It seems like Back to School season starts earlier and earlier every year, but I love school supplies! This year, I decided to grab the items I knew we needed while prices are low, before things get picked over.

This is our last year with a child in elementary school, so we have most of the basics covered already. At this point, we’re mostly stocking up on consumable items like pencils and paper!

Instead of buying store brand and knock-off items, I have learned to invest in the higher-quality products. They last longer, save money in the long run, and reduce waste. If you want to see how we organize our supplies, you can click here to read about our homeschool learning space.


Favorite Homeschool Supplies for Elementary School

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Favorite Homeschool Supplies for Elementary School

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Don’t waste your time or your money on any other brand. Ticonderoga pencils are the best — they rarely break, and they are so easy to sharpen.

Since Ticonderoga pencils last so long, we found that we were running out of eraser too soon. I read about Papermate erasers in a homeschooling group, and they are perfect! They fit perfectly onto the pencil, erase smoothly, and don’t crack like the cheaper kind you can find in stores.

Speaking of sharpening pencils, you’ll want to invest in a nice sharpener. Personally, I like using one with a crank handle, but electric sharpeners are helpful, too. I like to keep a big jar of sharpened pencils in our school area so we only have to sharpen once a week or so.

We use colored pencils with our spelling curriculum, but they are also great for making maps in geography! We love the erasable kind from Crayola.

And while you’re in the Crayola aisle, grab a set of washable markers and crayons, too. I don’t know why they even sell other brands — the quality is just not comparable.

For schoolwork, I like to have my kids use composition notebooks instead of the spiral-bound style. We use 4 or 5 every year, but you really can’t have too many! (I like to buy a different color for each of my kids, so they can always find theirs quickly.)

I also keep a simple calculator, protractor, and compass available for math and art.

Back when I was a teacher, I bought a big stack of clipboards for my students to use in the classroom. Even now, they come in handy for when we need to do school on the go!

We also have a few small white boards that we use for teaching 1:1 lessons. (We used a white board/chalkboard easel when the kids were little.) For markers, I like to use the Take Note style from Crayola — they are low-odor and last longer than other brands.

I do stock up on a few packages of loose leaf paper for general use throughout the year.

We keep a few pairs of scissors and rulers in our school area for easy access.

Timers are a must — we use them for timing math fact practice and helping kids to stay on task. We buy the cheap $1 kind and just replenish throughout the year.

Don’t forget the glue sticks!


I also love having a wall organizer/command center from 1Thrive. It’s nice having a large calendar in our school area, and we can store our clipboards and weekly checklists in the pocket. There’s also hooks for scissors, rulers, and more — and a bucket for holding all our timers. (You can read more about our 1Thrive organizer in this review post.)


Tell us about YOUR favorite homeschool supplies in the comments below!

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