When school’s back in session, the family schedule becomes unavoidably restructured around homework. And inevitably, junior will forget to tell you about a looming project deadline at least a handful of times throughout the year. Stay stocked for study time with these affordable homework supplies you can purchase at office supply stores.

Index Cards

Available in a wide array of sizes and colors, index cards are flexible study items. Use them to create your own flash cards for an upcoming quiz, make a set of coordinating cards to play spelling memory or even use them for reading summaries if your child’s teacher is open to that. The list of ways index cards can be used for homework support and classroom instruction is long. Stay stocked on wide rule, narrow rule, blank and multi-colored index cards and be prepared for last-minute study stress.

Colored Pencils

For labeling and mapping assignments, as well as last-minute book projects, a supply of colored pencils provides a grown-up source of color for upper elementary students. Keeping a range of colors stocked in the at-home study station will provide support when going the extra decorative mile for a school project is critical.

Page Protectors

Slipping a transparent page protector over a variety of math and spelling worksheets is a money-saving way to create write-and-wipe practice materials specifically suited to the needs of your little one or teen. Keep them on hand for extra practice before quarterly exams or midterms. Have several examples for each skill set so the answers don’t get memorized. Remember, the point is to keep their skills fresh, not to provide busy work.

File Folders

Having taught a variety of grade levels, I’m here to testify that plain manila file folders are some of the most flexible study supplies on the market. You can use them to create story jackets, report covers and even tri-fold study references for in-depth topic areas. Game boards and storage of extra study resources are other ideas. The point is, they don’t cost much at all, and it’s easy enough to store a box at home. It’s worth a few extra bucks to help your little boo stay project ready. Bonus? You’ll be able to use them in your home office as well!

Copy Paper

This is another one that can do double duty in the home office while also standing by to provide study support. Basic photocopy paper can be used for printing final copies of a report, creating a colorful book poster your child can back with colored paper for effect, and saved after home use for when your child needs something to check his or her math problems on.

These affordable study supplies will keep you stocked for homework support, but don’t forget the importance of having a designated study area at home. This helps establish routine behaviors and sends the message that homework is important.