Homeschooling can be tricky sometimes, especially when you are working with one income. Books, school supplies, more school supplies, and field trips. It's amazing how fast all those things can add up. Thankfully, we are blessed with friends and family that have asked what we needed or donated items they no longer needed.
Here is a list of our all time favorite items we've been gifted. We have been blessed by so many people on our journey.
1. BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS
Books are a must when you homeschool. Homeschool families have textbooks, workbooks, and literature books to buy. Buying all those books can be very expensive for families. Every year, I make an Amazon Wish List for all the books I need for the upcoming school year. I include educational games, flashcards, movies, experiments, and projects on this list too. For birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc. we have family and friends that ask what we need. I gladly share our list. I can easily look at the list or send them a link so they can get whatever they would like. I love when the kids received gifts that we can use.
2. Paper....all types of paper.
Homeschoolers use all kinds of paper. Copy paper, colored copy paper, card stock paper, construction paper, notebook paper, art pads, and lined hand writing paper. The uses are endless! Worksheets and tests for the students. Coloring pages and alphabet pages for the little ones. Card stock and construction paper can be used with lapbooks, unit studies and journaling.
The kid's grandmother was given a box full of paper when we first started homeschooling. A friend of hers was cleaning out her house and came across colored paper, card stock, copy paper,and more. We still have paper from that generous gift and it's been 9 years!
3. Markers, Crayons, and Colored Pencils
Markers, crayons, and pencils oh my! We have to replace these items almost yearly, especially the markers. They get used up or just dry up (especially when lids are not put on correctly). Sometimes they get eaten by the dog too. The boxes never last through the year, so we store ours in various plastic containers. These items are essential for homeschoolers (and any family with kids). Kids need to be hands on with their learning and get involved in creating fun things.
4. Art Supplies
Art supplies are another essential in our household. These supplies vary according to what we are studying that year. We always need drawing pads, drawing pencils, paint, paint brushes, clay, oil pastels, chalk pastels, and art canvases.
5. Electric Pencil Sharpener
An electric pencil sharpener is a must. Those little hand held ones never seem to work. The pencil tips just keep breaking off and it's very frustrating! We have the X-ACTO sharpener and is works extremely well. We've had no problems with it. We tried a few others before this one and they all broke within the year. We've had this one for 3 years now and it's still going strong. (Knock on wood)
I didn't get a laminator right away. In fact, I went the first 6 years of homeschooling without one. I honestly don't know I survived. Since getting one, I have used it to laminate math fact sheets, flashcards, games I created for my kids, and prayer cards. I can see how useful they would be for families with younger kids! You can crate your own re-usable hand writing pages.
7. Craft Supplies
Craft supplies can be anything and everything. Toilet paper rolls, old shoe boxes, pipe cleaners, pom poms, sequins, glitter, buttons, ribbon, beads, egg cartons, etc. The list can go on and on. When the kids were younger, I had a plastic tub full of goodies the kids could use. We saved whatever we thought was useful, grandparents and relatives gave us stuff form their stash, we bought stuff from thrift stores and yard sales. Relatives cleaning out shelves are a great way to get some neat stuff.
Notebooks come in handy. We use notebooks for most of subjects. The kids can take notes in science and religion. They can use a notebook to do copywork, journaling, and do their math lessons. My kids love to pick out new notebooks every year. Luckily, they gave a grandma that loves to buy them new notebooks and always gets them in patterns and characters they love. I use notebooks to plan lessons, book logs, and for making notes for the upcoming year. I have a notebook for my school planning, the religious class I teach on Sunday, and my homeschool group.
We have a whole shelf in our schoolroom with just binders on it. Both Michael and Therese have binders for each of their subjects. We use our history ans science binders the most. They each have a portfolio binder for the year too. This binder is where they keep track of the books they have read, store their tests from various subjects, and papers they have written. Included in this binder is an All About Me page for the year and a record keeping page so they can see how well they are doing in each subject. I have a binder to keep track of my lesson plans. I also have a binder for history and science that stores all the stuff we will be doing for the year. I love to be organized.
10. Pencils & Erasers
Just like in regular school, pencils and erasers are important. We have tried different pencils over the year. We've been given a types. Plan yellow pencils and pencils with all cute images. I have to say not all pencils are the same. We quickly discovered that the best pencils are the Ticonderoga brand, even the box says they are the world's best pencils. The tips don't break off and the erasers actually work!
5 Bonus Items We Love in Our Schoolroom
If you have a budding scientist, a microscope is a must have. We started off with a simple little kid microscope. It was colorful, had a few slides, and was easy too use. After a few years, Michael asked for a real one. We searched and searched until we found just the right one. We wanted one that would grow with him. We added it to his Christmas list and his grandparents made his wish come true. They kids have used it to look at hair, blood, leaves, feathers, and bugs. Michael has even created his own slides to keep.
We are very lucky to have a wonderful telescope. A neighbor learned we were homeschooling and gave us a telescope his family was no longer using. He had bought it for his son years ago and no one was using it anymore. He said he wanted to pass it onto us so someone else could enjoy looking at the stars. We have used it a few times already. I know when we learn about Astronomy it will get used a lot. I love gazing up at the star.
13. Storage Containers
We have quite the selection of storage boxes in our schoolroom and throughout the house. We have Rubbermaid bins that store craft supplies, notebooks, and school books. We have fabric baskets on our book shelves that store items like tape, glue, paint, etc. Any item that we may use on a daily basis. On my desk, I have old jelly jars that hold paperclips, pushpins, coins, glitter, rubber-bands, and any other small items that may get lost. I have photo boxes to hold flashcards and metal buckets that hold pencils and pens. We have small plastic bins that hold markers, crayons, and colored pencils. I have the 10 drawer cart in our schoolroom. It holds loose leaf paper, colored paper, card stock, file folders, and rulers. It holds a ton of stuff but doesn't take up much of room. We love it.
14. Outgrown Sports Equipment
We (or my father in law) have found plenty of great sport items at yard sales. We have scooters, basketball hoop, bikes, and tennis rackets all from yard sales. We've even gotten old bikes from my parents and siblings. My in-laws have bought the kids pedal cars, go carts, and a wonderful corn hole game. The kids have bought a volleyball set, a croquet set, pool tools, and balls with birthday money and gift cards. We buy balls all the time. Unfortunately, the dog loves balls and tends to destroy them if see can get her mouth on it.
15. Gift Cards
The kids and I love gift cards. Both kids enjoy receiving them as presents. They will hold on to them until they see something they really want. Michael has used his on science experiments, books, model car kits, and games. Therese tends to use her crafts. She loves to buy jewelry making kits, fabric to sew with, items for her fairy garden. I love how gift cards can help them discover new talents and hobbies!
This is just a few of the items we have found to be a necessity for our household.
Do you have any favorite items in you schoolroom?
I loved to hear about them.
Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you.
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