Right up there with pencils, and completely opposite in my opinion is our computers! Not only do I have my own, but the kids have theirs on a desk in the homeschool room as well. I often find they each have some of their work that is done on the computer, and I don’t want to give up mine, and of course they all end up needing a computer at once! Having one for each of us (albeit not top of the line or anything) is a big bonus for us!
Along with a computer, my camera would come next. I love to take photos and there is no greater way to document what you have been doing in your homeschool than to take photos, or even short videos. Beyond just the day to day, or even field trip photos, I take photos of any major projects, (for instance Jayden’s salt dough map of FL) so that I don’t have to find a way to store them! I can just photograph the projects and I will have them for life!
Not sure if I should group all of these together or not but fourth on my list is crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, tape and scissors. Especially at the younger ages, or if you are into notebooking/lapbooking, these are all must haves! We use colored pencils extensively for our nature journals as they don’t bleed through the pages and give more control than crayons.
Fifth on my list is our printers, yes I did say printers plural. We have a Kodak printer for printer great photos (like for our nature journals), as well as for notebooks, lapbooks, etc. But then we have a black and white laser for all those printing needs. Every free or low cost worksheet, printable, etc. that we print out for our schoolwork.
I most definitely could not live without my planner, Homeschool Tracker. I did mention Homeschool Tracker as one of my Top 10 Favorite Homeschooling Sites last week, but it deserves another mention. It has been the glue that has kept type-A me together over the past 2 years!
Storage, from under the benches of our nook table, to file boxes, baskets, plastic bins and bookshelves. We have so many things to store, like craft supplies, work to come, work gone by, curriculum books, regular books, puzzles, games, and more!
Paper. Paper of any and every kind! Construction, printer, scrapbooking, lined paper, spiral notebooks, scrap paper, list sized paper, etc!
Tables! I have a joke about the fact that we “collect” tables like most people “collect” televisions in their homes! We have 3 televisions (one in the Family Room, one in the Living Room, and one in our bedroom), but we have 4 tables just in our kitchen/homeschool area! Besides having a large desk to hold 2 computers, 2 printers, and have work space, we also have 2 tables in just our Homeschool Room. It is so nice not to have to disrupt whatever might be going on so that we can eat our lunch or dinner. Plus having so many tables means we can separate the children when they are driving each other (and me) nuts!
My #10 Must Have Homeschool Item is……my iPhone internet access. It ends all arguments, answers all questions, spurs many discussions, defines words, and is just the end all be all to satisfy our curiosities while out and about!
The Big Book of Homeschooling
To get tons of great advice, and move beyond the basics of academics, pick up a copy of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas. Some topics included are things like active learning, learning with video games, helping teens/tween become independent learners (one of my chapters), teaching on the road, learning with movies, high school literature (one of my chapters), and gardening.
This book can carry you through all your years of homeschooling, covering the stages your children will mature through: preschoolers, elementary grades, middle school, and high school. As your life situation changes, you will find new chapters that apply to you. You can view the full table of contents to see all 103 topics!