I used to feel like I had to have every educational toy, every workbook, all the curricula, every new thing I saw – to homeschool my children well…
But I realize now that I don’t need much. Kids learn well when left alone, maybe just a little coaching and guidance. We’re pretty laid back these days.
I have minimized to the top ten items we love and need to homeschool our four kiddos.
Our Top Ten Homeschool Items
10. Reference books: encyclopedias, dictionary, and thesaurus; Strong’s and Matthew Henry (yeah, I’m old-school!), our history encyclopedia…yeah I know that’s technically more than one thing. See what I did there? While we love the Internet for research, I think it’s really important that my kids learn how to use these tools.
9. Workboxes (or cubbies, cubes, drawers, folders – however you want to work it); i.e.: somewhere for the kidsto put their stuff! I like the Closetmaid Cubeicals. We have used it all, depending on our space allowances. Currently, the three younger kids each have a magazine file on their desks for their workbooks and papers and my teen has a cabinet in the basement.
8. Art Supplies (all that crafty stuff that makes life stressful and messy and fun and beautiful). We like to get our arts and crafts stuff from Discount School Supply. We love colored pencils and glue sticks and the Back to School aisles still give me butterflies!
7. Library Cards (the kids and I all have our own cards and we max those suckers out each week!)
6. Camera: to document memories, for those blog pics, and to send to friends and family to prove that we do something productive (those doubters!).
5. iPad Minis. Alex loves his. Thank God for technology. Starfall taught Alex his ABCs. The kids and I all have one with color-coded Trident cases. (They were gifts from grandparents.) We use them daily for schoolwork and fun. I gave the girls their own shared Kindle account and we download FREE eBooks all the time! (Am I brilliant, or what?) We love weather and geography apps. And yes, we watch YouTube and Netflix when we have WiFi. We love Stack the States, Splash Math, and Duolingo !
3. Bibles. Each child has a KJV. We have The Message, an Amplified Bible, and The Complete Jewish Bible for comparison. I love having this freedom to teach the Bible during our school day. Also those Bible reference materials. (See #10.) And we love Bible apps too. We use Pray Now every evening before bed. Sure, we have Bibles on our Kindle, but sometimes, I want to feel a book.
1. Lap Desks/Trays. My kid fight over the lap desks. We have four of this little table kind, but they argue about who gets the Marvel superheroes one. ugh! I found plain ones at Michael’s and the Marvel one at Savers thrift store. We use these to do our school work and to eat in front of the TV (a special treat!) We also have these fun ones from Room It Up. And I even found Liz a mini one with a cool clipboard on it! They’re also great for travel.
We continue to purge and downsize our belongings, including our homeschool items, each year. It’s getting even more fun as the kids get older. We need less and less.
What are your must-haves for your homeschool?
Linking up: Curly Crafty Mom, Life of Faith, Mrs. AOK, Blogghetti, Donna Reidland, Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth, Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Create with Joy, Holley Gerth, Marilyn’s Treats, A Fresh Start, Modest Mom, JEmbellish, Our Holiday Journey, Blessed but Stressed, Barbie Swihart, God-Sized Dreams, MaryAndering Creatively, Purposeful Faith, Trekking Thru, Home Stories A to Z, Live Randomly Simple, Teaching What is Good, A Bowl Full of Lemons, LouLou Girls, Southern Beauty Guide, My Husband Has too Many Hobbies, Wife Mommy Me, Mumma Scribbles, Jaime Wiebel, Raggedy Bits, Savvy Southern Style, Ducks N a Row, Jessi’s Design, Wise Woman, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Gingersnap Crafts, Our Three Peas, Bringing up Georgia, Pat and Candy, Soaring with Him, Classical Homemaking, Quietly Reminded, Plunge Deep Climb Steep, Joyful Homemaking, Pennys Passion, Debbie Kitterman, Sincerely Paula, T Suzanne Eller, Brenda Bradford Dottinger, Organized 31, A Bountiful Love, Life Beyond the Kitchen, Apron Strings and Other Things, Katherine’s Corner, Creative K Kids, Simply Sweet Home, The Blended Blog, The Answer is Chocolate, Coffee with us 3, Life with Lorelai, Create with Joy, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Artsy Fartsy Mama, Chic on a Shoestring, Easy Peasy Pleasy, Arabah Joy, Happily Ever After Etc., Momfessionals, Being a Wordsmith, Our Mini Family, Happy and Blessed Home,