Back-to-school time is almost here. Retail stores are promoting their products as stuff your child can't live without. From backpacks to jeans - notebooks to cell phones, the industry clamors for us to buy, buy, buy. Homeschooling families can be thankful they are spared the expense of new wardrobes, cell phones, and other items attending a regular school may require. But what supplies do you really need to buy for your homeschooled child to have a successful school year?

The following is a list that our family found helpful:
  • Elementary - Bible, pencils, crayons, scissors, glue/glue sticks, colored construction paper, scratch paper, markers, notebooks, folders, lined penmanship paper, chalk.
  • Middle - High School - Bible, highlighters, pens, colored pencils, fine-line markers, mechanical pencils, calculator (multi functional - you can use later in college classes), erasable pencils, graph paper, 3-ring binders, college-ruled books (one for each subject), loose notebook paper, folders, appointment calendar for homework assignments, composition notebooks, and journal.
  • General Supplies - tag board, dry-erase board and markers, Bible concordance, dictionary, thesaurus, heavy-duty stapler, electric pencil sharpener, clear adhesive tape, computer/printer/ink cartridges/paper, back packs for each child (great for schoolwork on the go and outdoor field trips), multi-drawer plastic storage containers to hold supplies and completed schoolwork.
Enthusiasm for the school year can be created by shopping together and letting your children pick out their own supplies. Remember to buy reward stickers and other items that will encourage your children in their daily work. Work within your school budget. Don't get caught in the hype to buy unnecessary school items.