products. But you know I don’t use an ipad ;-) I do actually want to get a mini eventually!

  14. I can’t find uses for my laminator. I’ve tried. I want to love it but I have only used it once in the year I’ve had it. What am I missing?

    I have to have…
    *Staples better binder (the ones with the rubber edges), they last for YEARS.
    *The ugly papermate sharpwriter lead pencils (yellow), no sharpening and the lead (almost) never breaks.

  15. Will you tell me more about these 31 bags? I am new to homeschool and haven’t heard of them! Can you include a link please? :)

  16. My library card is my favorite homeschool supply. We visit at least 1x a week.

  17. I love Ticonderoga as well and I by the black ones for the exact same purpose. LOL
    I wish we could afford an iPad.

    I love the idea of using the 31 bags to be able to school on the go! We live in a small apartment and this would help keep things contained as well. I love their bags; I use them for my business.

    Crayola snob here too. They are more expensive, but the quality is better and they last longer.

  18. Gina Odle-Mortimer says

    I Looooooove my Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote! I had the words iHomeschool monogrammed on it and it is adorable! Okay so I have like 5 because I am a Sr. Director for the company and am obsessed but hey! lol! and I can’t live without my post it flags either.

  19. I have a question about cardstock! Do you use it to print out flascards and charts then laminate? If so what wt works best? I can’t wait to start printing and laminating for my 3yr old!

    • For things I want to be extra durable, like flashcards, I use card stock that I have picked up at Walmart. The heavier weight is great. Then I just laminate as normal.

      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  20. My question is about cardstock. Do you use it when printing flashcards and charts? If so what kind do you recommend? I never knew there were so many kinds until I went to buy some. Cant wait to start printing and laminating for my 3 yr old!!

  21. Love love love my big box of plastic sheet protectors, especially for the little ones. Any worksheet or coloring page is instantly dry erase and goes into a three ring binder for easy use. Fast and easy to change out pages when they’re bored and original is still clean for next child. Saves so much printer ink and $ buying multiple workbooks.

  22. I love this list, my other thing would be black ink cartridges for my printer. I always run out in a hurry.

  23. Thank you for reviewing these favorites. I also love the Scotch laminator and the cheaper pouches on Amazon! Thank you for this blog!

  24. Love your blog and I am so thankful for the chance to win! My 15 y.o. daughter is a pencil snob and ONLY lets me buy Ticonderogas. She has about 40 of her own AND she names each one! No joke. She uses a black sharpie to write a name at the end. For example, 19 of her pencils are named for the Duggar family children (yes, she knows all their names by heart and in birth order). Other names of her pencils include fictional characters from Harry Potter, Scooby Doo, LEGO Ninjago, Frozen and the Hardy Boys. Okay thanks again!!

  25. I use everything on your list as well as sheet protectors. I’d love you try your planner as well.

  26. I love the Paper Mate #2 mechanical pencils! They are always sharp and come in fun bright colors. I also love organizing bags for different subjects, bible study bag, history bag, etc.

  27. Hard to pick just one, but I’d definitely be lost without my white board! Thank you so much for helping me to clean it!!!! ;)

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