Here are my top favs when it comes to school supplies, especially when it comes to homeschooling.
These are the things that I’ve found that make my life easier on the homeschool battlefront and I want to share my favs with you.
Anytime I think of buying pencils I think of the movie “You’ve Got Mail”.
There’s a part in the movie where Tom Hanks is writing to Meg Ryan and says,
“Don’t you love the fall. It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would buy you a newly sharpened bouquet of pencils if I knew your name and address.”
You guys, if I could, I would send each and every one of you a premium bouquet of Ticonderoga pencils, because you are worth it.
On your worth part, but also on the quality of the pencils. The lead won’t fall out and they are just the best. Ain’t nobody got no time to fiddle with crummy pencils.
Stick with Ticonderoga.
And stock up!
The worst is when your kid sits down to do their school work and they can’t find a pencil. But being the prepared mom that you are, you will have a drawer full of these awesome writing utensils.
Now that you have all of these awesome Ticonderoga pencils, you’re going need a pencil sharpener. Of course, you can get a handheld one to encourage muscle strength in your little ones. But again, I can tell you from experience that the handheld ones often come with frustration and tears. Go with a good electric one. Just head on over to amazon.com and find the one within your budget and the best reviews. Your Ticonderoga pencils and your sanity will thank you for it.
You are going to want paper in all it’s varieties. Printer, lines, watercolor, colored…just get your hands on a bunch of paper. Whether you need to print out an assignment or decide to have an impromptu Bob Ross afternoon, it would be pretty sad to sit down and find out you don’t have the right kind of paper to make it happen. Get ALL the paper.
This is me making an assumption that you have a printer, but hopefully, you do cause this would be another must. But again, I’m just guessing you have a printer so you’re going to want to have back up ink in your personal inventory. I can’t tell you how many times I have put off buying ink and then a kid comes to me saying the printer is broken. Then I have to explain to them that the printer isn’t broken, but lam-o mom forgot to buy ink. Lesson learned: always have ink on hand. Maybe even have it on a monthly delivery schedule. At least that’s how fast we seem to go through it.
With your kids at home all day, your house is going to need a more constant care schedule. Don’t leave this all on your shoulders. But also don’t just assume that your kids are going to do the cleaning the way that you would. Or even see the mess for that matter. So figure out a chore list. I have some different options in the planner I created, but just find what works for you and use it. And empty chore list doesn’t accomplish anything.
I don’t know about you, but I am not a math wiz. Not by a long shot. Enter the necessary math apps! These are heaven sent! Go right now and download Cymath and Photomath. Both help solve complicated math equations and even show you step by step how to do it. Then you can seem super smart walking your advanced algebra student through a problem, with your math app in your back pocket.
Each of my kids has their own bin. We’ve changed out bins over the years, so currently it’s more of a basket than a bin. But we’ve done plastic bins as well. ALL of their school stuff goes in the bin. Since they tend to do their school wherever around the house, they can just grab their bin and get to work. When they are done, it all goes back in the bin and back on the shelf. I love that I can’t see it when it’s put away! So when school is done, it’s out of sight, out of mind.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. The neverending “MOM! I’m BORED!” Can you hear the tone? The slight whine and dispair. And as a homeschool mom, you’re guaranteed to hear it quite often. Enter the “I’m Bored List”. You can steal mine here or create your own, but having this list posted on the fridge can give your kiddos a jumpstart to getting out of that boredom slump. And even better, give you a quick response to get them from driving you up the crazy wall. And to add a little fun, if they can’t find something to do on the I’m Bored List, they can do burpees till they think of something. I can guarantee they’ll come up with something pretty quick. Or at least exhaust themselves trying. 🙂
Reading to your kids is invaluable, but that’s for another post. But I also know that sometimes as moms it can be hard to find time to sit down and read. This is where Audible, or any audiobook format, can be so freaking awesome. Have your kids create a fort, or cozy up with a blanket, or you could multitask and fold laundry together, and turn on an audiobook. Or if you know you’re going to be in the car for a while, you can listen to a book while driving. Busy or not, this is a serious must-have.
And finally, Meal Planning! Have you ever had 5’oclock roll around and the kids come to you asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner”? This question is usually met with a look of panic as I realize that I have absolutely NO idea what’s for dinner or that we even have food in the house to make dinner. This is where meal planning is MUST for homeschooling mamas.
And if you have older kids, involve them in this. Let them each pick a night and then they get to cook it. This not only teaches life skills but also gives you a night off from cooking.
Clouds just parted and the hallelujah chorus just started playing.
And if you’re extra busy, try out a meal service like Hello Fresh. This one has been a game-changer for us. I don’t even have to plan out the meals or do the shopping. It just comes in a lovely box, recipes included, and I still have my kids each choose a meal to prepare leaving less dinner making for me.
You can also almost always find coupon deals making it a little more affordable. But meal planning service or not, meal planning is a must for sure.
So there you have it, my 10 homeschooling must-haves! These will help launch you on your way to a less stressful day and more successful homeschooling days.
Cheers to homeschooling success!