My Top 10 Favorite Supplies For Our Homeschool

My Top 10 Favorite Supplies For Our Homeschool

 All homeschoolers have those supplies they just can’t live without. These can be different and even change over time based on your homeschool style and the ages of your kids. Here are my favorites that we currently find the most useful.

A Library

We’ve always had a house full of books. Shelves overflowing, piles on the floor, books on the couch. They are everywhere. One of my favorite things to do when I’m out is to stop by the used bookstore to see what gems I can find. After three kids plus myself we’ve gathered quite the collection. We keep most of the kid’s themed books on two shelves like these, but we keep their favorite picture books in their rooms and in baskets in the living room for easy access. This is probably our number one homeschool necessity because we love to use picture books, poems, read-alouds, and non-fiction books in our learning.
Our own homeschool library
You definitely don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of books in order to homeschool. I have a friend who is an amazing homeschool mom and a minimalist. She buys a few books she knows her kids will love and frequently use, but the books for most of her units come from the library. She reserves them online and then swings by and picks them up before they begin that unit. This works amazingly for them, but I never think ahead enough to do this!
Whether your library is owned or borrowed, it will definitely be helpful to have access to a variety of books. Plus, my kids love going to the library or bookstore to choose their own books to read. And they read more often because it’s “their” book that they picked out.

Rolling Carts

I’m not usually one to jump on a bandwagon, but this was an exception. I have way too many of these things. I use them for crafts, toys, garden supplies… They are all over my house. We use the carts from Michael’s but you can find them in several stores. Not only do we use them for homeschool organization, but each kid has their own cart that they leave at the table containing the supplies they use most and their handwriting and calendar booklets. The bottom is where they turn in their work so I can keep it for their records.
Kid's rolling supply cart
I even have my own homeschool cart to keep my things organized. This minimizes the amount of things left on the table, holds the kids  accountable for their own supplies, and makes it easy to take our learning to a new spot in the house if we need to switch it up. Or even outside!
My rolling supply cart


We go through a ton of cardstock. My kids love centers and activities, and I like printing out our units to be more sturdy so I can use them more than once. I used to laminate things but now I find cardstock works for us with less trouble. Cardstock also works well for art projects since paint and markers don’t bleed through as much and it hold shapes well when cut.
Paper studio cardstock
As quickIy as we go through it I definitely don’t splurge. I bought Astrobrights a few months ago because it was all I could find at the store I was at and I was really disappointed. Maybe I bought the wrong thing but it was really thin and twice the price as the stuff I usually buy. My favorite cardstock is actually the big packages of white cardstock in the scrapbooking section at Hobby Lobby. It’s bright, thick, and I can get it at a great price when they have their sale on scrapbook supplies.

Our Nature Collection

This is my favorite part of our homeschool room. We’ve spent the past few years finding and collection the items we’ve added to it. We have some really neat things in our collection, like a megalodon tooth I received for a gift several years ago, fossils, seashells, geodes, and even a piece of meteorite the kids received in one of those National Geographic science kits. But it also has things the kids think are super cool, like feathers and eggs from our chickens, mussel shells they found at the pond, and pinecones and seed pods from our yard. Pretty much anything can go on our nature shelf (now shelves) as long as we find it interesting. This makes it easy to pull out feathers during a bird unit, rocks during a geology unit, or seashells during our ocean unit.
Our nature shelf collection.
Some day I want our entire homeschool room to be a “cabinet of curiosities” so our collection is always growing. But a good collection could consist of some plant seeds, a tree cookie, and some snail shells you find in the garden. In addition to having learning supplies on hand, we love having a bit of the outdoor in our room.

