Obviously I could make a list of a billion things that I’d love to have for homeschooling. When you join Facebook groups it’s easy to get caught up in what other families have as well. The thing is that you don’t need that much, a lot of it is just nice to have. Today I’m just going to talk about what I find to be the most essential things we use for homeschooling. The things we’ve gotten the most use out of!
Basic Office Supplies
I’m talking scissors, pens, pencils, tape, glue sticks, a pack of markers, and a stack of paper (printer and construction). If you’re like me, you have most of these things already, but if you don’t it’s nice to have your own. Sharing with your kids will work too though. There are so SO many things you can make yourself with a few basic supplies which is important when you have multiple kids and a tight budget.
They usually aren’t super expensive but you can even make your own with a thick marker and pack of cue cards. I use them for all kinds of things not just “flash”. Pair them up with a pack of bananagrams or the contents of your scrabble box for spelling practice. Draw the letters out on a stretch of paper for an easy matching game. Build sentences using sight word cards across the floor. We’ve gotten loads of use out ours over the years. (Scholastic: Sight Words Flashcards at *Indigo/Chapters)
Not necessarily the cheapest item on the list but can be incredibly useful and save you a lot of money in the long run. The internet is full of great worksheets, printable, and activities that you can print for free or a small fee. Having a printer on hand makes it easy to grab what you need when you need it. This is especially helpful when you’re chasing your kids interest down a rabbit hole and want to find a cool worksheet or colouring page to go with the subject. It’s also convenient to print out any provincial paperwork you may need to keep track of. We have one with a scanner on top and I can’t tell you how helpful that has been! (*My Book List digital download at BeadsBobbles&Buttons)
They’re cheap, easy to use, and you can turn anything you want into a book without the bulk of a binder. Years ago I bought a whole box for like $25 and I still have a few left. I’ve made various workbooks, added plastic sheet protectors to create dry erase sheets, and used them to house the kids yearly curriculum checklists. By far one of the simplest but most useful things I’ve purchased on this homeschool journey!
The cheapest option is a Library card. Hands down. I don’t know a homeschooler that doesn’t have a library card! Not only for the ease of picking up books you need for specific lessons (but don’t necessarily want to purchase) but local libraries tend to have programming for kids as well. Storytimes, Lego clubs, activity days. Last year O took a free class about the Mohawk Nation and had the most fun learning about Turtle Island, dancing, and trying Three Sisters Soup. You’re library card can also get you access to e-books if your library has that option. Ours has an app for adults and a website for kids books. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love
hoarding keeping all of the books so I also use the Kobo app for e-books and order from Chapter’s because it’s one of my favourite places and there isn’t one in my current town….*sad face. (*Indigo/Chapters)
Thanks to The Rona there are a lot of folx getting into pandemic-schooling or taking the leap into full on homeschooling! Whatever you’ve got going on, whether it’s just for this year or for the long run, I hope this list can help you narrow down some of the things you’ll really need. I know it can be overwhelming, but you got this!
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