Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Top 10 Homeschool Must-Haves

I thought I'd do a list of the 10 things that are most important in our homeschooling. These are the things that I would not want to have to homeschool without, in no particular order.

Library Card: We've got a good home library, well over 1000 books at last count. However, our public library has 6 branches & almost 600,000 items in its collection, not counting downloadable resources. I could never afford to buy all the books we read for fun or the ones we use for school. That's not counting all the documentaries & educational shows we borrow from the library.

Internet: I really would not want to have to homeschool without the internet. So many of our resources are online. I do tons of research online for every topic & every subject. It allows me to search our library catalog, put stuff on hold, and see what needs to go back each week. It allows us to use Netflix streaming for some of our documentaries. It allows us to connect with people from all over the world, read/see news from all over the world, and find resources we wouldn't have access to otherwise.

Netflix: While we do get some educational shows & documentaries from our local public library, they do have a limited selection. Netflix provides us with so many more options between streaming & DVDs.

Rainbow Resource: They have better prices and a larger & better selection of curricula than I've found anywhere else. I buy most of our materials from here each year.

Home Science Tools: This is where I buy most of our Science lab supplies, as well as some of the Science-y stuff the kids want for use during free time/breaks.

Computers: Not only do I use the computer a lot for research and finding materials, but the kids use the computer daily for their schooling.

White Boards: We have several white boards. We use them for a lot of stuff, for many subjects. If we weren't using the white boards, we'd be using a lot more paper, which would be very expensive & bad for the environment.

Dictionary & Thesaurus: These should be part of every family's personal library. They are two reference books I would never give up.

Games: This includes card games, board games, strategy games, educational computer games (like TimezAttack), and all other games that we use for fun reinforcement, review, and practice related to our schooling.

Art/Craft Supplies: My kids are both very creative and use our many art/craft supplies, not just for Art class, but also in projects for school & to occupy their free time.

As you can see, there are no curricula listed. This is because there  are none that I have found that I could not do without. There are none that are irreplaceable. There are several that I adore, but I could do without, if needed.