It’s that time of year again, when stores are filled with parents and kids buying school supplies for Back To School. Since I was a small child, I have always loved Back To School shopping. Let me share with you our homeschool shopping list.
I’ve also included a printable school supply list at the bottom of this post. I have a Grade 2 student.
Annual Homeschool Supply List
- glue sticks (2 large) – While any type will do, I prefer the larger sticks. I once bought a huge amount of small glue sticks on sale, but after some time even unopened glue sticks dried out and had to be thrown out. I have used and liked both Pritt and Elmer’s purple disappearing glue sticks.
- school glue
- 1 pair of age appropriate child scissors
- transparent 30 cm ruler that has both cm and mm – I prefer a flexible plastic type so I don’t have to worry about it breaking.
- lined paper
- subject dividers
- 1 or 2 pencil cases
Supplies to Buy Quality
There are some amazing deals to be had at stores during the Back to School season. Over the years I have learned that certain supplies are best to buy quality.
- pencils – do buy good quality pencils. I’ve bought pencils in the past that were ridiculously cheap during the Back to School sales, but really ended up to be a waste of money. About 24 pencils per student. Staedtler HB #2, is one brand of pencils we have used and loved. Last year I bought 2 packs of 12 for $2.60/pack.
- erasers – We also like Staedtler erasers. About 4 per student.
- pencil sharpener – Over the years I have bought so many of the cheap 50-75 cents plastic enclosure pencil sharpeners. Last year I splurged and bought a $3 Staedtler pencil sharpener. Love this sharpener and it’s still working great for this year.
- pencil crayons – I have packs of brand new Crayola pencil crayons that we will never use. While they are tempting to buy during the sales, I personally don’t find them a wise investment. The problem is the coloured pencil part inside the wood breaks too easily, so if they fall, or my daughter taps the pencil, it breaks inside. It can be such a pain to sharpen the pencil crayon when it just keeps breaking.2 years ago I bought my daughter a pack of Staedtler pencil crayons. It was about $6-$7 for 24 and we are still regularly using them. They have a white covering over the lead that prevents breakage and it’s so easy to sharpen them. Worth the price in my opinion.
Optional Supplies I Find Useful
- Story Journal – book with top half of page blank for child to draw a picture, and bottom half lined for them to write a story.
- Writing book with interlined and dotted lines – great for beginning writers working on printing neatly
- water bottle
- wall clock – found a no frills wall clock at the Dollar store. I put our clock where my daughter can easily see it for regular practice learning to tell time.
- dictionary – so many types. Look inside and compare to find one you feel is thorough but still simple enough for your student.
- wall map or globe
- dry erase markers
- art smock
- washable markers
- watercolour paper
- tempera paint
- watercolour paint
- paint brushes
- paint palette
- coloured and white cardstock
- construction paper
- modeling clay (optional)
- fine tipped black marker for outlining, etc. (optional)
- pens – decent enough for smooth hassle-free writing – include a red pen for marking with
- 80 page subject notebooks – usually go on sale for very cheap prices during Back to School (5 – 20 cents each). I stock up and use for all my writing needs so I don’t have random papers everywhere. My daughter uses them regularly as well.
- Sharpie marker
- mailing labels – a cheap package of letter sized mailing labels. When you need to label something it’s very easy to write, cut to size if needed, peel and stick. Also comes off easily when needed. One of those things I continue to find uses for when homeschooling.
- 3 hole punch
- stapler and staples
- laminator and laminating sheets
- pair of regular adult sized scissors (or paper cutter)
- printer paper – Usually can find sales for this throughout the year
Back To School Clothing
Back to School often brings great sales on school clothing.
Also, if you plan to do any indoor sports during the year this would also be a great time to buy a pair of indoor sneakers. Once school starts I have found the shoe sales aren’t as good and available sizes diminish as well.
If you plan on swimming during your homeschool year, watch for end of summer sales on bathing suits.
Supplies to Buy The Month After School Begins
The month after school begins, some school supplies go on sale at even further discounted prices. From my experience, I have usually found this to be true of:
- binders – I like to buy a few more than I initially anticipate needing as I often find uses for them during the year.
- back packs – As homeschoolers, many don’t need to buy a knapsack however it can be handy for sport and other field trips throughout the year.
Bigger Priced Items
If you don’t have one, certain times of the year have great sales on:
- a good printer
- laptop or computer
- iPad – we use regularly in homeschool. Black Friday is often the cheapest time to buy.
- printer ink – depending on your printer this can be costly. Keep your eye out for sales throughout the year.
I hope you profit from the Back To School sales! To help you I’ve created a printable homeschool shopping list that you can download here. I’ve also included a blank list for those that prefer it.