Whether your kiddos go to school in a public school, do virtual school, or are homeschooling… all kids need school supplies! Now you could fill your homeschool room with thousands of dollars worth of supplies and materials, or you could have the bare minimum. Both of those would get the job done and would be perfectly sufficient for homeschooling your kids! But there are definitely some supplies beyond the bare minimum that could be helpful in your homeschool.
What are the bare minimum supplies for homeschooling?
- Pencils (these are my absolute favorite!)
- Notebooks – you can use any kind of notebook, but I like to use composition notebooks. These are great for the younger years, because they also have space for a picture.
- Sketchbooks or blank drawing paper
- Books – you can absolutely grab books at the library, but I personally like to have a large at-home library so that we can spontaneously grab what we need. I especially like having non-fiction reference books on hand all the time. My favorite place to buy non-fiction books is Usborne Books. You can head HERE to see some of my favorite books for homeschooling.
That’s really it… that’s all you need! You can homeschool with very few supplies. You don’t need an expensive curriculum or fancy wooden toys and materials. So if this is what you have and you can’t afford anything more, this is plenty.
What are some other helpful supplies for homeschooling?
- Art or craft supplies
- Board games and puzzles
- Snap cubes or cuisinaire rods
- Dry erase pocket sleeves and markers
- Letters – letter tiles or magnet letters
- An electric pencil sharpener
- Tools for science exploration like a magnifying glass or a microscope
- Blank books
- Individual dry erase boards or chalkboards
- Curriculum or printables (Head HERE if you want to read all about choosing a curriculum)
Where can you find supplies for a homeschool on a tight budget?
- Dollar store – you can find art and craft supplies (it’s a great place to buy construction paper or lined paper), office supplies, puzzle or coloring books, crayons, plastic bins for organizing, tape, and sometimes you can even find random good books!
- Outside – natural materials like acorns, sticks, etc. for counting, building, letter building, etc.
- Printables – you can find many free printables online (like the ones in my free printable library) to use in your homeschool. You can print out letters your child can move around to build letters (laminate them if you have a laminator OR you could cover with clear contact paper instead).
- Library – besides books, your local library often has items like board games, microscopes, audiobooks, and even sometimes passes to your local places like the zoo that you can check out to use.
- Thrift stores and rummage sales – I have tips for buying used books in this post, but you can find many other homeschool supplies used! Besides books, I often find games, art and craft supplies (see this post for sewing and craft supplies I look for at thrift stores), baskets for organizing, office supplies, CDs and CD players if you don’t have one, and sometimes you’ll be surprised to find an amazing homeschool find that you never would have expected like a telescope or curriculum!
- Buy used online – Facebook marketplace, local Facebook groups, eBay, etc. are all great places to find used curriculum or homeschool materials.
- Ask a local homeschool group – often you’ll find a local homeschool mom who has materials you can borrow or buy for a low price.
What are some homeschool items that are nice to have if you have a little extra money to spend?
- Stockmar crayons and crayon holder
- Laminator (I’ve been surprised how often I use mine!)
- Spiral binding machine
- Wooden letters or numbers
- Good quality art supplies
- Letter/number tracing board
- Lots and lots of books ;)
Just remember, lots of supplies – especially expensive ones – aren’t necessary. You can homeschool very well without most of them!