Charlie wrote a great post HERE about favorite homeschool supplies and it made me think of all the little things that we use all the time while homeschooling. Though there would be lots of overlap, I’ll concentrate on things she didn’t already mention.
1. Dry erase boards. Spelling words, math problems, notes to eachother—You name it and we’ve used a dry erase board to express it. It saves us from being completely drowned in paper.
2. Fact placemats— On anything. It prevents messes and puts information right under their noses. Is there a name for this homeschooling method? Classical random information mess preventer strewing?
3. Games. Sneak some learning in while playing a game. Just make sure you’ll be willing to play it many times before adding it to your collection! I thought nothing could be worse than Candyland until we got Take Off— an educational but ear splittingly (to me) boring game that Alex wanted to play every day for a million years.
4. File folders — We use these for so many things–file folder games, fold out books, even sometimes to file things.
5. Cardstock and three hole punch – I try to make as much of our learning hands on and we end up cutting and pasting to make journals of the stuff we are learning. Cardstock is sturdy enough and kept in a three ring binder it makes a great resource my kids can refer to when they need a reminder.
6. Posters. Ok, so the posters from Oatmeal (shown above) are just on my wish list but I generally have some sort of poster up whether it is the Periodic Table, parts of the body, or a map of the Animal Kingdom. Whatever it takes to whomp my kids over the head with the information.
7. Ipad – Ok, I know this is a luxury but we do so many things on the Ipad. There are tons of great apps, you can have digital books, curriculum that you happen to have available as a pdf… I could do a whole separate post on our favorite Ipad apps.
8. Audiobooks – Ok, if you read last week’s post you already knew this. I should have made it number one. We listen to fun stuff, great literature, science stuff, history stuff…
9. DVD’s/Videos. When we started I was a bit suspicious about using “screens” to educate and I admit I still have a clear line between what I consider pure entertainment and what I deem educational (ok, maybe not a clear line, but a fuzzy, waving ever changing line) but my son in particular really engages in video material and he has learned so much whether it is the History Channel “Story of Us” or “Mythbusters” or some documentary I found in a library search.
10. Rainbow Resource Catalog – Ok, they are not paying me and I don’t even always buy the stuff I find but this has to be the largest supply of homeschooling anything in one spot. Organized by subject, it is great to browse for ideas for curriculum, games, books, manipulatives… One nice thing about this company is that they realize that some homeschoolers want to make sure there is religion in their materials, and some want to make sure there isn’t. In their information about materials they tactfully give you a hint on which way the item goes if it applies.