Because we homeschool, we do have at home a lot of the stuff the kids need to do school. We don’t have blackboards or lockers, but we do have versions of those stuff in our homeschool. Here’s a peek into the supplies and materials we need for bahaySKUL.
Workbox. Each child has his own workbox where he stores and retrieves everyday school stuff. They also have plastic file boxes where we store curriculum modules and books they are not currently working on or have completed.
A child’s workbox contains his pencil case, school I.D., writing pad paper, and drawings that they have not yet filed (they each have a binder where they’re supposed to file everyday artworks and drawings). It also contains his spiral notebook with a checklist of assigned work for the day. All the modules and materials needed for that particular day are also placed inside the workbox for easy access. A child’s pencil case contains sharpened pencils, a 6-inch ruler, twistable crayons, and manipulatives he is using for his current math lesson, i.e. play money, place value cards.
At the start of each school day, a child gets from his workbox all the materials he needs for that particular day. When he is done, he puts everything back into his workbox, so I could check these, before filling his workbox and spiral notebook with new stuff for the next day.
Printer and copier. We have the EPSON ME Office 535 all-in-one inkjet printer. It is a printer, scanner and copier in one, which is immensely useful for printing worksheets and copying tests and readings from our curriculum’s teacher guides. Ink cartridges come in 4 colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), which you need to buy separately and replace as each cartridge run out. These inkjet cartridges use the EPSON Dura-Brite technology which means printouts don’t smudge even if they get wet. This is extremely helpful during spilled milk accidents while the kids study. On the average, we consume one set of ink cartridges per school year.
Paper supplies. Each school year, we stock up on the following:
- 2 reams of copy paper – 70 gsm, letter size, for everyday printing, and we use the back part for doodling and drawing
- 1 ream of oslo paper – we cut these out for vocabulary word cards, tape together to make lapbooks, or fold to make minibooks (note: some people use card stock for these purposes, but we find that oslo paper does the job and is much cheaper)
- drawing paper – the boys get a LOT of sketchpads as gifts, so we peel away a sheet each time we do an art project
- lined paper – grade 3 writing pad paper, for handwriting practice
- spelling tablet – for spelling tests and practice
- tracing paper – we use a lot of these for geography and map work
- colored/construction paper – we don’t use these often, but is good to have at least a pack on hand
Writing supplies. Basic supplies for writing, drawing and colouring are listed below. We have other writing supplies on hand but these are our minimum requirement for each school year.
- pencils – the boys usually get these as gifts so we haven’t bought pencils in a long time, also they don’t need a lot as they use the pencils until they get so short they can’t be sharpened (maybe 3 or 4 pencils per child will last through a school year)
- erasers – we like the erasers from Muji, we buy 2 erasers per child per year, which is enough if they don’t lose it 😉
- red sign pens – these are for me for checking the kids’ work, I use up 4 to 5 red pens each school year
- whiteboard markers – 2 sets of different colours (black, blue, red), any brand with a fine tip will do
- permanent markers – 1 set of different colours (black, blue, red)
- colored markers – we have used these Faber-Castell connector pens for two years and now they’re just starting to run out of ink, I may need to buy finer-tipped markers for the next school year, perhaps some coloured Sharpies 😉
- twistable crayons – 1 set of 8 colours go into each child’s pencil case, the kids like the bright colours of Crayola Twistable Crayons, but I find these break easily, so next year I’ll be on the lookout for a sturdier brand, with my children’s approval
- wax crayons – we have a jar-full of non-twistable crayons which the boys reach for when they need a colour that’s not on their 8-color pack, i.e. grey, lavender, gold
- colored pencils – the boys also get a lot of these as gifts, but the brands I prefer are Maped and Faber-Castell
- watercolor – we use Li’l Hands water-colour tempera paints
- acrylic paints – someone gifted Uri with black, white, blue, yellow and red acrylic paints and we found these to be enough for all the painting work we do at home
- oil pastels – we don’t use these often but find it handy to have a box on hand
Filing supplies. We need to keep all schoolwork organized as we will compile them into a portfolio for submission to our affiliate homeschool provider every end of the school year.
- Muji 2-ring binders – one 1-inch, and one 2-inch binder per child to store the contents of his homeschool portfolio, tests and score sheets
- clear file pockets – A4 punch pockets (15-pack) from Muji, to protect artworks and lap books when filed into the 2-ring binders
- binder rings – to organize vocabulary word cards per subject per module
- 1 box of paper clips
- binder clips – 1 pack each of small- and medium-sized clips
- 1 pack metal brads/round fasteners
- 1 box staple wires
- 2 bottles Elmer’s Glue-All white glue (not the school glue version)
- adhesive tape – 10 rolls 3M Scotch Magic Tape for 1 school year
- 1 roll clear packing tape – used to tape oslo paper together to make lapbooks
- folders – we have a bunch of manila and plastic folder that we just recycle every year
- Post-it notes – I buy a large pack every term which I use to make notes on their books, modules, or worksheets for additional reading, or feedback
- Post-it flags – I buy 1 pack each year, and recycle old flags that are still sticky, which I use to mark pages that they should read or review
Other supplies/equipment. We are trying to accumulate as much educational tools as we can given a limited supplies budget. So far, these are all that we have but we are keen on buying next a globe, which we couldn’t yet afford last year, and more laboratory equipment for science experiments.
- 2-hole puncher
- scissors – 1 for each child, and 1 for me
- sharpeners – 1 for regular pencils, and 1 for colored pencils
- IKEA foldable trays – we have 3 of these which come in handy when the dining table, which doubles as our bahaySKUL desk, is occupied
- microscope – for science projects
- alcohol thermometer – with Fahrenheit and Celsius readings
- kitchen scale
- measuring cups
- world map
- Philippine map