August 15, 2017

My Top 10 School Supplies w/Free Checklist {5 Days of Back to School Blog Hop}

Top 10 School Supplies for Back to School w/Free Checklist
It's that time of year--the time when the stores send out one of the strongest lures ever--school supplies ads! One of my most favorite things to shop for is definitely school supplies. At a homeschool level, we just don't need as many as other students do, but there are still some must-haves that we find ourselves getting more of each year. Today, I'm going to touch on my Top 10 School Supplies for any homeschool--will your choices be on my list?

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When it comes to school supplies, there are some big must haves and some small must haves. Some of my must haves aren't even physical! But these still count as my Top 10 School Supplies for any homeschool classroom.

#1 Internet and Printer
Things have changed since our parents were in the homeschooling world (if they were). Today's homeschooling world includes a LOT of digital resources previously unavailable. There are digital copies of textbooks, online classes, printable curriculum, online educational games...the list goes on and on. I would have a MUCH harder time homeschooling if I did not have access to the internet and a good printer. We even upgraded our printer so it had a higher output AND did double sided printing. We are fortunate that even though we live in rural Kentucky, we still have a great high-speed internet!

#2 Books Books Books
Right on the heels of having internet, is having access to a WIDE selection of books. Homeschooling requires a lot of resource materials, and not being tied to the internet is nice. This is why I highly recommend that you collect some quality non-fiction materials for your personal reference library. I took advantage of a Usborne Book sale and stocked up on their fantastic encyclopedias. They are full color and internet-linked. Perfect for any homeschool classroom. I have one for history, science, geography, animals, and even math! We also collected all sorts of field guides for nature exploration. You can't go wrong with the National Audubon Society ones for your area. Don't forget some poetry and short story collections! I also have several young adult biographies. One of the main reasons I don't have a huge personal library is that I live just 5
minutes from an AMAZING library. It was recently redone, and with their renovation came a new "no fines" rule. Talk about making the homeschoolers happy! LOL. They also happily order any books that I can't find, and pull books on topics if I ask for them in advance. With the wide selection of young adult, children, and non-fiction available, there is rarely a book I need that they don't have. 

#3 Laminator
I cannot tell you how much I have used a laminator since we started homeschooling 6 years ago...but it is A LOT. Because so many things are printed out these days, I do like to protect them. Being able to laminate them is one way I can do that. You don't need anything fancy--just a simple one with a box of laminating sheets. You can make custom posters, flashcards, games...so much! You can also turn pages into "dry erase" by laminating them. I wrote a whole post a couple years ago about how much I love my laminator. It really doesn't matter which one you have--you will enjoy having it available for you!

#4 Notebooks
Spiral notebooks and composition notebooks. I cannot have enough of these each year. I actually have shifted over to the composition notebooks, simply because there isn't a wire to get caught on anything nor can they unwind it! They are super cheap too--during the height of sales, you can get them for just 25 cents each! I rarely pay more than 50 cents each for them. We keep college ruled and wide ruled. Another style I also get is the primary version. This comes with primary lines and blank spots for illustrations. We use these for literature and science. I think each boy usually uses 3 per year. 

#5 Post-Its
What? Post Its are a must have? Yes, yes they are. I ESPECIALLY use the little ones because they fit in my planner day spaces. I also use them as bookmarks, and for extra notations on something the boys need to work on. I buy the COSTCO size packages. LOL. They really are a must have here though. 

#6 Index Cards
We use these for spelling words, vocabulary, bible verses, and anything else that might call for them. I also have laminated some and added magnets to them. Now they can be used over and over, and will stick to our cabinets or magnetic white board. I prefer the neon colors. :)

#7 Art Supplies
Now if you are only doing middle school/high school, this one might not be anywhere on your must have list. But with elementary ages, it really is. Even if I myself am not artsy, a LOT of our curriculum includes art projects. Already having the paper and paint and other supplies on hand saves me a LOT of time. 

#8 Coffee/Tea/Chocolate
Another major school supply is whatever YOU need to keep yourself going. For some it's a big mug of coffee in the morning. Others it's tea. Or chai. WHATEVER gets you going in the morning or gets you over the 2pm slump--IS A NECESSITY. So make sure you have plenty of it. 

#9 Flexibility
Remember when I said some things aren't tangible? This is one. I find that flexibility is totally a must have school supply for my classroom. I would be so overwhelmed (or at least MORE overwhelmed) if I didn't maintain a level of flexibility for what our routine looks like. This allows me to "go with the flow" on any given day. I included this in one of my Homeschooling Essential posts a few years back.

#10 God and His Word
For our family, it is IMPERATIVE that we incorporate God into every single school day. AND that He is a priority. We do not move forward in our day unless we pray and have Bible study. The few days that we have forgotten to do it...well those days were a bit pile of rottenness and attitudes. You will see on my curriculum post from yesterday that we do several things daily for bible. What isn't included on that list is that I pick curriculum that is Christian based, so God is woven throughout our day--whether it's history, science, or literature! I would not be able to fulfill my calling as a homeschooling parent unless I had God to help me. Even on the worst days, I know that "He's got my back." And it's no wonder that one of our classroom mottos is "With God All Things Are Possible!" (Matthew 19:26).

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So there you have it. My Top 10 School Supplies for the homeschool classroom. What do you think? Do you agree? Are any of these must-haves on YOUR list? Share with me in the comments what you consider a must have school supply!

BEFORE YOU GO--I have created a super simple School Supplies Checklist that you can print off and take with you when you head in to buy supplies! I even left extra spaces for the things you need above and beyond the normal! Grab your FREE School Supplies Checklist!

Join me tomorrow as we explore Planning and Record Keeping for Day 3 of the 5 Days of Back to School Blog hop with the Homeschool Review Crew! Please make sure you visit some of the other bloggers participating this week. There are some AWESOME resources being shared--and I'm pretty sure there are even some freebies! Here are some blogs to get you started!





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