What Do You Need To Educate Your Children? 11 Essentials For Homeschooling 2022

For kids who are traditionally schooled, back to school shopping usually entails new shoes, clothing, and backpacks, in addition to the ubiquitous items like paper, pencils and glue.

However, for kids who do their learning at home, the needs are a little different. Chances are, you’re more concerned with things like storage and organization than you are with buying the latest and greatest pair of kicks.

Through years of trial and error, sometimes having a dedicated school room and more often not, I have come up with a list of homeschool essentials that help keeps us sane and organized throughout the school year.

Ready? Let’s go.

A thermal laminator.

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✅ Best Thermal Laminator

Easiest office machine I’ve ever operated! – Easy to use. You just turn on the power button. When the light changes from red to green, you’re ready to rock and roll! You insert the laminating pouch, with your document inside and sealed end first, holding it firm and straight and feed it through the laminator. It comes out of the other side perfectly laminated and protected. It is important that you try to gently keep it straight as it feeds so as not to get any creases.

This little machine will save you so much money in paper and printer ink. Need a multiplication chart? Print one out and laminate it. Have puzzles and worksheets? Laminate them and have your kids use dry erase markers to complete them. You’ll love this so much you’ll start looking for weird things to laminate, just because you can. Recipes, artwork, cell phone bills. Laminate all the things!

A Kindle or e-reader.

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✅ Best Kindle Paperwhite

If you want easy reading, easy travel Kindle is the way to go – It is reliable, easy to read and easily to hold in any position while reading in bed or your big rig. Being able to order and download as much material as you want and not have to worry about disk space is nice.

Maybe you’re the world’s most organized person who never forgets to reserve reading materials from your library in preparation for whatever unit study or curriculum you’re using. But chances are, one day, even you, Organized Mom, will forget a book that your child needs. We have several Kindles floating around our house and my favorites are the kind that only downloads books and articles. That way, there’s no temptation to play a game or browse a website whilst using them. Most states now have an extensive library of materials, which might even mean fewer trips hoisting that laundry basket.


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✅ Best Slim Laptop

Fantastic Deal for the Price – This laptop is a fantastic deal for the price. The laptop has a fantastic body that is light and compact and very portable. Ram can easily be upgraded. The keyboard is comfortable to type on and as a bonus still includes a full numpad. The screen is a solid IPS screen and when you consider the price tag is amazing and beats a lot of the more expensive laptop screens.

Whether you use online classes, disc programs like Teaching Textbooks, or just need to access the library or sites for printables, a good, basic PC is a necessity. My preference is for laptops, as we do school all around the house. Typically, we don’t purchase a lot of software either. I use Google Docs for almost everything, and as long as there is wifi, it works very well.

Wireless Printer

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✅ Best Wireless Printer

Best home printer! – No more crappy cartridges that dry up and jam up and run out in a couple of weeks. These are easy to fill, and appear to be a lot less expensive per hundred pages than cartridges. Setting it up was dead easy. It’s simple to fill the ink tanks. The instructions are easy to understand and follow and work in maybe ten minutes with zero cussings at the wireless connection.

It is the best one we ever had and the cheapest ink tank printer among Epson printer lines but there is a couple of things you should have known before buying, read the reviews here.

A sturdy, plastic, lidded storage box for personal books, folders, and supplies.

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✅ Best Plastic Storage Box

Happy with purchase and product – Tubs are light to medium in weight and although some may think these a little small compared to others, they are usually perfect to use. When filling with files, if the bin was any larger, it would be too heavy to move around and you would worry about stacking. Very happy with the size, quality vs. cost, lids snap on and off just fine.

Kids are free to add stickers and decorated these however they choose. I love that it keeps smaller items all together and intact as we often have to move them from room to room. They stack easily and usually hold up to an entire year or more. You can also use these for your not-ready-for-school children as an activity box that they get to use during school time. When Judah was small I kept his ‘school’ box filled with a rotating supply of play clay, containers of dried beans, measuring cups, puzzles, coloring things, and more. He loved it and it was so helpful to have him occupied constructively whilst I worked with his older siblings.

A hard-side pencil box.

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✅ Best Sterilite Pencil Box

Bought it for work – Buy this for work to keep office supplies (pens, highlighters, white out, etc) organized. Perfect size for the podium. You might love it.

Perfect for keeping personal writing utensils, scissors, and glue from siblings’ sticky fingers.

Ticonderoga pencils.

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✅ Best Pencils With Eraser

The Pencils You Loved When You Were in School – Upon testing you will find both the eraser and tip to be resistant to breaking off. Even when you put excessive pressure on the tip it flaked off and still had plenty of points to finish a sentence. It takes considerable force to actually force it to break. The tip seemed to hold up just as well when you sharpened it again.

Simply the best there are. They mark well, and they’re the only traditional pencil that doesn’t seem to get chewed up by pencil sharpeners. Seriously, Cheaper pencils will not save you money in the long run.

A great planner.

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✅ Best Planner For Teens

Great planner – This planner has a sturdy, plastic cover that will stand up to a lot of wear. Both front and back covers have pockets. This planner is undated. So, it takes a few moments each week to jot down the dates. But, this planner will last longer. If you take a break and you don’t use the planner for a bit, you won’t have wasted pages. The column and row heading are blank. So you can fill them in a way that is useful to you. Each week has a full page spread for planning and recording the joys and struggles of the week.

There are lots of planners out there, some printable, some hard copy. This is the one I like the best because it was designed by a veteran homeschool mom and is perfect for those with multiiple children. Whether you are someone who plans ahead or just keeps a daily record of what work your kids have accomplished, this is the planner for you.

A sketchbook and various art supplies.

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✅ Best Hardcover Sketchbook For Art

Great for sketching in watercolor/mixed media – For the price and for being cellulose-based paper, this is nice! It is great for plein air sketching or any general watercolor sketching. Also works amazingly with gouache. Takes fountain, gel, and other pens nicely and has an agreeable tooth for pencil.

We’re talking colored pencils, watercolors, brushes, stickers, old magazines to cut up…the works. I always make sure each of my kids has his or her own sketchbook, even my non artsy kiddos. We’ve used them as nature journals, scrapbooks, yearbooks, scribble books, and more.

Just a little tip. Did you know that studies have shown that we humans listen and absorb heard information better when our hands are busy? That’s why people doodle whilst on the phone and why we remember better when we takes notes in lectures. So letting your child doodle when she listens to you read or teach can help her remember better. I’ve found this to be true with my kids and recommend trying it out.

Library Card.

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✅ Best Library Card Holder

Beautiful. Comfortable. Great quality. – This product is so beautiful! The pattern on the material is subtly feminine yet still very functional. This one is lightweight yet still very sturdy and had great quality. 

This is probably an obvious one, but if you haven’t considered it, a library card is something that you will use nearly every week. And what fun it is to take your little one to the front desk to get his own, brand new, plastic card that he gets to sign. Not to mention the euphoria your child will experience at his first overdue fine. Buckets of fun, I tell you. But seriously, with all the programs, materials, and ebooks available, a library card really is a key to the world.

The Our Groceries App.

And, just for fun, I’m going to throw in a bonus.

If you’re anything like me, you make plenty of lists. Groceries, Target runs, To-Dos, and then you lose them. Or leave them at home. This app is free and can be used by multiple people. You can make lots of lists that your spouse and kids can access. The next time you head to Aldi, your list will be at your fingertips. Forgot the eggs again? Text your husband and ask him to stop on the way home. He’ll just need to open the app to see what’s needed.

Seriously, this app has proven itself worthy again and again. Get it now.

There you have it-my essentials list.

What items would YOU add?

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