Homeschool Supply List

I’ve had so many requests regarding standard school supplies that we use regularly in our homeschool. As a homeschooler, I understand what being on a budget is like, so I wanted to share with you some of the things that we absolutely can’t live without!



So here is a list of the supplies that we use regularly, I tried to separate them between student and teacher resources to help out a little bit. Of course you may have different needs then us. These are the things I try to make sure I have before our school year starts.

Student Supplies:

  • Lined Paper I usually get a few packs for us each year. We also get a pack of graph paper as needed to use with our harder math problems. I find that the grid helps them keep numbers in the correct spots when multi-digit multiplying.
  • Pencils (I usually get Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils. Sometimes we get decorative pencils for the start of the year though just for fun. But mostly we find those don’t work as well, and they end up using the Ticonderoga anyway.)
  • Glue (I get glue sticks in bulk, we use them for everything, they dry quickly and are virtually mess free when it comes to little people.)
  • Paint & Brushes (I get tempera paint in bulk from Lakeshore Learning, we use it all the time, and it’s cheaper in bulk)
  • Large Sheets of Paper for painting (I’ve also done the butcher paper rolls which work nicely and are fairly inexpensive)
  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Expo Dry Erase Markers
  • Washable Crayola Markers/Crayons, etc (I can’t tell you how thankful I am for Crayola’s new line of washable products…they make colored pencils, markers, and crayons, all washable! With a totally white school room desk, this is a must for us! It has also saved our walls and carpets from mishaps.)
  • Scissors (Kids rounded ends)
  • Counters: You can use Wooden Clothes pins, marbles, beads, bingo markers, beans, fold fish crackers, cheerios, glass pebbles from the craft store, matchbox cars, dinosaurs, rocks, literally anything you think your child will like. I have a few different ones just so I can switch them out for variety sake.
  • Wooden Craft Sticks: I find we use these all the time for random things, building projects, crafts, etc. Another variation of these are the Smart Sticks Interlocking Notched sticks. They have little notches out of them that help immensely with construction.
  • Do-A-Dot Marker Set: I’m sorry, but the Teeny Tot would have a fit if I didn’t include these in our list of necessary supplies…


Teacher Supplies:

  • Laminator: You can either laminate at home, at a local teacher or office supply store, or not at all, it’s up to you. If you do choose to purchase a laminator, which most homeschoolers find quite useful, I recommend this one, you can find it at Wal-mart and Sam’s Clubs. It’s about $30 for the laminator and $14 for refill packets.


Scotch Thermal Laminator & 9×11 Scotch Thermal Pouches

  • Hole Punch (I have a single hole punch as well as a 3 ring hole punch.)
  • Pencil Sharpener (I’ve been through several pencil sharpeners and so far I like the Bostitch QuietSharp Electric  – $23.62. I did actually have to go through two of these, the first one kept running even when there was no pencil. I exchanged it for a new one and all’s well now. No pencil jams, no busted pencil tips, just nice perfect sharpened pencils. My kids even commented on how perfect their pencils were!)
  • Mavalus Tape! (This is a must for me! It’s like masking tape, but it holds literally everything on our walls, and doesn’t mark or take off paint!)
  • Stapler & Staples  (Nothing fancy here, just a plain ole’ stapler.)
  • Workboxes (I have used the Cropper Hopper 10 Drawer Rolling Carts, and now we use our Ikea drawers. Either work great. Click here to read all about our workboxes! They revolutionized how we do school. No kidding.)
  • White Board: I found a 5’ x 8’ whiteboard at a church school closing for literally $5! What a steal, make sure to check Craig’s List in your area for school furniture, you’ll be surprised at what you can get ahold of!
  • Calendar Poster (This is held onto a cork board with small thumb tacks. Click here to see more details on our Calendar Activities)



  • Desktop Carousel:  I know you’ve all seen my supply caddy that literally holds our Ikea school desks in place. I honestly do LOVE this thing! It’s called the Making Memories Desktop Carousel. I found ours at Michael’s craft store and bought it using a 40% off coupon. They range $40 or so. Here’s one at  I’ve also seen a new one called Recollections Desktop Carousel if that helps any of you out there! I keep the majority of our supplies in this caddy so everyone can share.



And that’s about it for our homeschool supply list. The rest of our things in our schoolroom are just bonus, but those are some of my favorite thing’s I’d definitely fight to keep!


Want to see more of our school room? Make sure to stop by my Schoolroom ala Ikea post!



Have some school supplies you can’t live without? Leave a comment, I’d love to see what everyone else is using!

Here are some more posts on homeschool things we love:


  1. The only thing I dont have is that awesome laminator!!! Maybe Santa will bring it this year 😉

    • Charity says:

      Watch…they have run a few lightning sales on it for $15!

