Back to school shopping is a little different for us homeschoolers, but not that much different. Here are my must buys at this year’s back to school sales.

Back to school shopping homeschool

School Supplies

Besides buying packs of cheap Crayolas, packs of paper, and pens, some of the things I always get at back to school sales are:Mechanical Pencils–I used to hate mechanical pencils, but we recently tried out these Paper Mate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencils and converted from our beloved Ticonderoga Pencils. The leads are sturdy and hard to break. With an always-sharp-point, my dysgraphic son’s handwriting is a bit easier to read. And I’m less likely to have to clean up pencil shavings when someone drops the sharpener on the floor. Graph Paper Notebooks–These are for my oldest son. Read why they are a must for his handwriting issues here and here. He currently uses one for math and one for science. I am adding one for his history narrations this year, too. These notebooks are pricey and don’t go on sale outside of back to school season.

Composition Notebooks–The bindings never come apart, they are super portable, the smaller page size not intimidating at all, and some even have a sturdy cover. I get this one with room to draw for my first grader’s journal. I get stacks of the plain college rule ones for myself and wide rule ones for my oldest son who likes to compose stories in his. I prefer the Mead 100 page composition books and will pay an extra quarter for them over the off brands any day of the week.Permanent Glue Sticks–If you don’t want anything your kids glued into their notebooks to fall out after a few weeks, get the permanent glue sticks. These are my favorite. Oh and be sure to put them away, unless you want a permanent collage on your daughter’s door. Ahem.


Back to School clothes shopping is a lot more relaxed for us homeschoolers because we don’t need quite as much to start the school year. It’s easier on my budget to spread out clothes shopping throughout the year. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take advantage of the sales. A few things that I always buy at the back to school sales are:

Jean Sales–Jeans never go cheaper than at back to school time and my kids manage to get holes in the knees of their jeans before they outgrow them, so I stock up.

BOGO Shoe Sales–Usually the sales are buy one get one half off. I always try to hold out for BOGO shoe sales.

Packages of Socks–The only clothing item to get holes quicker than jeans. I stock up on the cute packs for kids when they go on sale at Costco.

A Few Fresh New Shirts and a Couple Pairs of Shorts–Where I live, we have HOT weather through October. I don’t even look at jackets and sweatshirts until they move to clearance.

How About You?

What are your must buys for this year’s back to school sales? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how you approach back to school shopping!