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"school supply" shopping

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We are new to the homeschool world; in fact, I haven't even gone so far as to submit my letter of intent. BUT we are planning to start HSing our 6yo next week.

He went to PS for Kindy last year, wasn't a bad year, but blah blah blah that's not what this post is about.


It's school supply shopping season. New pencils, crayons, colored pencils, backpack, etc. Except if we HS, we really don't NEED most of that [we have some for home already, he won't really need a backpack]. I do plan to go out and buy a balance scale and maybe a globe [and of course order some curriculum stuff], but I feel a little wistful not to be going out and filling a cart with all those other fun school supplies.


Anyone else? Is there a "list" of things I'm going to want that I might not be thinking of?



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I'm a shop-aholic, so don't follow my example! I still stock up on crayons, markers, construction paper, etc. With dd6, I know we will go through a lot of the art supplies. Also, I may be in the minority, but I do like having backpacks for the kids. We do take part in a co-op once per week, so it comes in handy. But, even outside of that, we are an "on-the-go" family. So, having a backpack comes in handy, so they can throw their school stuff in it when we have a day out. We may even get a lunch box, so they can carry their lunch to co-op, or on our outing days. We'll see. If I do, I will wait until they go on clearance...which won't be long!

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I satisfy some of that by buying school supplies each year to donate to our local school tools drive for homeless kids in the school system.


Before you embark on your supply shopping, you may want to sign up for the various teacher/educator discounts at places like office supply stores (Staples, Office Max, Office Depot), bookstores (Joseph Beth, Barnes and Noble, Borders) and craft stores (AC Moore, Michaels). They will give you discounts throughout the year as well as notification of their teacher appreciation activities (which I always try to attend--they give out lots of freebies :)). Some will ask to see some identification as a homeschooler in order for you to sign up. I took the card that we get in our state when we register as a homeschool, reduced it to wallet size and laminated it to keep in my wallet. Others have used membership cards in a homeschool association or just made a "teacher id card" at home for their school.


This helps with the donations as well. With a teacher card, Staples allows me to purchase up to 25 of their penny items for a penny each at this time of year rather than the 2 or 3 usually allowed.

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I stock up on printer paper (printer, notebook) and ink cartridges. I always grab several boxes of new crayons and a box of chalk. Pencil. Red Sharpies. And we invariably need to replace a few notebooks. Lunchboxes are fun and we use the heck out of them on field trips or long days out.


We also try to do an 'Operation: Backpack' type of program where you fill a backpack with school supplies for poorer children.

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For first grade, I like to have on hand:


new crayons

new colored pencils (or at least sharp ones)

a set of pencils

electric pencil sharpner (you will use it)

new markers (they will wear out by the end of the year and they are cheap now)

20-30 glue sticks (we use them a lot)

1 bottle of white glue

white paper

lined paper or notebook for me to write up lesson plans


oven-bake clay


index cards (for flashcards, word wall, etc.)

3 prong folders (1 for each subjects, to keep this week's work)

1 large binder (to keep completed work)


That should get you. We do lapbooks but with this age there are a lot of neat cut and paste activities, craft projects and things like that. You want new supplies because you will use them up and wear them out and be ready to buy new by the time the sales come around again.


Hope this helps.:001_smile:

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We go through a lot of paper here....my boys love to draw and make-up stories in addition to the assignments, so those 15 cent notebooks from Staples are a must.


I also use the two pocket folders with prongs for saving some of their best work.


If you are doing Story of the World, a nice set of colored pencils is great for the map work and coloring pages.


During that age range, I kept a nice supply of math manipulatives, the practice clock with moveable hands, a big calendar with prominant, easy to read numbers, a book bag for the library or crate, a ruler that was easy to read (the transparent ones are not good for littles), a yard stick, measuring cups and spoons for introduction to fractions so that I didn't have to use my prize expensive ones and have them disappear to some other part of the house, a dry erase board and markers for demonstrating math problems on, and magnetic board with letters for "fun with spelling".



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I use all the sales to stock up on crayons and notebooks for the year. We seem to go through lots of crayons around here, and they also make really good party favors throughout the year. My kids do have backpacks to tote their stuff around in, I just bought colored ones that will last a few years, not whatever cartoon fad they are into. When we moved I realized I bought around 50-60 pocket folders and never used one of them, so I don't think I will be buying more of those!

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Wow, thanks for the tips! I'm going to make our own "back to school" supply list.


I went to Target today for clothes [it's tax-holiday in my state], but was surprised they didn't have more pants/long sleeved items, no jackets or sweaters. Usually I'm complaining about them being too many seasons ahead, and today it was the opposite! Still managed to spend a ton on clothes for both boys and myself.

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I buy my kids school supplies separate from our normal household art-type supplies. Our school crayons, scissors, glue, etc., are kept in totes with our school books and are only used for school purposes. That way, I know where everything is when I need it. The kids are not allowed to poach the school supplies for other purposes under pain of having their nose hairs plucked with a rusty tweezer (our standard threat of punishment around here ;) ).



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We are in our third year of homeschooling. The first year I missed the whole send my kid off with a new backpack to school.....and we hadn't even done it yet! We got her a backpack and packed all her books for K in it plus markers, pencils etc. Now we just go through what she has, clean up and buy what she needs. We always get a new box of crayons, needed or not.... :0) Its a good time to stock up on things.

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