Whether you’ve always knows you’d homeschool your kids or you’ve made a recent decision to take their education into your own hands, your home classroom isn’t complete without these essential supplies every homeschooler should have.
Writing Implements, Paper, and a Whiteboard
Many homeschoolers thrive with a large whiteboard on one wall of their homeschool space. A magnetic whiteboard comes in handy to mark special calendar days or attach notes and homework. You’ll go through dry erase markers quickly, so get a 10- or 12-pack to start; replenish as needed.
For the kids, they’ll obviously need sturdy, high-quality pencils and pens, and all of them need writing paper. Notebooks and binders help your children keep their work organized.
Crayons, colored pencils, pastels, chalk, tempura paints, molding clay, glue, and scissors will get young artists going on producing creative work. Items that add tactile features to children’s artworks (pom pons, ribbons, shells, buttons, or similar things you have around the house) add additional interest. Just be mindful of choking hazards for young children or for kids with special needs who tend to put things in their mouths.
While your school-age kids are past the “Baby Mozart” stage, music education has been shown to improve overall academic performance. Keep some basic musical instruments, like recorders, bongos, maracas, and ukuleles around, along with a simple electronic keyboard, if you don’t have a piano.
If you’re not musical yourself, team up with other homeschoolers who are to provide joint music education for your kids.
Bins, cubbies, cubes, file folders, binders, and hanging pouches for student work will help keep your (no doubt limited) homeschool space free from clutter. Special needs kids and neurotypical kids alike benefit from a comprehensible, organized environment where everything has a place at clean-up time.
Science and Math Supplies
You’ll need a cupboard or cabinet to secure supplies for science experiments. Include trays, bowls, beakers, and bottles or other containers with lids to contain non-toxic liquids, solutions, or mixtures you make to see what happens over time.
Encourage kids’ natural curiosity with inexpensive, portable paper microscopes they can take outside to examine plants and insects to learn about the natural world. Collect specimens and bring them back home to examine and compare, according to whatever science curriculum you have chosen to follow.
As they observe their specimens through a microscope, kids learn about the scientific method and about how scientific tools like microscopes work, which further spurs their curiosity and deepens their interest in scientific fields.
Math manipulatives are great for younger kids just learning numbers and relative concepts of more, less, bigger, and smaller.
Laptops or Tablets
Whether your kids share or you’re able to provide each child with their own device, laptops or tablets are essential homeschool supplies. Children at different grade levels will need time to research, explore, and complete online assignments while others are making an art project or reading an assigned book.
Public libraries, and the librarians who work there, are the greatest gift homeschoolers have. At the library, kids can explore their areas of interest in depth, learn research skills, and select recreational reading that builds literacy and writing skills.
Every homeschool space is unique, but these essential supplies belong in every one of them. Best wishes for a fun, education-packed season, and great learning progress for your kids!