Whether you are new to the world of homeschool or a seasoned veteran, there are some “school” supplies that I am sure everyone can agree about, which will make the year go more smoothly. Admittedly, I am fairly new to homeschooling. I only have about a year of school at home under my belt. But that one year that I have has taught me so much.
Seriously, so so so much.
Can you think of a supply that I forgot? Let me know in the comments!
Tangible Supply List
Lifetime Subscription of Auto-ship Coffee
Now, I don’t know about you, but I LOVE coffee. Some people drink it for the energizing effects of the caffeine, which is why I have included it on my list. I personally drink it because I love the flavor and genuinely enjoy 5 minutes of solitude sipping my warm, life giving beverage. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, perhaps a nice cup of hot tea is more your style. Whatever it is, take that 5 minutes in the morning to get yourself energized, calmed and ready to tackle the world.
Each state has its own rules and regulations in regards to homeschooling. Some states require a submission of intended curriculum and mandated standardized testing. Some, such as my home state of Indiana, are very relaxed and only require an attendance record to be kept showing 180 days of instruction. Regardless of your state’s rules and guidelines, binders will help you keep the work organized and at the ready for reference should you be asked to provide information to the governing powers. This one actually ties into my What You Need To School at Home: The Ultimate Kids’ Supply List article. Binders are also helpful for keeping your children organized.
Printer Paper and Auto-ship Ink
This one is pretty important for the younger ages. Even if you are utilizing an online curriculum, you will likely supplement with coloring pages, worksheets, etc. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have my ink levels monitored and new ink sent when I need it instead of running out of ink just when I NEED to print something. As for printer paper, buy in bulk. It saves you money, time and frustration. Seriously. DO IT. This is one of the supplies that I find I utilize constantly.
Not-so Tangible Supplies
Patience & An Open Mind
This supply is not something you buy at the store. It isn’t something you can purchase from Amazon. While I wish this were true, it simply cannot be done. This is a true case of the pot calling the kettle black. Patience is one of my weakest character traits. If my first year of teaching homeschool taught me anything, it taught me that it is of utmost importance to remain patient with my kiddos.
Coupled with that is the need to remain open-minded. When I was a kid, I had to exert minimal effort to get straight A’s. It came naturally to me. I had to remind myself last year that not all people can learn the way I did. I cannot expect my kids to do as well with school as I did. It will be great if they do, but I must keep an open mind about their specific learning styles and needs. That IS why I am homeschooling after all, to supply them with the best love of learning and to help them grow to be the best THEM they can be! (Did you see what I did there? With the punny use of the word supply…)
Now this one is a funny one to be included on a school supply list, but it is absolutely critical. I don’t mean the partying kind of friends. Unless of course they are fellow homeschooling friends that have kid friendly parties, but I digress.
If you are new to homeschooling, please follow this piece of advice. I spent last year assuming I could do it all by myself. Side note: Anyone else a Mercer Mayer fan? Little Critters books…the one about All By Myself. Is that crickets I hear chirping? Ok fine, I’ll move on.
Anyhow, I discovered that having friends that are seasoned homeschooling parents and a few new to homeschooling friends is the lifeblood of this calling. I have messaged one friend in particular and she has talked me off of the ledge more times than I can count on one hand, or two…or two hands and two feet. She is beginning her school year with an 11th grader, 8th grader and 5th grader.
She has truly been a blessing and I believe I would have given up if she hadn’t been there for me.
Find yourself a co-op or at least some friends that homeschool. I promise you it is necessary.
The last thing on my list follows suit with the strange nature of the previous suggestion. You must give yourself grace. It is imperative that you recognize that you are human. You will miss something. You will make a mistake and hopefully acknowledge it.
You will have days of tears and frustration. You will have days of joy and feelings of absolute accomplishment.
In all of this, remember to give yourself grace. You are human and stuff happens. Your kids are still learning right along side you. They are learning how to admit when they are wrong. They are learning how to apologize and how to be good confident in themselves. The decision to homeschool is one that is often made out of love and with much thought. Don’t discount yourself. Give yourself grace.