Homeschooling is a big job, and having the right tools at the ready makes the days go so much more smoothly. We can all guess that we’re going to need paper, pens, glue, and such, but I want to share some of the more homeschool-specific supplies that bring joy and ease to my days.
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Vibrant Fine-Tip Dry Erase Markers
I know, everybody thinks Expo is IT when it comes to dry erase markers, but there’s an alternative, and in my opinion, a superior product. These dry erase markers have beautiful vibrant, saturated colors that make them a joy to use and provide plenty of contrast with the board to make everything easier to see. Another little perk of these markers is the ink level viewing window in the side of the marker that gives you fair warning of when it’s time to switch out for a new marker. I like the fine-tip size since we’re working on a smaller scale (not on a classroom-sized board).
Personal Dry Erase Boards
We use these small white boards (along with our favorite dry erase markers) ALL DAY LONG. They come out for spelling, math, grammar, science… they’re truly a must-have for us for every subject.
An Actually-Durable, Vintage-Beautiful Pencil Sharpener
Don’t mess with any other pencil sharpener. This one has lasted us YEARS and it looks so pretty in our school area with its vintage vibes. There IS a little learning curve on inserting and removing the pencil, but it’s simple to get the hang of it.
Ticonderogas are the world’s best pencil. They just are. No broken leads, no getting chewed up in the pencil sharpener, and no weird erasers that ruin your paper.
We like devoting a notebook to English work, a notebook to history work, and a notebook to nature study. The unruled pages leave the possibilities for writing, sketching, or creating graphic organizers on any given page wide open. My kids like the smaller size of these notebooks since they usually prefer working with the notebook in their laps in a comfy chair instead of at a table.
As my kids are getting older, I’m working more and more on instilling good study habits. Flashcards may not have a huge fan base in the homeschool community, but cognitive scientists tout the retrieval practice that flashcards provide. We make sooooo many flashcards around here to cover the blizzard of terms that come with middle school math and science.
Yes, graph paper is good for… well, graphing. But it’s also great for kids who struggle with keeping numbers stacked up correctly. It’s good to have full sheets of graph paper.
And we also love these graph paper sticky notes for quickly sticking on workbook pages when frustration levels are going up or someone needs more room to work a problem out.
Huh? What’s a scatterbook? A scatterbook pulls together all of the papers you might scatter everywhere and compiles them into one neat, tidy book. I use mine as a combination of a planner, bullet journal, a place to record all my ideas for the future that I don’t want to forget, record keeper, and compilation of lists (like books to read, movies to watch, etc.). This is the book I use, and the combination of dotted pages, ruled pages, and blank pages is the perfect combination for all of the jobs my scatterbook does.