Watercolor Paints

These are one of our new favorites. They are great for letting the kids express themselves creatively and adding a quick art project into our units. Sometimes I can’t find the art I need for the units I create and I have to make a piece or two to add to it so I sit down and paint. I noticed pretty quickly that the kids love to paint with me. It gives us time to sit together and be still, to slow down, and just explore new techniques. I’ve also found it’s really good for our soul when we need a break. We simply put our work aside for a minute and paint, and we are suddenly much calmer.
Watercolor supplies

A Book Binder

This one was life changing for my unorganized self. I use it to bind the units I create so we can reuse them year after year. I also bind the kid’s work to create booklets for their handwriting and calendars. Their math and language arts curriculums are several hundred pages (because my old printer doesn’t like to print double sided), so I bind their completed work every few weeks as they complete it. I also bind all of their extra pages for record-keeping purposes.
My goal is to go back and bind artwork from all three kids when they were younger, but I haven’t quite gotten that organized yet! Basically, I love to bind all the things to keep them neat and tidy.
Fellowes binding machine

Candles and Music

If you know what hygge is this one will make sense. I’m not sure what it is about candlelight and classical music, but it calms my kids and puts us all in a better mood. I remember hearing classical music makes you smarter, and I don’t know if that’s true, but it definitely calms my kids when they start getting squirrely. We don't make it fancy, we simply play classical stations on my phone with Pandora. That and the glow from a nice smelling candle transforms our school space and our moods in no time. We also love to hunt for candles that match our units or season, such as ocean breeze, pumpkin spice, apple cider, and winter scents.
candles and music

A World Map and Globe

When we first started considering homeschooling I wanted a map because I thought you needed one. I was lucky to find one on clearance, bought it, and it sat in our closet until we moved because I had no where to put it. We hung it in our new house and we actually use it all the time. We obviously use it when we talk about geography or locations, but we also reference it when we talk about different habitats or biomes so the kids know where they are located, when we study animals and point out their native area, and when we talk about history, like where the Titanic sailed. We typically have our world map up but cover it with our US map if we are just focusing on our country.
Our world map display
The globe my son got as a gift a few years ago is also something we use often. It helps to see the differences between the way the Earth looks on the map compared to how it really looks. (I remember being so shocked when I first realized Antarctica wasn’t really that big!) We also use it when we talk about days and nights and the way the Earth rotates around the sun. The kids really enjoy being able to hold the globe and see places up close.

A Paper Cutter

I mentioned before that we use lots of centers. I don’t want to cut them all by hand. I also can’t cut straight to save my life, so this saves me tons of time and money. There are fancy paper cutters out there, but this one from Hobby Lobby works fine for our purposes and is light enough to carry with me if I want to move to another area to cut out our unit.
Our paper cutter and one set of centers

Safari Lmtd TOOBS and Life Cycles

My kids are still smaller so this one may not be as helpful for you, but we use these in so many ways. My kids love playing with the cute sets of animals, but the details make them perfect for a display during our units and nature studies. They are also the perfect size for sensory bins and small world play/recreating habitats. They do make larger versions of their animals, but we prefer the small ones because we can use them for math manipulatives and game pieces.
They also make really cute life cycle models that my kids love to play with during our studies. Not only do they make fun sets that show the life cycle of a chicken or sea turtle, they also offer detailed models of smaller creatures like earthworms and ants.
Our Arctic set up using Safari Lmtd. TOOBs

Bonus: HP InstantInk

This one is another that has really saved my sanity. I know some people have tried it and don’t like it, but this subscription ink service from HP is perfect for us. I pay a set rate for 500 pages a month and don’t have to worry about whether my pages will use too much ink. Some months I print more and some I print less, so the rollover pages are really helpful. I haven’t run out of ink once since I signed up several years ago and can print our curriculum and full-size art study pages with no worrying. Not having to wait to print curriculum because you’re out of ink is a gamechanger. If you are interested in more info you should definitely look into the different plans and requirements to see if it fits your needs, and if you sign up with my affiliate link here you can get a free month!

I know I’m always looking for new tricks or tools to make our days run smoother so hopefully you’ve found some ideas to help you organize or improve your homeschooling experience. If you have a favorite homeschool supply let me know in the comments so I can try it out!
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