If you are a parent teaching kids at home during the coronavirus crisis, there is a need to think beyond just the internet. Among the taken for granted are the essential supplies you need for your homeschool classroom. Other than it betters your and your child’s homeschooling experience, the right materials will help carry out distance learning at home.
The Homeschool Setting
The homeroom setting offers the privilege of an in-person class where you can tutor every child one-on-one. Just like how a school classroom builds attitudes and relationships between teachers and students, teaching and learning in a home classroom provide learners 100% attention from you. Therefore, you are willing to do exceptional actions in the face of the pandemic for the good of your children.
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I gathered the most basic yet essential supplies to equip your homeschool classroom. You needed many if not all of them to make the most out of the new normal schooling. Your child or children of course deserves the best.
20 Essential Supplies You Need for Your Homeschool Classroom
1) #2 Pencils
Pencils are a lot practical and efficient from writing notes to drawing, illustrating, and shading. Among the most recommended are #2 pencils for their right darkness sitting in the middle of the gradient scale making them the best choice for students and teachers. In fact, it’s the only type of pencil accepted for scan-type exams where shading is required.
Pencil grades from #1 to#5 or with labels H’s, B’s, HB’s, HH’s, and HHBB’s have something to do with their graphite cores. Pencil #2 is also known as an HB pencil where the graphite grading scale is not too soft nor not too hard, not too dark and not too light.
2) Types of Pens
Believe it or not, you need different pens especially with children in different grade levels. For example, while #2 pencils are for all graders, higher levels may require ballpoints, gel pens, and markers. Round and triangular pencils are known easy to grip. Eraser pens function like regular pens but can wonderfully erase ink marks. You also need a collection of colored pencils and highlighters.
For left-handed children, a pen for lefties can help prevent the ink to smear as their hand moves from the left to the right. There are specially designed pens with a nib that flows smoothly when pushed so that ink can flow evenly – and you would love to provide that to your child.
3) Pencil Sharpener
Pencils need to be sharpened now and then. When they get dull or when their cores get shorter, they start to give smudgy marks and a child may lose the excitement to write. You will love a good-working pencil sharpener with advanced controls along with easy-to-use features to make sharpening smooth and safe even for children’s use.
Premium-quality blades do not easily lose their sharpness with frequent use. They also do not rust and are easy to clean. A dual-type has a size adjuster that sharpens different pencils. Some brands offer replaceable blades, as well as an auto-stop feature. Check out our review of the best pencil sharpeners. We explained every detail you need to know about the latest technology.
4) A Supply of Paper
I’m talking about lines, graphs, construction and colored paper, index cards, and cardboard. In choosing art paper, collect shades from pastels, neutrals, and vibrant hues. Homeschool can be project-based and may require colored paper for different curriculums.
You may be tempted to use what is available at home and get by with these items. However, this idea might result in a lack of specific materials needed and end up frustrating kids who are trying to do great work. Remember, when kids enjoy what they do, they learn better.
5) Note-Taking Materials
Note-taking materials include sticky notes in multiple colors, educational stickers, including stationery paper, and even Washi tapes. These items have something to do with motivating kids to make pretty study notes. Good notes matter because it activates better listening, better understanding, retention of memory, and comprehension of the material.
Good note-taking helps separate different topics, assignments, activities, what needs more study, fun and plays, and other things to do. Fun pencils, markers, and highlighters are useful for color coding dull headings and important points. The synchronous approach sorts out things and helps learners remember what they hear, write, and see during their class.
6) Coloring Tools
While colored pens and pencils provide all the shades for every project, watercolor and paint coloring provides bold statements. Watercolors, washable paints and crayons, gel crayons, twistable coloring pencils, erasable chalks, and tube paints, paintbrushes, and palettes will lift your homeschool projects to the next level.
You may not use all the coloring tools on your list, but you are confident your class has everything they need. The reason why art should be a part of homeschool is that watercolors help learners discover their creativity by allowing them to express themselves with how they see the world.
