At the end of the school year, your homeschool space may be a chaotic mess, littered with broken crayons, nubby pencils, and partially-used notebooks. Check out these tips for culling through the leftover homeschool supplies.
At the end of the school year, our learning spaces can look like the aftermath of some kind of school supply tornado. Everywhere are broken crayon bits, stubby colored pencil nubs, eraser-less #2 pencils, half-filled notebooks, and random sheets of looseleaf paper.
What do you do with all of those leftover homeschool supplies at the end of the year?
You don’t have to live in chaos or just close the schoolroom door until August. Try these tips!
Check Your Non-consumable Supplies for Next Year
You invest a fair amount of money purchasing rulers, scissors, pencil boxes, and pencil sharpeners. These non-consumable supplies usually last a few years before they wear out (or disappear with the mismatched single socks).
The non-consumables that don’t disappear do break eventually. Or, in the case of my daughter’s ruler, the marks slowly rub off over the last few years. So at the end of the school year, cull through those non-consumable school supplies. Make a list of which ones you need to replace, and store the rest until the next school year.
Pull out the leftover supplies that you can easily reuse the next school year. In my family, this means I make a stack of all the unused notebooks, looseleaf papers, and lab books.
I don’t include partly-used notebooks. Part of the excitement of the new school year is starting fresh with new supplies, and a partly used composition book just doesn’t cut it. (I have a different use for them that I’ll share in a bit.)
So pull aside all unused notebooks, looseleaf papers, unopened packages of pencils, and lab books to store until the next school year. They’ll save you money during the back to school shopping extravaganza this summer!
All the other used paper products that we aren’t saving as keepsakes get dumped in the recycle bin.
Create an Art Station
If your family is anything like mine, you likely have a ton of extra art supplies! Gather up all the crayons, colored pencils, partly used watercolors, chalk pastels, glue sticks, and construction paper. Use them to create an art station for your family. Over the summer, your kids will love having a place they can go to create cards, paint masterpieces, and indulge their creativity when the mood strikes.
The extra art supplies are perfect for a family art station. Try adding a few art books for inspiration.
Remember those partly-used notebooks you put aside earlier? Use them to create journals for your children. Your kids can journal about the family trip, summer camp, or places they want to visit.
If journals don’t strike your kids’ fancy, use your imagination. Create address books so they can write letters to family and friends. Or let your kids turn slightly used notebooks into short books, graphic novels, or art journals.
My kids don’t journal, but they love having a notebook for writing short stories.
You can use Mod Podge and the supplies from your family art station to customize the notebook covers.
Create Personalized Binders
One of the most significant treasures from my family’s leftover homeschool supplies are the binders. My kids quickly lay claim to any they can get their hands on and decorate them at the family art station before putting them to use.
The kids use their 3-ringed treasures to store their Pokemon and Magic cards, short stories, and art creations in these binders. Binders are one of the favorite leftover homeschool supplies in my house!
So if you find yourself wading through a pile of leftover homeschool supplies, first pull aside all those that will survive another year of homeschooling. Next set up a family art center. And then let the kids get creative with the rest.
You’ll be amazed at their creativity putting those supplies to use!
What do you do with your leftover homeschool supplies?