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In celebration of my 40th birthday this week (how did that sneak up on me?!) I am sharing 40 of my favorite homeschool resources with you!
Some of these are more “resourcey” than others. You’ll see a few things that are just lightly related to homeschooling but if it was something I love and in some way relates to homeschooling then I included it.
I’m very excited about kicking off the new homeschool year and wanted to celebrate the big 4-0 with all of you and some of my favorite things. 🙂
My Favorite Homeschool Resources
1.) Dr. Stinky’s Scratch N Sniff Stickers – These are as close to the scratch n sniff stickers from the 80’s that I’ve been able to find. It’s so much fun to put these on the kids completed work.
2.) Teaching from Rest by Sarah MacKenzie – Best homeschool book ever. If you haven’t read this yet please go buy it or borrow it!
3.) Notebooking Pages – I want to do more notebooking with the kids this year because I think it is a simple and effective way for children to practice and display what they are learning. So I was excited to become a lifetime member of Notebooking Pages and have access to all their printables for the rest of our time homeschooling! If you think this might be something you are interested in they offer a large free sample so you can check it out first, which I found to be very helpful.
4.) Library Card – I’d die without access to the library. Or even a limit put on the number of books we can check out. Good thing we have access to a great library where I can check out over 100 books at one time because I don’t want to die or anything. (This has got me thinking…why in the world do we need to have 100 books checked out at one time?!)
5.) All About Learning Press – We’ve been using All About Spelling with Kellan since the very and I also use All About Reading with the girls. These are top notch products and have been a great fit for us.
6.) A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead – I love children’s picture books and there are many that I would consider favorites. But this book…..this book is probably my number one fave. I adore the story and illustrations and I even put together a character unit on compassion using this as the main book selection. I worked through the unit with my kids and you can have access to it too. Just sign up for the free newsletter and you will receive the unit for free!
7.) Picture Books – Like I said, I love children’s picture books, and here is a list of my preschool favorites. We still read some of these even though my kids are no longer preschoolers. I’ll always love these, even when the kids are all grown up! (sniff, sniff)
8.) Trampoline – During the winter months when we have stuck inside day this thing is a lifesaver. Kids have lots of energy and need to burn it off! This compact trampoline is perfect for fidgety kids who need to get the wiggles out.
9.) Notebooks – give me a simple spiral-bound, lined notebook and I will be a happy camper. I can make lists like nobody’s business. And I’m going to keep things simple and use a notebook for Kellan’s daily assignments this year.
10.) Boogie Boards – Jenna and Alaina received Boogie Boards for their birthday last year and we use them all the time in our homeschool! We write equations, practice words, sentences and more. They remind me of a MagnaDoodle but they are smaller, thinner and have magnets on the back to store them on the fridge.
11.) Our backyard – I am so thankful we have a nice space for the kids to play outside. We love our yard and it’s perfect for our puppy too (see #26!). Here’s a fun photo of Kellan playing real life Angry Birds in our backyard.
12.) Portable DVD Player – We actually use this quite a bit for watching the Math U See lessons, Home Art Studio instruction, What’s in the Bible? videos and some of the Reading Rainbow DVDs we borrow from the library. When we are in the middle of our homeschool day I find it much less distracting for the kids when we put something on the portable player versus our large TV in the living room. So when our first portable DVD player broke I had to buy another one just for this reason. We actually use this much more in our own home than we ever do in the car (only for very long drives).
13.) MacArthur Study Bible – I need this. And some days I really, really need this.
14.) Ticonderoga pencils – These pencils are awesome. I have a big problem with pencils that have a crummy eraser or don’t sharpen nice. These aren’t those kind of pencils – they might not look like anything special but they are very functional and that’s a good thing.
15.) Children’s Art Easel – I love that our art easel is a total mess. Just goes to show that the kids use it a ton and have loved it up. This is the one we have and it’s been great for us.
16.) Zoo membership – We are fortunate to live near a nice zoo and use our zoo pass often to look at the animals and learn about them. Our zoo also have wonderful classes for kids that we’ve taken advantage of. Make sure to print these free Zoo Scavenger Hunt sheets for your next trip to the zoo with your kids!
17.) Huge Bean Bag Pillow – This is new for us this year. I redid our school room recently and got rid of some of the preschool toys to make room for this humungous pillow. I wanted a comfy space for us to sit and read together and this is so perfect for that. I bought some decorative pillows to prop against the wall and now we have a lovely reading corner!
18.) Homeschool friends – I couldn’t survive without my dear homeschool friends. If you are one of those people please know how much I love and appreciate you! If you are interested in hearing more about my story, I share about how lonely I felt when this journey began in a contributing chapter of the book Homeschooling: What to Do When You Want to Quit.
19.) Model Magic – Another newer discovery for us but we love this stuff. It’s kind of expensive, in my opinion, but art supplies can be kind of pricey and you can find some decent deals on it. Anyways, I love how nice it is to work with but that it dries and you can keep the model. You can see how we recently used it for our Little Nino’s Pizzeria Five in a Row unit.
20.) World wall map – I added this map to our school room last year and it was the perfect addition, allowing us to add all our Five in a Row story discs to it!