7) Basic office supplies
You need basic office supplies like folders and assignment binders to organize paper files along with binder clips, paper clips, and fasteners to secure them together. Clamp clips are essential for tacking wrapping paper rolls, charts, and book pages. Don’t forget scissors, cutters, rulers, stapler and wire, staple remover, punchers, and everything else a school classroom needs.
Be sure to consider providing bins and cups to hold tiny items. There are inexpensive desk carousels or organizers or you can make your own out of a shoebox, grocery carton. Even your old plastic cups and containers can make a practical holder. Safety pins, push pins, and tacks will be as important.
8) Adhesive Pads and Tapes
Like what students do in a school classroom, homeschool also entails doing arts and crafts with a lot of DIY activities. Therefore you want to supply paste, glue, glue dots, fabric glue, clear tape, duct tape, and self-adhesive felt tapes, including Washi tapes. You actually don’t have to buy them all, but you know which are essential for scrapbooking, school crafts, and small projects inside your homeschool.
There are three adhesive products every educator should own: Dot stickers for color coding, a book-binding tape to fix and repair book spines, and the clear glossy label protectors or translucent, adhesive plastic tapes that keep moisture from damaging paper and ink.
9) Math Manipulatives
Early interaction with manipulatives helps your child understand the basics of math. If you think “playing store” teaches about using money, then play money will do a great tool. Even BBQ or match sticks, pebbles, 0r cut-out colored papers are a good idea. Different manipulatives are designed to explore a mathematical concept in a fun and hands-on approach.
Think about what provides easy real-life examples to which children can relate, or which, exactly, is the perfect math manipulative that can help simplify the methods of mathematics. There are plenty of engaging tools that can get your learner’s attention. For example, pattern blocks, color cubes, magnetic fractions, balance weights, and the famous abacus.
10) A Globe and Map
A globe and map of the world is an accurate picture of how the earth looks like. A thing that represents oceans and continents, rivers, mountains including the arctic and the least-heard Antarctica; shows the exact perspective of our planet.
Your homeschool kids will be amused to learn and answer their own questions about geography. Maps also help children visualize where and how objects, places, cities, and countries are related to one another. This one-of-a-kind learning tool will transform your home homeschool geography like a real journey that surely gets kids excited to learn more about our world.
11) Writing Boards
Of course, whiteboards boards (including easels) allow complete flexibility when presenting lessons and for your class to write and erase in a larger space. Magnetic boards well illustrate spelling, math, and science lessons. They are perfect for beginners learning how to spell and read words. Portable boards make it easy to bring from place to place. If you’re creative, create moving visual aids that look fun around the board.
Thinking of a chalkboard? Well, this classic writing board works the same as whiteboards do, only you will be using chalk which can leave a“chalky” appearance that requires cleaning with a wet cloth. A high-quality magnetic board may be more expensive, but the range of sizes lets you pick your own dimensions that fit into your teaching style.
12) Board Markers
Whiteboard markers have to be paired with the best whiteboard markers for teachers. Dry erase markers are more convenient for their easy-to-erase inks. They contain solvent-based formulas so the ink can quickly erase in one swipe without leaving ghost marks on your whiteboard.
Wet-erase markers use water-soluble ink and can be wiped with a wet cloth. This type of marker can have a semi-permanent effect when used on non-porous surfaces but work best on signages and on materials that you would like to have your writing visible for a longer period of time.
13) Clocks and Timers
A special clock that you can use for your home class alone will keep track of the time. From forming a time frame for specific activities to keeping everyone aware of how much time is needed or left for a specific task, it synchronizes everything while encouraging independence.
You’ll be surprised how a timer can improve productivity levels in the given time frames. An Analog Timer may look just like a plain clock but it teaches proper time management and scheduling. Did you know that hourglass sand timers can be so much fun as the colorful sand starts to empty the sand for 1 minute or 2 minutes?
