The days are upon us: days of newly sharpened pencils, out-of-the-box crayons, and spiral notebooks waiting for original ideas to be added to their pages. Even those of us who school year-round or non-traditionally sense that fall cries out for new beginnings and fresh starts.
The shopping this time of year can be pretty fun for homeschool parents, too. We grab deals and stock supplies, all the while getting ourselves psyched about the learning coming up in the months ahead.
And while school supplies may never have actually changed someone’s entire life, I know I’m not the only one to feel a kind of thrill when stumbling upon the perfect tool that I know our family will use regularly in our pursuit of knowledge.
A couple of weeks ago I asked readers on my Facebook page to tell me the school supplies you just can’t live without.
Here are some of your top responses, along with links for where you can order them online if you can’t find what you need close to home. Many of these are available via Amazon Prime, meaning they could be on your doorstep in two short days!
Finding the pencils you love counts as a big homeschooling success, and when you do you want to stock up so you never run out. This type is the bestseller in all mechanical pencils, so if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of sharpening you’re all set!
Be still my heart, if it’s possible to adore pencils I adore these.
If mechanical pencils aren’t your thing, but you’re fed up with pencils that snap off and/or refuse to sharpen, order these and say goodbye to pencil frustration. We always have a box at the ready.
Some of you on Facebook were seriously passionate about these flags. Think of them like Bookmarks 2.0, since you can restick them again and again. Plus they take up less space than a full-size post-it, handy if you have several pages marked in a single book or workbook.
You can pick up cheap binders easily enough, but if you need at least one special one for the mama check out these from Bloom. Beautiful designs keep you inspired and organized at the same time!
Doing your math problems never seemed so fun until you knew you could do your assignment on the window!
This set goes on in bright colors and cleans up easy. (Note: Reviews state it takes a little while to get the liquid chalk flowing, so keep that in mind before you hand them over to your kiddos.)
Paper cutters bring back some fun school memories for me–I used to love using these to help prep materials for the teacher!
This model cuts up to 12 sheets at once and has a lock to protect the blade from little fingers.
Several of you mentioned that an electric pencil sharpener has eased up frustration in your homeschool, but some models have severely mixed reviews.
This one, on the other hand, has over 1,000 positive reviews–so it sounds like a keeper! (Or check out this one, which actually stops when the pencil is sharpened to prevent littles from going crazy with excitement and making the pencils vanish–brilliant idea!)
Oh the joys of laminating! Many homeschoolers I know rave about how they just couldn’t get along without their laminator.
This popular model laminates papers up to nine inches wide. It features a two roller system that has two temperature settings, and can be used with 3 or 5ml laminating pouches.
Praises for whiteboards were sung out loud and clear when I posed this question on Facebook! Some of you preferred huge boards, others like the individual sizes.
Get a magnetic board instead of just a regular dry erase–that way it can double as a bulletin board or be used with magnetic letters and manipulatives like those in All About Reading/Spelling.
And after you’ve bought your board, make sure you snag a nifty…
Not having a magnetic whiteboard ourselves, I have definitely found myself searching for our eraser on more than one occasion.
Solve this by getting an eraser that sticks right to your board–always there when you need it!
What don’t I use these for?! They come in so handy for keeping kids’ work looking good long-term in portfolios or scrapbooks.
And if you have multiple kids using the same curriculum, just slip their worksheet or assignment in one and have them complete it with wet erase markers!
If you like things to look pretty on your dry erase board, don’t stick with boring markers in black, blue, and red. Why not go for purple, teal, or magenta instead?!
These are fun for parent-teachers to use and might also entice those reluctant writers in your midst.
Binding machines allow you to punch and bind your kids’ reports and even your upcoming homeschool plans. This one can punch up to 12 sheets at a time and bind up to 150.
Note: You have to buy the plastic combs separately–they’re also available via Amazon.
A visual timer can be a good choice for young kids, those with special needs, or visual learners who need to “see” time to understand it.
This could come in handy for timed assignments or even just knowing how much longer until you leave for Grandma’s.
This wasn’t exactly the response I anticipated when I asked what school supplies you can’t live without! But more than one reader listed self-care items like coffee, tea, your own store of dark chocolate, and sunshine.
It’s a fair point–as you plan for the upcoming year, don’t forget the sanity items that will fuel you as the teacher as well!
Have anything to add to this list? What supplies are favorites in your home?
Originally published on August 24, 2015.
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