Being a homeschool mom is rewarding, but it also has its difficult days. So, anything that will help make my days run smoother is a giant plus. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of back-to-homeschool supplies that make my job easier and I want to share it with you.
Some of these may not be products that I use every day, but they are used on a regular to semi-regular basis.
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I’m not fond of paying full price for anything, especially brand-name stuff. So, during back-to-school sales is the best time to get discounted homeschool supplies. If I’ve seen a good price on any of my favorite items, it’ll be listed.
If you hang with me until the end of this post, you’ll find a Homeschool Supplies Best Price List. It’s a listing of items you may choose to purchase for your homeschool with spaces for pricing information for your area. You may not need all of the items listed, but if you think you might, now’s the time to find a good deal and make that purchase.
Amazon Prime Subscription
Three years ago, I signed up for a free Amazon Prime trial and have never looked back. I’ve used this subscription so many times.
Most recently, I used it to get socks and underwear for my son when our local Walmart was sold out of his size. I’ve used it for last minute Christmas gifts, a dog kennel for a very destructive German Shepherd pup, homeschool textbooks, a lightbar for our service truck, a homeschool microscope, diapers and wipes, science kits, home furnishings, the list goes on and on.
The thing that makes this so worth the money for me is that I don’t have to pay shipping and I get my items in two or three days. No extra trips to the store, I don’t have to pack all the kids up and take them out if the weather’s bad, or if we already had something else planned it isn’t affected. It also doesn’t have to be one more stop I have to add to the list on errand day.
There are also other benefits to an Amazon Prime Subscription. As an Amazon Prime member, in addition to the fast and free shipping, you get unlimited photo storage, and exclusive access to movies, music, and Kindle books.
A few years ago we bought a big box of generic pencils for a few dollars and I was so excited to have found such a “deal.” I soon found out that they weren’t a deal at all. Every time we sharpened them the leads would break out while we were sharpening them. We were eating up half of the pencil before we could finally get the pencil to actually write. It was so frustrating. Last year, I decided to buy Ticonderoga Pencils and I will never buy any other pencils again. They’re strong, sturdy pencils with leads that don’t break easily. So, so, very pleased with this discovery! Never thought I’d be so excited about pencils.
The pencils I have linked are the ones I purchased from Amazon last year and we still have a couple of boxes left. These pencils are really worth the money.
The wide-ruled composition books are great for writing assignments. We use them to journal, for creative writing, and for copywork. They give your students plenty of room to write and give you plenty of room to make corrective notations.
I found some at my local Walmart for $.50 each during the back-to-school sale. The very best place I’ve found to purchase these is at the Dollar Tree, if you miss out on Walmart’s sale.
The pretty ones are more expensive. So why not make your own with some pretty paper or fabric and save yourself some $$$? There’s an amazing tutorial that you can use to learn how to cover them with fabric at Crazy Little Projects.
Colored Pencils, Crayons, Markers, and Paints
When you have artistic tools any academic lesson can do double duty as an art lesson. For science, animal or plant cells can become works of art. Grammar could be artistic by coloring the different parts of speech. Math could be creatively completed by learning to multiply by drawing and coloring different bowls full of fruit.
Elmer’s Glue Sticks are a must in our house. I’ve used other brands before and haven’t been as impressed with them as I am with Elmer’s. It’s sticky, but not too sticky and the papers you are gluing don’t peel up easily when the glue dries. That’s been a problem for us in the past. When your kid works hard on a masterpiece lapbook, you don’t want those valuable bits of information coming unstuck.
I found Elmer’s Glue Sticks, the white kind, at Walmart for $.50/pack of two. However, Amazon has the purple Elmer’s Glue Sticks for $.29/each in this Elmer’s Washable Disappearing Purple School Glue 30 Pack. In my opinion, the latter offer is the best because you don’t even have to leave home for that one. 😉
Books are a must in homeschooling. Whether you’d rather have your own library or you visit one, books are definitely essential to learning. As strong as my love for cats, is my love of books.
We plan a few outings to the library every school year, but I’ve found we like to have books for future reference. Usborne Books & More has solved this problem for us. They’ve helped us enlarge our home library and provided us with books my children can read over and over again.
If you’d like information about Usborne Books & More, please go to Bananas4Books.com and fill out a contact form. I’d love for us to talk about how I can help you earn free books for your homeschool library.
Non-Essential Homeschool Favorites
A laminator can come in very handy, especially for younger grades. You can use them to make letter and number match games, Play-Doh mats, chore charts, and more reusable. I had never purchased one until last year and I’m not sure how or why I survived without it.
The one I purchased is an Amazon Basics and is currently unavailable, but I’ve found another with comparable ratings. It’s also an Amazon Basics Laminator and is wider than the one I purchased, which will definitely come in handy for larger projects.
You’ll need laminating pages/pockets to use with the laminator and these AmazonBasics Pouches have served me well. They’re inexpensive and have been great for the laminating I’ve done.
Spiral Binding Machine
Making your own workbooks is a great way to save some moolah. You can find free workbooks online to print off yourself or to print off at an office store. Those office stores charge to bind those for you. The first time I did it I spent a quarter of the amount it would cost to purchase the machine and do it myself. So, the next year I purchased the machine and supplies and bound things myself. Again, this is one of those purchases that has been well worth the money spent. The one I use is a TruBind Coil Binding Machine with Electric Coil Inserter. I don’t necessarily use the electric coil inserter. I’ve found it’s easier for me to insert the coils myself. Coil binding supplies can be found here in this search for “coil binding supplies.” You can also do a Google search for these materials. There may be some better pricing to be found or sales you can take advantage of.
You certainly don’t have to have all these things to have a successful homeschool. These things make my job easier, but not easy. If I find out that gem of information, I’ll be happy to share it with you.
Need some frugal resources for homeschooling this year? Check out Free Homeschooling Resources for Elementary Grades.
What are some things that help make your homeschool journey a bit smoother? I’d love to know and compare notes.
As promised, here’s the Homeschool Supplies Best Price List.