As we wind down the year and head into summer, I'm pleased to join with a fabulous group of homeschool mom bloggers at iHomeschool Network to bring you a series of Ten weeks of TOP TEN LISTS. This week, I'm sharing my TOP TEN Must Have Items for homeschooling.
No matter how prepared, planned, and equipped I think I might be for the day, I know it is only by God's AMAZING Grace that I can make it through the crazy busyness. Even when I know I have a harried schedule in the making, I try to take time to start my day in God's Word. (I'm currently reading through the life of David with some help from Beth Moore...in case you were wondering) I'll admit that there are days that I feel like I need to just zoom past this part of my morning, but if and when I do, I ALWAYS regret it. There's nothing like having a few minutes of quiet surrender to the Lord each morning to pave the way for the rest of the day!
My Well Planned Day Planner
During the summer months, I plan a year's worth of lessons in my Well Planned Day Planner knowing that my "plan" will have to ebb and flow with life. But, the point is...I have a PLAN. I can see where we are, where we've been, and where we are headed...at a glance. And because I am not "inventing the wheel" everyday, I have the time to add in the fun extras that make our homeschool journey a lot more enjoyable.
Interlibrary Loan System
I live in a fairly tiny town with a rather small library. Because it is a publicly funded library, however, it works in tangent with other publicly funded library systems across our state...including those at public schools and universities. I can go on-line, request a book from the state library system, and have it shipped to my library for free...ready to be picked up in just a few days. I can not guarantee that your state has an interlibrary loan system. But most do, so it is worth checking out...no pun intended!
Mini White Boards
Why go through reams of paper each day to practice math facts, spelling words, phonics blends, etc. I picked up a small 8 x 10 white board and eraser for each of the kids. We use these like a scratch pad throughout the day.
I don't think there is a day that goes by that we do not youtube a particular topic. It's one thing to read in a living biography about how fast an Olympic runner was. It's another thing altogether to watch a short 1 minute clip of it after you finish the book. It puts the whole matter into a newfound perspective. (What was our last youtube of the day you ask?...During our morning Bible time while reading about the final moments of Christ's life, we watched a Jewish rabbi blow the four different types of shofar blasts.)
A Digital Timer
We play a ton of games around these parts. And a timer...like the one you use for cooking...is a MUST!...especially for my boys who want to make a race out of everything!
Plastic Pencil Boxes
Although I know several homeschool families who choose to have central storage bins to hold ALL the school supplies. My kids each have a pencil box that holds all of their color coded supplies. Although we do much of our schooling in the dining room, there are many times throughout the day where the children scatter to other parts of the house. It would be quite a waste of time to have to go searching for a forgotten glue stick. A pencil box at their side ensures they have all the necessary supplies...at all times.
Twice a month finds us gathered with three wonderful families for our monthly book club. I'm not sure what I would do without the loving support of these other mommas and the Godly friendships that my children have created over the past five years.
We do not currently have space for an actual school room and rely on our dining room to be our classroom. But, since I have an "open kitchen" policy and have folks over to share a meal with us at least once a week, I don't wish to always have "school" staring at us or our guests. A few years ago, I found a very UGLY china cabinet at a thrift shop, picked out a few paint swatches, and enlisted the Hubs to use his brush skills to create a "camouflaged" school cabinet that would house all of our books and supplies. A year or so later, another hutch was necessary. He and Super Boy painted a hand-me-down dresser to house all of our manipulatives and games. Although they do take up space in our small dining area, they blend in well and help us create a nice "after school" look.
Baskets, baskets, and more baskets!
I'm certain that I have a basket or bucket resting against every wall of my house. We have a quaint, early 20th century home with very few closets and shelves. Most of our "daily use" homeschool supplies are housed in pretty baskets...flashcards, library books, magazines, current school projects, coloring books, hand crafts...all in BASKETS.
Phewww...that was a long list. Thanks for sticking with me. Be sure to swing on over to the iHomeschool Network and check out the other fabulous lists. And while you're at it, check in with our great Top Ten hostess...Angie of Many Little Blessings. I look forward to sharing my 10 in 10 with you each Tuesday I hope you stop in again!
What are your Top 10 Must haves?
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