Halfway there! If you’ve gotten this far, congrats! Here’s 20 more of my favorite homeschool resources:
21.) Five in a Row Curriculum – I love FIAR and it has truly brought a lot of joy back into our homeschool. Find out why we switched to it mid-year last year.
22.) Monopoly and Monopoly Jr. – We have a lot of different versions of Monopoly and Monopoly Jr. and pretty much enjoy them all. If you’ve played Monopoly in the past and didn’t care for it because you could never finish it that’s ok, try Monopoly Jr. with the kids – it’s much shorter and there are some really fun versions. Plus Monopoly is a great way for children to practice math skills!
23.) Homeschool blogs – There are a lot of awesome homeschool blogs out there with some really helpful information but it would take me too long to mention them all. So, I’ll share my top two faves: Amongst Lovely Things and The Unplugged Family.
24.) Good snacks – Friends, you need good snacks while you are homeschooling. I mean, you just do. I like kettle corn. What is your snack of choice?
25.) MacBook Pro – It took me a while to bite the bullet and buy a laptop but I did it last year and haven’t looked back since. I love my MacBook Pro and use it all the time to print homeschool resources, to blog about homeschooling or to put together my Amazon order for homeschool supplies. I love how convenient it is for me to have my laptop out versus having to go in the back room to use the desktop computer.
26.) Our mascot, Annie – My goodness, this little baby has brought so much joy into our home. She is the absolute best little pup for us and we love her to pieces! You can read more about our experience leading up to adopting her.
27.) The Jesus Storybook Bible – We have a handful of children’s Bibles and this one stands out from the rest. All the stories point us back to Jesus and the illustrations are appealing to kids and adults alike. This is a great homeschool resource for Christian families.
28.) Eeboo Go Fish! – We are game people and loves games but there are some games that span across ages and stand the test of time. This is a super fun version of Go Fish! with fish-shaped cards and non-traditional colors. We play this one a lot because it’s quick and everyone enjoys it.
29.) Magformers – We purchased this set for the kids for Christmas and they were worth the investment. These are so fun to build with! When the kids get them out I always want to sit and play with them for at least a few minutes.
30.) Alphabet Floor Puzzle – This Frank Schaffer alphabet puzzle is my all-time favorite puzzle. My nieces loved this puzzle before we ever had it and then all three of my kids loved it to pieces (ha!). I have so many good memories of putting this together with my children. It’s a hard to find item so snatch it up if you see one available on Amazon! (I also included this in my 10 Best Learning Toys for Preschoolers post).
31.) Ziggy the Zebra – Ziggy is part of our family! We love Ziggy! He is such a wonderful addition to All About Reading. We got him with our All About Reading Pre-Reading package and the kids have had so much fun with him.
32.) Small Table – We use our children’s activity table on a daily basis and I am so thankful we have it. You can read more about it in my Optimize Your Homeschool post. (Ours is similar to the one pictured).
33.) Magic School Bus Kits – I have to be honest with you…..I really dislike science experiments. To the point that I would completely avoid them if I could. I have found many of them to be a lot of work getting materials together with less than desirable results. Thankfully, there are many different resources available for us homeschoolers and the Magic School Bus Kits are a good solution for people like me. Almost all the materials you need are included, it’s simple and we’ve had fun with the kits we’ve done.
34.) Audio Books, especially Junie B Jones – Audio books brought back my sanity last year. Check out my blog post on How to Gain Peace and Quiet in the Car if you want to find out how that all went down.
35.) PlayDoh – I will be so sad when the kids grow out of Play Doh. I don’t know why but even though it can be messy at times I really love Play Doh. Our favorite set has been Doctor Drill N Fill. You can see how helpful it was for our girls’ first dentist visits too.
36.) DSLR Camera – Joey loves photography and so he bought this amazing camera last year. We love our Nikon D750 and it takes amazing photos to remember these precious homeschool days.:) I really need to learn more about photography and how to shoot photos in manual mode since right now I mostly keep it in auto mode.
37.) Sparkling Water – I love carbonation but no longer drink soda so sparkling water is my drink of choice. Totally need this stuff in order for our homeschool days to go smoothly (maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe).
38.) Coffee – I didn’t actually start drinking coffee until a couple of years ago. You’d think I would have started when the twins were babies. Because, jeez, I really needed it. But now that I’m a coffee drinker I couldn’t imagine my homeschool days without it! 🙂
39.) Husband – We said “I do” over 16 years ago and it’s been happily ever after since. Maybe that’s an exaggeration but he’s a keeper nonetheless. He started off very uncertain about this whole homeschooling thing and has become quite a supporter. After 4 completed years he sees the benefits to our family and works incredibly hard to provide for our family.
40.) Kids – It’d be pretty tough to homeschool without the kids. I love these little buggers. (Here’s a photo from our first year.) I’m gearing up for a post on those early days. I made so many mistakes and have been feeling the need to share about it to maybe help some new homeschoolers. I don’t want them (or you) to make the same mistakes I did!
Hope you had a nice birthday. Wishing you a year of blessings.
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY
Thank you so much, Marilyn! It was a good day. 🙂