Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Top Ten Favorite Homeschool Supplies (5 Days of Back to Homeschool)

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Are you here for the Blog Hop! Welcome...This week, in honor of our 10th year homeschooling,  I'm sharing my Top Ten homeschool resources, school supplies and more! You can click here to get schedule for the week. 

So I am absolutely in LOVE with this post.  I have had 10 years to decide what kinds of supplies really rock my world. Of course, I used a few different kinds of things when Josiah was younger. Glue sticks and safety scissors aren’t really a necessity any more. But let me tell you…nothing excites me more than the school supply aisle.

Being Homeschoolers has broadened my idea of what “school supplies” actually are. You get my drift.

Most regular people don’t consider a slow cooker a major school supply purchase. We consider it as important  as a couple of pencils and some paper.

1.       Gel Pens - There is not much about Sparkly Pens I don’t like. In fact, Josiah loves them about as much as I do. Go figure. Every semester I have him go through our container of sparkly pens and check to see if any of them have dried up. And then every semester I bless him with a brand new set. Now for my own personal uses, I LOVE the Gelly Roll pens from Sakura. You can purchase them from Amazon, but I have also been known to use my 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby…they sell them, as well. They have lots of different colors and flavors. You just have to pick your poison. 

2.       Slow Cooker -  I haven’t jumped on the InstaPot band wagon yet…namely because I can’t afford one. But I can’t live without my slow cooker. I probably use it 2 or 3 times a week.  THIS one is my slow cooker. It isn’t the fanciest by any means, but it has clips on the ends to hold the top down and I can tote it to church for potlucks and carry-ins.

3.       Library Card – Oh, yes. It been said that all a homeschooler really needs to succeed in life is a library card. And honestly…I can agree. The Library is about the most awesomest place in the world. If you haven’t made it part of your homeschool life I suggest you find a way to make it so.  If you are in a season in your life that doesn’t allow you to spend long afternoons in quiet bliss among the great shelves….there are ways to still use what’s inside those golden walls. I have frequently requested my choices online and simply ran in (in Missouri we had a library drive-thru) to pick them up. Not only that, but there isn’t a library book in Indiana that is safe from me. They have a great interlibrary loan system.

4.       Tea – Or something like it. Do you have any rituals during the day? One of mine is brewing a cup of my favorite tea and sitting down with our read aloud or devotion. There is something comforting and just a little posh about using one of my china cups to make the school day special. Josiah is not such a fan of my hot tea….though when he was little I would make him hot chocolate in one of my special cups. But we still enjoy our ritual together. I have found many tea cups from thrift stores or flea markets. My favorite teas are Lady Grey, Sweet & Spicy and Lemon Ginger.

5.       Composition and Spiral Notebooks – These are the bread and butter of our homeschool. We use them for EVERYTHING. Josiah has one for assignments. I use them for my bullet journals. We use them for daily journals and writing assignments. They are cheap and found about anywhere. I personally prefer cute ones…I can always decorate them with washi tape. Josiah doesn’t care.

6.       Colored Pencils – Oh yes. And all colored pencils are not created equally. My favorite brand is Prism. They color like buttah. I use them for our notebooks, art projects and more. I think they make a neater end product that markers…in fact, unless you are decorating a poster don’t use a marker on a notebooking page in my house. Messy. Messy. Messy.

7.       Printer  – My friends. One cannot underestimate the need for the printer in a homeschoolers home. But ink is pricey. I have used print services. I have tried not to use printables, but I just can’t keep away from them. They make me happy and they make my life easier. This year I am trying something new. My homeschooling plans can’t be held hostage to the ink level on my printer. I have joined the Hewlett Packard Instant Ink. They have several different plans. I am trying the 9.99 plan right now…it allows me to print 300 pages a month. The plans price range go down from there. Right now if you sign up using THIS link you will get one month free.  The deal lasts until September 30, 2017.  I get a few free months for every friend who signs up so hop to it! Beke needs some free ink! 

8.       Plastic Sheet Protectors – I just like the look of a shiny page. They protect my pages from ripping and tearing (which in turn saves me money) and they make even the most scribbly notebooking page look glorious (nearly). You can purchase them easily from the Wal-marts. This set from Amazon seems like a reasonable deal if you are more into couch shopping…for reals.

9.       Laminator – I have had mine for years and I have used it for everything! I used to make little puzzles and games, basically manipulatives for Josiah. Now I will laminate artwork for art studies. You can make your own little dry erase boards or erasable worksheets.  I got mine at Wal-mart years ago. The link I gave you below is comparable to the one I have, but you can certainly buy get them for a good deal at Wally World.  

10.   Amazon Kindle – This choice certainly isn’t an impulse buy. AND it’s also used for more than school work. The model Josiah has (which was a Christmas present) is not the most expensive one…however it works just fine what we need it for. I download educational apps for him to play or use. I also use it occasionally for reading assignments. It has an easy way to check the definition of a word and he can make the print as big as he needs it. I’ve also given Josiah YouTube links to follow. I like doing this if he is doing dependent work. He can sit at the table and look up information easily.

BONUS! So I really couldn’t keep contain myself. There are a few things I use over and over in our school. It’s our Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts!  Either have a GOLDMINE of educational programing, documentaries and movies. 

That's all I got. At least until tomorrow. I am going to share with you my best planning and scheduling tricks and tips. Stay tuned. 

For now...all this week I am joining up with my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew for the 5 Days of Back to School Blog Hop. 

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017


  1. Goodness - I agree with so much here! I love your take on the essentials. I, too, grab my tea before a read-aloud. They just go hand-in-hand. - Lori

  2. Gel Pens! I fell in love with them when I was in college the first time. I had a professor who swore they were THE best for writing essays because they flowed perfectly (usually). She preferred us to use them. I worked in the college bookstore and so the possibilities before me were endless! That began my pen obsessions...beyond gel pens, we have many of the same things on our lists! <3


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