    • Rebekah Kuriakose says:

      Yes, Amazon usually runs a good sale around Black Friday or even earlier in November.

    • Sonja A. says:

      The laminator that Erlca links to is on sale right now for $30 just in case you didn’t know. It’s normally $80. I put that in my cart immediately! 🙂

    • Kathryn F. says:

      I actually just bought this one tonight at walmart after doing some research online. It was $27.97 and the 50 pack of laminating pouches was $14.97!

    • I was wondering where you got the candy jars with the colored lids – I love this and would like to incorporate them into my school room as well! Everything looks so great; you all did a very nice job! I am using your room as inspiration for me : )

    • Thanks u so much sorryto j

  2. I love my laminator, it is one of the best things I have purchased. I get my laminator sheets from Sam’s Club. They are a pack of 200 for $20. Best deal I have found if you have a membership or a friend with one who will get them for you!

  3. My top three things:
    1. Paper cutter – got it free from my dad, his office was no longer using it
    2. Clear contact paper for laminating – much cheaper than a machine and its sheets, but you have to get the heavy duty Duck brand
    3. Expedit Bookcase from Ikea – we are moving from Chicago to Boise in June and the hubby keeps trying to get me to get rid of it so he doesn’t have to make room for it in the truck – I told him “over my dead body”!!!

    • Let me tell you – DO NOT – get rid of Expedit. Once you move somewhere without close proximity to Ikea, you will miss it even more! We moved to the midwest and the closest Ikea is at least seven hours away. Over xmas we packed the car with 3 small expedit cases. My husband thinks I’m nuts but they are THE BEST!!!

  4. Can you tell us where your desk is from? I am guessing Ikea, but the name would help. This summer, I am re-claiming my dining room and making a school room. I need some desks or a table!


  5. I couldn’t manage without a world map. We don’t have a white board but I’m very tempted to get one this summer.

  6. heidi Cunningham says:

    Hi Erica,
    This is great it gives me some more ideas on what to get before we start school again,In your picture with the cork board you have a clock so the kids can tell what time it is.Do you have this as a printable?I looked and could not fine it.Do you have it to sell?I would like to have this for my kids board next year.
    God Bless

  7. Katrina says:
  8. Thanks, Erica! For all of you without laminaters (like myself :P) I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT!!! papercovers! 🙂
    Those are great!

  9. Just recently got a laminater at Aldi. I’m excited to put it to use!
    Thanks for the list. I need a new pencil sharpener. Maybe I should give this one a try!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I’ve seen you post many times about the do-a-dot markers. They look really fun, but I’ve always had a hard time with the price tag. I don’t know about everyone else’s Dollar Tree, but ours sells “bingo markers” in several colors. There’s probably not quite the range of colors you can get with the real do-a-dot, but at a dollar apiece it worked for me!

    • Excellent idea! Also, just a heads up, the do-a-dot markers do last a long time at least. We purchased our set about 3 years ago and they’re still going strong!

    • Louanne says:

      I agree on the Do-a-dots. We got a package a couple years ago and used it to decorate a big cardboard playhouse and our girls still love them. You can buy them with a 40% off coupon at Michaels which helps.

  11. Great list! Funny you should mention the Expedit bookshelf – I’ve got a savings account going for that plus a pile of wicker baskets to go into it right now. 🙂

  12. I have a very white schoolroom too…the thing I cannot live without would be the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges. They really do clean up everything, even permanent marker on dry erase boards! Don’t try the cheaper imitations…they don’t work. Promise!

    Great list by the way Erica. I’ve been telling all my homeschool friends to check out your curriculums. The Road Trip is perfect for summer!!! Hugs!

    • Charyti says:

      One of the easiest things to get permanent marker of the dry erase boards is to go over the mark with a dry erase marker then just wipe off with the dry eraser. Hard to believe but it does work.

  13. Several months ago I switched from using dry erase markers to using Crayola’s Dry Erase Crayons. They are fantastic! I don’t have a white board, but I have nearly all of our books in page protectors so they can be used again. They are easy to write with, easy to erase, and don’t dry out. And my kids can even color with them if the activity calls for it, which they couldn’t really do with markers (because once you start to go back and forth, the markers kind of erase themselves).

    • We got them for the fun of it and have become addicted! They don’t rub off if you brush them and they don’t leave the stains that markers leave if you forget to erase what you wrote. Plus its less stinky and kind of fun, Like big kid coloring crayons 😉 I too love that you never have to put a cap on them!

  14. I love your school room. We have two actually. I am off to organize our barn school room today as we recently moved to our new home. Our 1940s farm home isn’t large enough to accommodate a full school room inside. We utilize an armoire in our Dining room as our main school headquarters. It holds our children’s desktop computer and our supplies. Soon it will be flanked by two barrister cabinets to hold all of our current curriculum and supplies. Right now we are using standard sized shelving and they are not large enough to hold everything as neatly as I would like.