14) Storage and Organizers
Definitely, you will have heaps of papers and learning materials to pile and store. You don’t want to lose proper track of things and spend too much time looking for certain things. When project time comes, or when classes start everyone knows where to take the necessary items and where to put them back.
Think of storage ideas that work for you and your homeschool. Desk organizers or wall cascading transparent pockets will make the documents inside visible. In one look, you have it. Go for big enough desk organizers for books, workbooks, planners, and manuals. Don’t forget plastic bins and smaller containers and holders that can gather small toys, clips, pins, pens, and other small item supplies.
15) Computer and Internet
Even though you’re not using a computer for full courses, you would need this tech tool for relevant activities like using Google to research something or watching YouTube videos related to a certain topic. A computer is required when your child needs to browse the internet, run applications, or attend virtual activities.
Everything is online now and one good news for the homeschool parent is you can find laptops that don’t cost a lot. Here is our review of the best laptops so you can choose an operating system and RAM that determine how much a device can handle at once.
16) Apps and Software
If you’re using the internet for learning, chances are you need apps and updated software. With the many options for software, no more confusion and uncertainties about what to do, schedule lessons, keep records, how to track grades, and how to organize homeschooling.
Make your teaching life easier with an app that shows you where your students are falling behind. You can even create an account and join groups and events with local or global homeschoolers. Choose exactly what you want so you get the right information on the type of app you need.
17) Technical Gadgets
Other than a computer or laptop, tech tools are gadgets that help students learn supporting skills that enhance the way a student learns and communicates. Examples of these devices are a document camera, mini scanner, tablet, external hard drive, webcam, and a 3D pen to name a few. As you can see, these tech tools make communication easier.
Considering which gadget is useful for your homeschool will boost pedagogies and upgrade student learning effectively. I believe a document camera is extremely helpful for its ability to capture an entire page of a book and magnifies them for the kids to see in a large picture. It’s one of the tools that can help your homeschool thrive in today’s modern education.
We found and reviewed 11 document cameras for teachers. Click here.
While your homeschool kids may not need these devices every now and then, these tools can help get your home class busy to listen to educational content while you attend a special session with another kid. This helps a lot so the class will not be distracted as long as all things are related to the moment’s topic.
A wireless headphone is recommended as the no-cord feature helps to avoid tangling wires while the other kids are on them. This is also why more and more teachers are looking for the best headphones for online teaching for smooth digitally-powered education. Ensure to only choose high-quality headsets for high-quality audio. We also found 10 of the best wireless headphones in the market today.
19) USB Memory Sticks
You want to load all or some materials in a USB stick and access them conveniently in individual files. USB drives deliver efficient file sharing from school to you and vice versa. Even when your internet is down, you can still load study materials and not miss a subject. By accessing soft copies through your computer, you can save reams of paper and printing costs.
USB drives support different programs that you can utilize for your presentations whether you’re using Microsoft and Mac programs, therefore allowing you to introduce technology into your homeschool classroom. It makes you sure of a backup copy of any large project that is saved safely and separately on your computer.
From daily activity folios and kids’ assignment sheets to pages from the digital curriculum, quizzes, and exams — you can’t imagine handling homeschool without a printer. If you’re printing docs and colorful sheets, an inkjet will do while a laser can serve printing heavy plain texts.
Other than getting the best inkjet printer, your homeschool printer should be able to print the required materials. Give your pre-schoolers a color printer for vibrant-looking worksheets or posters to catch their attention. From middle to high school, a black and white may do, depending on your choice. If you require your child to do projects and reports, a color printer may add life to a monochrome effect.
Read our review of the best printers for teachers.
There are a lot of activities in a homeschool class that you want to capture every main concept correctly. Being equipped will fill in any missing pieces. As a matter of fact, supplying your homeschool class with all of the essential things can save you time, and energy. When you have everything you needed within reach, you can better organize your thoughts, your materials, and your homeschool class.
Did you think I miss something? Share them with us in the comments.