If you are a new homeschooler, I have some unexpected good news for you!
Your homeschool supply list is one of the huge ways you can save money in your homeschool – and vastly decrease your stress level during the back to school shopping season.
I very clearly remember going through the congested aisles of Walmart looking for a very specific list of things for my soon to be kindergartener.
For just one kid, my cart was nearly overflowing with tissue boxes, Lysol wipes, art supplies, a book bag, lunchbox, notebooks, headphones, a pink sparkly pencil pouch, and a ton of other stuff that ended up costing me a shocking amount.
That was years ago, but I wasn’t surprised to catch this article that said the average family paid $696 PER STUDENT in back to school expenses in 2019.
That is insane!!!
You are not going to get even close to that with your homeschool supply list.
Before You Buy Any Homeschool Supplies…
Always, always, always check your teacher’s manuals to see what is recommended to buy. I think you will be very surprised to see that your list is actually much shorter than what traditional schools usually require.
You will find that you already have a lot of things on your list and do not necessarily need to buy them new. For example, if your kid already has crayons…why would you need to buy a new box of them?
Keep in mind that you will also be able to reuse a lot of your supplies in the coming years. I have not bought any new folders or binders over the last 3 years because I just empty them out at the end of the year and they’re ready for fall.
If you are homeschooling multiple kids, they can share art supplies – so no need to buy multiples of everything.
Don’t feel stressed to have everything on your homeschool supply list by the first day. Check through your lesson plans and see what you will absolutely need in the first month. Then reassess and see what you want to buy and what will fit in your budget. Yes, I know. Very different than the traditional school method of buying more than what you need by September 1st or else.
Where to Shop Your Homeschool Supply List
1. Dollar Tree
I kicked myself for marching right over to Walmart and stocking up on all the things for my first year of homeschooling.
Then we popped into Dollar Tree to grab something and I found so many of the EXACT SAME things I had just bought at Walmart.
As you go through the list below, I would recommend going to Dollar Tree to get everything you can. As you continue through your homeschool year, I would also recommend checking Dollar Tree for all things art supplies, science experiment items, and even workbooks for extra practice.
Okay, if Dollar Tree doesn’t have it, I would then head over to Wal-Mart to grab whatever else is on your homeschool supply list.
They usually have a great selection and very reasonable prices.
But, the experience can be stressful as you navigate through the aisle with your cart, kids, and list and try not to knock over all the other moms doing the same thing.
If that sounds like a nightmare to you, Amazon would be my next choice.
They win the prize hands down for having the most variety to choose from and the most convenience. Nobody needs a potty break, nobody is screaming because they want the $50 trapper keeper that’s not on your list, no pandemic germs to deal with… you get the idea.
To help you out, all of my below links go to Amazon products I own and can personally vouch for.
4. Stores that Offer Homeschool Discounts
If you are a deal shopper or if you are looking to purchase one of the bigger ticket items from your homeschool supply list, I would definitely recommend looking into stores in your area that offer a homeschool discount.
Keep in mind you will likely have to show your letter of intent to homeschool and/or an HSLDA membership card.
Check out this great post with over 30 places that offer discounts to homeschoolers to start shopping!
Are You Ready to Dig Into this Homeschool Supply Shopping List?!
I broke up the list below into sections in order to help you organize what you needed to buy.
Remember to check your teacher’s manual to see what you will need in addition to these basic supplies.
Lastly, Don’t miss the free printable copy of this list (with space to add whatever else you want) at the bottom of this post!
Ultimate Homeschool Supplies List
Basic Homeschool Writing Supplies
- 1 Spiral notebook per child
- 1 3-ring binder with pockets per child
- 1 folder with pockets per child
- College Rule/Wide Rule paper
- Handwriting Paper – if age appropriate
- Ticonderoga pre-sharpened pencils – the best!
- Pencil Sharpener – go with high quality here. The cheap ones break very easily and you’ll end up spending more in the end.
- Extra eraser tops
- Pens – depending on the age of students
Basic Homeschool Art Supplies
- Child Scissors
- Markers – I highly recommend Crayola for all art supplies. They have noticeably higher quality, even if they cost a little bit more.
- Colored Pencils
- Kwik Stix – the easiest, cleanest way to paint
- Washable Paint
- Quality Paintbrushes
- Paper plates
- Construction paper
- Paint paper – great for art projects!
- Glue Sticks
- Elmers Glue
Homeschool Organization Supplies
Caddy – to hold, organize, and share school supplies
Accordion folder – to keep students sheets and other papers together
Post It Tabs – lifesaver when keeping your place in books/teacher’s manuals
Tape – lots of tape
Large calendar to display months of the year, holidays, etc.
Quality Bookcase to store books/curriculum
Analog Wall Clock – this one is very easy for kids to read
Smart Homeschool Supplies that Make Your Life Easier
Mini Dry Erase Boards – one per child. Check out this post for how to use this awesome homeschool hack!
Dry Erase markers – these are washable!
Fun stickers to reward good work
Globe and/or World Map
Laptop/computer – the family computer is just fine.
Headphones – helps if you’re having homeschooling multiple kids
Printer with copier
Extra ink cartridges – you’ll always need a new one at the least convenient time
Backpacks – only if they will be needed to carry things for co-op meeting or field trips
Big Ticket Homeschool Supplies You Can Probably Wait On
Bulletin board to display work
CD player – I love that this one can be hung on the wall and away from little hands
Large magnetic dry erase board – my most favorite thing we have
Laminator – I rarely use mine, but it is nice to have for some things.
Desk – this would be for an older, more independent student to work quietly in their room. We have this desk for 2 of our kids and love it.
Homeschool Supply List Recap + Free Printable!
Not so bad, right?!
To make this even easier for you, I consolidated all of it onto a one page free printable – and I even included a space for the extra things your teacher manuals may call for – such as dice, cottontails, etc.
Ready to get organized and get shopping for your homeschool year?!
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Want to save this monster list for later? Got you covered! Just pin it to your favorite Pinterest Board and share it will all your other homeschool friends and followers!