Now that all of my curriculum has arrived, it is time for me to make my supply lists. School supplies typically flood the stores after July 4th, and traditionally they are sold at very low prices. I go through my supply closet and shelves making a list of how many boxes of crayons, markers, glue sticks, glue bottles, pencils, colored ballpoint pens, spiral notebooks, folders, binders, page protectors, etc. that I think I will need for the entire upcoming school year. Who wants to buy a box of crayons for $.97 in December, when they sell for $.10 in July? I also stock up on teacher-type supplies too: tape, paper clips, rubber bands, etc.
I keep my eye out for unique school supplies that I can include in my Back To School Treasure Hunt. In fact, school supplies are always the treasure in this annual back to school tradition.
In addition to a regular school supply list, I make supply lists for my various subjects. Most science courses provide a materials list in the teacher edition or student book. I photocopy this list and mark off each item as I purchase it. Then I place all of the science materials needed for the whole year in a designated box or on a shelf. Now when the child is ready to conduct an experiment in March, you don't have to turn the house upside down for a cork or piece of wire.....and you don't have to run to the store for some obscure item. All of items the child needs are safely stored in the Science Box. This school year, for the first time, I will have all 3 of my older children studying different science subjects (for many previous years we have done KONOS unit studies or used the elementary Apologia science books). Therefore, I plan to have 3 separate Science Boxes on the shelf this year.
Other subjects can require special supplies too: math manipulatives, any kind of unit study, an art course, and for Olivia this year, her Home Economics course. Unit studies or literature-based history courses provide booklists. I purchase or make sure that I can check out from the library all of the books I will need. Preschool supplies may include paint and other craft supplies. Also, every summer I purchase 3 or 4 new preschool/kindergarten activities to add to my preschool collection. These are the activities and games that I rotate on a daily basis for the preschooler and kindergartener. Finally, I go through each child's courses and determine what kind of notebook/binder/paper/folder the course will require to store the child's schoolwork in.
With my lists made, I am ready for school supply shopping in July!