The Homeschool Supplies You Need to be Successful

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For many families, the best schooling environment is one they create themselves. Creating the optimal learning environment, whether it's a homeschool classroom or a traditional classroom, is crucial to success. As such, it's important to have the right supplies to help you create an effective place of study. Check out these homeschool supplies that you may need to be successful. 

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From paper, pencils, erasers, and pens to laptops, iPads, and apps, the materials you need for writing are endless. Make sure you keep lined paper and scrap paper on hand, as well as a good supply of post-it notes. Colored pencils, highlighters, permanent markers, and pens are often useful, especially when working to edit drafts of research papers, or just to use for a creative project. Homeschool families looking to go digital should keep plain paper on hand to print; even if your goal is to go paperless, you don't want to be caught in a pinch. Google Docs provides a great cloud-based composition software that allows for real time collaboration, among other resources. You might also want to look into iPad apps that allow for students to digitally compose notes and papers in their own handwriting; some apps will even turn a handwritten note into a typed note. This allows for a digital practice of penmanship, and you can even save drafts to compare the student's progress over time. Plus, digital notes are easily searched to find keywords and important terms in a snap.  More »

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Don't overlook the importance of the tried and true basics. Pens, pencils, and paper are obvious, but you'll also need a stapler and staples, tape, glue, scissors, markers, crayons, folders, notebooks, binders, dry erase boards and markers, a calendar, storage containers, push pins, paper clips, and binder clips. Many of these items can be bought in bulk to cut costs, and stored until you need them. Be sure to also get bins and cups to hold everything. You can often find some nice and inexpensive desk carousels that hold everything you need in one convenient place.  More »

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Writing apps are just the beginning. Depending on your state's requirements, you may need to log into a dashboard to submit reports, grades, and other materials, but regardless, chances are much of your teaching and organizing will be done online. As such, you're going to need a reliable internet source (and a backup Wi-Fi option isn't a bad idea either), an updated and fast laptop or desktop computer, and software. There are endless options for software ranging from schedulers, learning management systems and planners to homework trackers and online learning resources. And for families utilizing mobile devices, the apps for students and teachers is incredible and worth a look. Don't forget to buy a printer, too.  More »

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Storage Containers

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You need a place to store all your supplies, finished projects, paper, equipment, and more. Invest in some rolling storage carts, stackable bins, hanging file folders, and a nice credenza or wall storage unit for archiving materials in a way that makes it easy to find what you need when you need it. Nice wall shelving with boxes or cabinets and drawers can also be a great way to organize your materials and archives.

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A Camera and a Scanner

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If you're short on space, saving years of papers and projects can be tricky, so a scanner can help you digitize anything that wasn't initially created on the computer, which makes it easy for you to store and access in the future. You may want to invest in a shredder for sensitive material that you're not keeping. However, as easy as that sounds, not everything you and your child produce can be easily scanned. For those items, like art projects and odd sized posters, invest in a decent digital camera to photograph the projects and artwork, and then save the files to your computer. You can organize by year, semester, and subject to make finding things in the future easy. 

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Backup Digital Storage

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If you're storing all these items digitally, you might want to make sure you have a backup plan. Meaning, a place to back up all your files. Many services offer automatic cloud storage and backup, but having your own external hard drive means you have peace of mind knowing that everything is saved and archived locally. Keeping your files properly organized will help you keep track of important documents.

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Miscellaneous Equipment

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Some items might not seem as obvious right away, but you'd be doing yourself a favor if you also invested in a large paper cutter (get one that can handle multiple sheets of paper), a long-arm stapler for making booklets, a three-hole punch, a laminator, electric pencil sharpener, a white board, and a projector with a screen. If the room you're using to teach is exceptionally bright, you might want to invest in room darkening shades so you can easily see the projected images.