It’s time for back to school shopping and as you score tons of deals on back to school supplies, don’t forget to load up on items that I consider the homeschool survival kit.
Do you need ALL of these items to successfully homeschool your children? No.
Will you die of homeschooling without something from my list? No.
Could you find homeschooling easier with my recommended products? Definitely.
After homeschooling four kids for 6 years, I have seen a lot of products come and go through our home, but these are the items I use year after year and cannot live without.
My Homeschool Survival Kit
In no particular order…
Printer with Wifi
Because we use laptops and tablets in our homeschool, I use a printer because it connects to our devices via wifi. Our HP Wireless Inkjet was not a cheap printer but it was not the most expensive either. The best thing about it? The ink is affordable and lasts a really long time.
Since I have multiple children using digital curriculum, I consider a laptop and an iPad must have items for our homeschool. This can be a huge investment but during Black Friday sales, you can find awesome deals.
2020 UPDATE: Since we are schooling virtually, we now have Chromebooks instead of laptops. We have four of this Acer model because it converts into a tablet and has a touchscreen.
Electric Pencil Sharpener
Nothing like the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil! Just kidding. But it is much better than a pile of pencils with broken leads. And, if you hate standing at the pencil sharpener several times a week, bulk sharpen your pencils all at once… Or even better, make it a chore for a disobedient child. Teaches them patience. (wink, wink)
If there are materials that I want to use more than once or save for younger children to use, I laminate them with the Scotch Thermal Laminator. The price of this laminator was so surprising (especially if you snag it on sale during back to school time or before Christmas), and the generic laminating pouches work great and are extremely reasonable.
I love my laminator!
Paper, paper, tons of paper
I go through a ream of paper a month. Even more at the beginning of the homeschool year.
During back to school sales, prices are at their lowest so I stock up and hide it from my children who seem to use it even faster.
I could not keep my kids on task without the Time Tracker Programmable Electronic Timer. I love how it counts down with the visual green, yellow, red lights. The sounds are optional but come in helpful when I am motivating the children to clean their rooms.
Mornings are fast and I often skip breakfast, substituting with a protein bar.
My favorites include Clif Crunch Granola Bars, Lara Bars and KIND bars, saving money by adding them to my Amazon Subscribe and Save order.
I also keep Orgain Nutritional Shakes in the refrigerator.
2020 UPDATE: Now, I cook breakfast every morning on a set schedule so I can go into autopilot.
I tried creating my own homeschool curriculum and the experience left me tired, burned-out, and frustrated. Now, I consider it an investment to purchase quality homeschool curriculum. Not only can I be sure that my children are learning what they need, I have sanity.
That’s awesome! (Since I need all the sanity I can get.)
I was not a coffee drinker until I gave birth to our fourth child. My husband teases that Ariary drove me to drink. (wink, wink)
In all fairness, my need for coffee is more about a connection with my husband since he is coffee-crazed. Doesn’t hurt to have a coffee habit when you have an autoimmune disease and lose energy at about 2 PM. Our Keurig gets a workout.
2020 UPDATE: We still love our Keurig, and I keep a steady flow of k-cups coming by getting Starbucks Pike Place and Marley Lively Up with Amazon Subscribe and Save. It ends up being cheaper than buying them on sale or at Walmart.
On field trip and co-op days or when we just have a lot to cover, my Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow cooker gets a workout. I actually have more than one.
There are days when you just need a frugal escape. Our local library offers story time and other events for homeschooled students. We always come home with a bag stuffed with books.
Backpacks and Organizing Bags
To keep co-op days easy as well as trips to the beach and library, each child has a backpack packed with a school supply box (just like kids who go to school away from home) to grab and go as needed. I also have bags reserved for my co-op supplies, beach trips, library days, and fun on the go.
What are your top must-have supplies for homeschool? Be sure to leave me a comment!