Wednesday, May 30, 2012

my top 10 homeschool must haves


I’m stealing this one from Angie over at My Little Blessings…but that’s only because she summed up the biggie for me.  It’s not uncommon to find myself trying so hard to make it through some days (weeks…months) on sheer will power and grit.  I am ever learning that my strength only gets me so far.  And typically…not in a very pleasant mood either.  I need to be reminded often that I need Him.  His strength.  His Grace.  His peace.  Permeating every corner of our home(school).  Because my choice to keep them home isn’t only about the education piece.  I need to remember that His Grace is front and center of my top ten homeschool essentials.

Especially around this time of year…when the doubts begin to creep in. 

Or whatever homeschool organizer that works best for you.  You need a system of some kind to help you stay on track.  I found Homeschool Tracker last year and have been a groupie ever since.  I even wrote a whole post about how much I love this tool!  

(screen shot of our attendance)

It’s easy to use, flexible and best of all – the basic edition is FREE!

And added bonus is totally impressing the socks off your hubby by showing him some of the wonderful printable reports!


There is no denying I have a mad crush on my iPad.  There are just so many ways to use it!  Apps, of course.  I have a running list of my app loves here.  I also try to post any time I hear about freebies or discover a worth buying app.  (Hint:  Click me to subscribe to RLR)

I uploaded our French discs to iTunes and now it’s easy peasy to work on our French lessons during morning meetings.  Click play.  I never attend a morning meeting without our iPad!

Or how about setting up YouTube playlists for each day of the week.  Example…each Friday we’re studying our 50 States.  I have several different songs in our Friday playlist.  Our favorite is the Animaniacs version!

Yep, our iPad has become an essential.

Painter’s Tape

I live by the stuff! 

It allows me to stick things on the walls, files, binders…whatever.  And because I have commitment issues…I can rest easy knowing if when I change my mind it’s no worries because Painter’s Tape won’t damage (most) surfaces! 

The Library

One of my favorite memories from this year (and I have thyroid brain sooo…) is Bristel walking into a post on our way out of the library.  She didn’t get hurt.  And we both giggled about how she didn’t see the post because her nose was already buried in a book!

I looooved that moment for a couple reasons.  1)  Reading hasn’t come easy for her and seeing her fully engaged made my heart smile and 2) I taught her to read! 

The best part about the library (IMO) is that most things can now be done virtually!  I can request books.  I’ve been surprised at some of the resources they have access to.  Our library has quite a lot of home school resources.  Story of the World on cd, for instance.  Plus, my late fees have drastically decreased now that I can renew online too!   

A Pinterest Account

Pinterest Favicon
I know Pinterest gets a bad rap for being addictive.  Rightfully so, I’m afraid.  BUT.  I can’t tell you how handy it can be to organize and file ideas!  I have several boards that are dedicated just to homeschooling.  Want to peek at Toby’s curriculum for next year (6th)?  Click here.  Are you Exploring Anatomy?  Peek at some great projects I’ve pinned.  Looking for some ideas to spice up your school room?  I have a board just for that!

If you need an invite just leave me your email in the comments section and I’ll send one over!     

Binders, Binders and more Binders

I use them for any and everything!  There is no such things as too many.  I like them in all sizes and colors!  In love

I also collect all things binder-related.  Folders.  Separators.  Etc. 


I love the virtual support I get from my online friends…


there is just something special about a girlfriend to grab a coffee with.  Or dinner.  Or just chat with before church (Jen).  About home school-y stuff.

I am SO thankful to have a handful of girlfriends (one in particular, JEN!) that are my sounding board and encouragers!  I need them!

White Boards

Just like binders…I don’t believe there are ever too many!  I have two big ones mounted in our “school/therapy” room.  Plus, a handful of little ones that come in SO handy for a variety of things!  Practicing penmanship…or spelling words…or just random drawing.  We use them daily.


I feel so shallow listing Netflix last buuuuuut.  We love Netflix!  I let the kiddos watch for an hour each day while Trevy is napping.  I like to call it “rest” time.  It’s when I try and get grading done and prepped for the next day.  Or sometimes I actually rest!  They get to choose from our instant que where I’ve placed Mom Approved options.  Their current fave is Kate Plus Eight.  I was impressed this morning when Bristel knew that a Kiwi is a bird.  She learned that from a recent Kate Plus Eight episode.   

Visit this link to share your top ten and/or read what others consider their top ten homeschooling essentials!


1 comment:

  1. Great list, Danielle! I am seeing so many awesome apps for iPads, but sadly I don't have one! :( Maybe I should borrow my oldest son's? LOL