Keeping your supplies smart and simple means being particular about what you purchase. Not only does being smart and simple save your budget but it also saves you from extra cleaning time because let’s face it kids like to leave things out.

Through our homeschooling journey we’ve had the chance to try several different brands of many of these items and below are our absolute favorites. None of the items below are sponsored – they are purely what we have found that works.

Writing Utensils & Pencil Sharpeners

  • X-acto MightyMite Pencil Sharpener – This pencil sharpener is small and has lasted for years. It still sharpens pencils quickly and efficiently. We’ve never had it chew up a pencil even if the pencil quality wasn’t great.
  • X-ACTO SchoolPro Electric Pencil Sharpener – This is the only pencil sharpener you will ever need. It is a bit bigger but it is super robust and can sharpen the fat pencils that we like to use when the kids are in preschool.
  • Ticonderoga Pencils – I’ll admit it. I’m a pencil snob. If I’m going to use a pencil I need it to be of a decent weight and the lead needs to be smooth. Not only do Ticonderoga pencils feel great and write smoothly, they also have incredible erasers.
  • FriXion Clicker Pens – These pens are great for editing, grading and writing final drafts of papers. Even if these pens were not erasable they would be among our favorite pens.
  • Wonder Stix – Write on just about anything! These are our absolute favorite for writing on our windows. They wash off cleanly with a little water and a rag. I use these every day to put up the word of the day and our schedule. The boys use them to write out math on the glass of our backdoor and sometimes they also use them for art projects because they write just as well on paper and cardboard.

Paper and Notebooks

  • Raised Line Handwriting Paper – Game changed. This paper is amazing as children are learning to keep their letters inside their designated space early in the handwriting game. We use it almost exclusively in preschool and kindergarten. I also sometimes bring it back out at the beginning of learning cursive.
  • Dry Erase Board with Handwriting Lines – Sometimes you need lines and sometimes you don’t having a dual sided board is super helpful. When we are doing copy work, this board allows me to writing on the side with handwriting lines leaving no room for the child to say they didn’t know how to make the letter. The lines are also handy for spelling and grammar practice. The blank side, well let’s just say that I need several of these in order to keep everyone in business.
  • Rocketbook Core – How amazing is it to be able to digitize handwritten school work? Also, as a mom I win because there are less pieces of random paper floating around my house. This one is an investment but it has paid for itself several times over.
  • Notebook with Lines and Space for Pictures – This one is for the early writers. Kids love to add pictures to what they write and this helps keep all that writing in a single place.
  • Printable Paper with Handwriting Lines and Space for Pictures – Prefer to use binders or folders? Here is handwriting paper for you that is printable.
  • Dry Erase Pockets – These pockets are amazing! We keep one with 1 inch by 1 inch graph paper in it to help with lining up math problems. There are several others that have different types of graphic organizers in them to help the kids keep track of their thinking for short assignments.

Organizational Items

  • Three Tier Cart – Keep all the things nearby. We use ours to store art supplies and text books.
  • Art Caddy – The caddy we have only has six cups but it doesn’t seem to exist any more but this one is close. We keep pencils and pens in one cup, markers in another, colored pencils in a third, glue stick and scissors in the final two. If I had two more cups, I would add dry erase markers to one and probably split the pens and pencils.
  • Student Planner – I couldn’t find a student planner that had all of the things I wanted and didn’t cost and arm and a leg so I created my own. This one is inexpensive, undated and you can quickly print it and put it in a binder or folder.
  • Pocket Dividers – If you are going to use binders, you need these. I don’t have time to hole punch papers all the time so these dividers allow the kids to slide work into a pocket in the part of the binder that it needs to go in until I have time later that day to hole punch the paper. Loose papers drive me nuts and this helps us avoid that.