Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Top Ten Must Have Items for Homeschooling

I decided to join in on the fun with the Ten in Ten blog hop at  iHomeschoolNetwork This week's theme is Top Ten Must Have Items for Homeschooling.  Here are mine in no particular order. 

1.  Computer/Printer/Internet - I do an incredible amount of research on my computer and gather so many ideas to use in our homeschool from my favorite homeschooling websites, which includes printing out a gazillion pieces of paper.  If I don't happen to find a particular worksheet or activity, I make some of my own printable worksheets for the kids to use.  The kids like to use the computer/internet to go to some of their favorite websites, such as or Time4Learning.  Since our computer is also a touchscreen, I can use the smartboard CD-ROM games I purchased from Lakeshore Learning.

2.  Thermal Laminator - For many of our activities, I choose to laminate them so all four children can use the same activity and also for durability.  Once laminated the children can write on them with dry erase markers

3.  iPad - I feel extremely blessed that we were able to purchase three iPads this year for use in our homeschool.  We bought durable cases for them as well.  We enjoy reading books, playing learning games, watching movies, creating social stories and so much more.  One of our children uses his as communication device as well.  With the portability of the iPad it is so convenient to take with us to doctor or therapy appointments.  Here is a quick video demonstration of James using the Proloquo2go app on the iPad to share his basic information.  (If you have trouble viewing, click on the title to go to the blog post to watch).

4.  Pocket Chart/Calendar Stand - This is another one of our daily use items.  Since we are renting our house we wanted to minimize the number of holes in the walls so we purchased this stand.  One side has our monthly calendar and the other side has our pocket chart, which currently holds our sound cards from All About Reading.

5.  Do-A-Dot Markers - What is it with these things?  My children absolutely love them and are begging me to find more activities to dot paint.  Daily use item again.

6.  Magnetic White Boards - We have several individual size ones and also a larger one.  The magnetic is a must!  We use our magnetic letter tiles from All About Reading to "build" then write our words.

7.  Netflix - We use our subscription to Netflix to watch educational/documentary type movies, Leap Frog videos, Veggie Tales, Magic School Bus, Barney, and so much more.  We also have Netflix loaded on the iPads, but it is closely monitored.

8.  Books - Lots and lots of books.  All shapes and sizes.  Fiction.  Nonfiction.  Easy readers.  Chapter books.  Books for silent reading.  Books for reading aloud.  Research books.  Books on CD.  Books on the iPad.  This is one of my weaknesses.  Most women can't help buying a new pair of shoes, but for me it's books.   

9.  My husband - Although my husband is not an "item", I could not accomplish any of what I do without him.  He is home with us daily and is an integral part of our homeschooling day.  Whether it is help running a lesson that I have set out, taking the kids on a walk, driving to therapy or appointments, or helping keep the children occupied while I am busy, my husband is definitely a "must have".  Thank you Daniel!

10.  An Outdoor Play Area - I truly believe that children *need* the sunlight outside on a daily basis.  We have decided that for us it is as much a priority as academics.  Our boys are very active and need to get outside in the fresh air and run around.  We are very blessed to have an extremely large backyard with many amenities and lots of shade.  In fact, when the weather is nice we spend more time outside than we do inside.

The Top Ten Tuesday link up is hosted by Angie from Many Little Blessings.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

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