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Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. You do not have to have all the resources or pretty wooden materials to have a successful homeschool.
Aside from your curriculum, all you really need to homeschool are pencils, colored pencils or crayons, a simple paint set, paper, and a library card.
Over the course of our homeschool journey, as funds have become available, we have gathered more supplies and have seen what we use often and what we can do without.
Today I won’t be sharing a list of things you NEED because most of these you can easily do without. I will be sharing a list of the supplies we use often or that have made my homeschool mom/teacher life easier. You do not have to have these items to have a successful homeschool, but you can definitely add these to your wish list and buy them over time.
This could get long, so I will be breaking this blog post up into a series to share our most used homeschool supplies, most used supplies for homeschool prepping and planning, and most used reference books to have on hand.
In this post, you will find my favorite homeschool supplies that we use everyday, or at least once a week. These are the items that help me and my kids in completing lessons, art projects, and more.
This might be my favorite homeschool/mom item. We love these trays and use them for SO many different things. We have some just for painting and art projects; we pull these out when painting and they do their work on the tray making it easy cleanup. We use them anytime we play with kinetic sand and playdough, keeping the mess contained. We also have a set for meals! My kids use these like a place mat or lunch tray, catching all their crumbs and spills, and I can easily put them all in the dishwasher.
My kids love to color and these caddy’s help keep all our supplies sorted nicely and easy to clean up. I love that they are easy for the kids to grab and take anywhere in the house or outside when they want to create.
We have THIS one for our crayons.
Each of my kids has their own basket to keep all their curriculum workbooks in. Having everything they need in one basket makes it easy to grab to do schoolwork in other rooms, or our favorite…outside! They are also helpful for quick clean up, since everyone knows where all their things belong. The baskets we have are no longer in stock, but these 2 are very similar and would work just as well.
These paint sets are great and have tons of colors to choose from. Each of the kids have their own and they usually last us a long time, saving money. (We have had our current sets for a year and a half.)
We love to incorporate narration notebook pages wherever we can. This past year we used notebooking for my American Girl History and loved it. It is a great way to complete many subjects in one (art, writing, grammar, spelling, science, history, nature, etc.), keep all their work organized, and a great keepsake. These are the notebooks we like to use and they come in a variety of sizes. We like the mixed media paper because we can paint on them, use markers, colored pencils, or anything else, and it holds up great without leaking or soaking through to the other side.
This past year we added these doodle tablets and use them in place of whiteboards. We use them to practice spelling, math problems, or copy work. You write on them and then press the button at the bottom to erase it all. It also has a lock button on the side so it won’t erase everything while you are writing on it. The kids love to use them just to draw and doodle as well (great for road trips!)
We have had these Montessori Moveable Letters for years and they are so invaluable. We use them from the time they are beginning to sound out letters and words, and later for spelling. We pull them out at least once or twice a week. These are a great quality and will last us our entire homeschool journey.
Having a least one book stand has been super helpful on many occasions. I love using it everyday to display books on particular subjects we are completing. We also use it to hold books open for art/drawing and copywork.
Back in the day when we first started with preschool, I would print, laminate, and cut EVERYTHING. It was exhausting, time consuming, and expensive. Now I just print and put our resources in these dry erase pouches. They can write on them, wipe it off, and use it over and over.
This item is new to us this past year and is amazing. It is cordless so can be moved anywhere, is easy for the kids to use, and sharpens great. I love a good sharp pencil, and this sharpener has almost made it fun to sharpen all of them.
Since I have multiple children (who will all use these) I purchased this sight word card set. It comes with sight words for preschool all the way to 3rd grade and a binder ring. When we use them, I just add 10 or so cards to the binder ring at once and put it in that child’s curriculum basket to pull out anytime to practice. I’m not super strict about memorizing sight words after the primer list, but these cards have definitely helped with their reading. Once they master those, I get out another set of 10 and switch them out on the binder ring.
**Fun way we like to use them: I sit down outside (yes sit!) and my kids ride by on their bikes or scooters while I hold up a word to them. They read it as they ride by. Then as they turn around, I get the next word ready and they read it as they ride by again, repeat. They think it is so fun and I get a moment to relax!
We love the Yoto Player and use it every day. The Yoto Player plays story cards (audio books) from so many great books. We use it during lunch time to listen to our read aloud or while playing with playdough or painting. They also have “make your own” story cards. I have made our own story cards of hymns and favorite music that we love to play while we do our schoolwork. Playing music while they work has really helped them focus more, and stop talking haha!
Having a globe or world map and a map of the United States is very helpful in ALL of our curriculum. Anytime we read a book or do a lesson, it usually talks about a specific place, so having maps available to refer to is very helpful. Maps don’t have to be large and obnoxious or expensive. We love these Cavallini map posters that are usually only $10-$20 or less!
We don’t use many manipulatives for math because everything we need comes with our curriculum (we use The Good and the Beautiful Math), but I love counting bears for my preschoolers and we use them all the time. We use them for learning colors, sorting, patterns, counting, and stem!
These are the most used items we use on a weekly basis in our homeschool. We have bought these items overtime, or as we have needed them for certain lessons. If I ever find something new that has been super helpful to us, I’ll be sure to add it to this list.
Come back tomorrow as I’ll be sharing my most used items for prepping and planning homeschool studies and resources!
Have a great week!