    What I couldn’t live without:

    1) My three hole punch (I say this because I can’t find it and I need it!)

    2) Washable Markers – all of my children enjoy using them and we allow our wee ones to use them until they are able to grasp a pencil appropriately.

    3) Brother All in One – I love my Brother printer. It was something we had to save for, but I am very pleased with my purchase. Because the toner costs less than inkjets, it has paid for itself in only 6 months!

  15. It is nice reading everyone’s ideas. I don’t have a separate room for school. I keep a lot of our school supplies in our pantry. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Bethany says:

    I love my Epson printer / scanner / copier. I just factor the cost of ink and paper into our yearly budget. So worth the investment in time savings.

  17. Louanne says:

    This is a great list. I have recently been thinking we need an electric pencil sharpener so thanks for the tip.

    I would miss my laminator more than anything. But here is my favorite thing for sliding worksheets and such I am not going to laminate:

    They have larger packets of them too.

  18. Large bath tub foam letters. They have 3 sets for the bathtub, I made a set of alphabet pointer sticks with them, We use them on the sticks for spelling words, then we have some for painting/stamping/tracing around with markers. We glue stuff on them or decorate them for letter of the week. Some are buried in the sand box/rice table/sensory box. They are great on a parachute just to change things up. My kids are 5 and under and these are a must. I usually find them at walmart buy one get one free when they do their big baby sale or when the companies change the packaging!

  19. I have almost everything you mention except one thing – a schoolroom!!! No space 🙁 We have our garage blocked in and carpeted but not insulated so it would be good for summer but not for winter 🙁 we need more rooooooooom.

  20. A few things I would add to that list: a long-arm stapler (my kids are much more keen on writing if they can make their own books using copy paper and a long-arm stapler), page extenders so I can re-use workbooks–I’ve used these for years now, and I need some new ones ( and a date stamper/ink pad. Our large laminated wall map has also been very helpful (a church gave it to us).

  21. I have been wanting to buy a laminator but have not. Once you laminate can you cut around or will it fall apart? I have only used the big laminators when I taught school….

  22. Amy Jenkins says:

    This will be my first year of homeschooling, any ideas of what to buy to get started and what an average budget is?

  23. I am going to start homeschooling my children in 2013. I just came across your websire and just wanted to say that it’s absolutely wonderful!!! Thank you!!!

  24. Stephanie says:

    I LOVE the information you share! I am getting ready to start my first year of homeschooling with my daughter. She is beginning pre-k in a few weeks. I love your bulletin board set up and am wondering where you got the “patience” card and if there are other character qualities that come with it. Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge! I have downloaded the “learning everyday” book to do with my daughter!

  25. Nice list! All these are necessary art supplies that we need. Love your Making Memories Desktop Carousel. Its really very unique and nice.

  26. I love your desk set up! I think I want that when we build out the basement for our school room. I’m lucky that I don’t need a laminator because my county has a resource center I can use.

    Something I wouldn’t want to be without is a large 3 hole punch. We print a lot of our curriculum and with 4 kids being able to punch 30 sheets at a time sure makes it go faster.

  27. I would like to add a comb binding machine to the list. 🙂 Greatest. Purchase. Ever.

  28. Stephanie says:

    This list is cool, and a lot of things on here make perfect sense. But it seems so short that I feel like something must be missing! What about erasers, lined paper, things like that?

    • Oh yes, we always start the year with a few fresh packs of lined paper 🙂 I don’t buy many erasers as my kids don’t seem to use them. I usually get each of them a cute set of erasers or just one pack of the pencil top erasers for when ours run out. We keep it simple 🙂

  29. Hi, Great list and awesome classroom! I would like to know what the laminator is used for. What things are good to laminate? Thanks 🙂

    • Laminate everything 🙂 Seriously, anything that you want to use more than once, posters for the walls, pictures, worksheets that you want to use dry erase markers on. I even put a small laminating sheet on each desk to use a spare worksheet paper.

  30. Thank you for sharing the supply list. Could you please advise me on where to find butcher paper?

    • I bought a big roll from a local teacher store, lakeshore learning, but you can probably find it online too 🙂

    • Amanda Terry says:

      We get what are called “end rolls” from our local news press. They huge rolls of unprinted news paper. I’ve got them in two different states we lived in and every time there’s been no charge for them. Great for everything!

  31. I know everyone is worried about a laminating machine on here. I am just starting homeschooling this year, however I would like to say I’ve been laminating forever. Before I purchased a machine I seriously used the laminating sheets and regular clothing iron on low. I still use the iron when I am laminating pictures or book covers. Just a thought.

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