We’re just about set to kick off a new school year! I homeschool my two younger boys and my oldest goes to more of a traditional school. He is a senior in a program where he goes to the local college and takes classes. So, this year is going to be especially hectic because we have one child finishing high school, another just beginning and one ending his grade school years.
Since I have school on the brain, as I’m sure many of you do as well, I thought it’d be fun to do a list of my 10 must-haves for school.
10 must-haves: School issue
Whiteboard, erasers, and markers
This is a must-have for homeschool life but I think any family would benefit from a whiteboard. I love this thing. I use it all summer for chore lists and the kids write down the money we owe them for different jobs they’ve done. During the school year, it functions a little differently for day-to-day tasks. I have mine separated into 3 sections during the school year, daily schedules, lists of to-do’s for the kids and then the middle section is for teaching—like breaking down a sentence or math problem.
Thanks to a fellow homeschooling mom and friend, I have found the greatest pen to ever exist. Meet the erasable gel pen. Your life will never be the same. Do yourself a favor and click on over and buy these pens. They’re amazing.
And when you buy those delightful pens, you need somewhere to use them. Every mom needs a planner. I normally use my phone for appointments but for homeschool and blogging, I have to have a handwritten planner. I can’t recommend a favorite planner because I honestly don’t know that I’ve found mine yet. Hey, maybe I should make one! It’d have to be some odd hybrid planner for the homeschooler/blogger.
I do have one thing that I must have in a planner, it must fold over on itself like a spiral notebook. Last school year I used a binder format planner and hated it because it wouldn’t fold over on itself. My hand forever ran into the rings. Annoying. I’m using this one this year.
Colorful and fun clips:
I found little binder clips with smiley faces on them. Hey, if you have to clip papers together, why not have them smiling at you while you’re doing it? Enough said.
This sounds simple but became one of my 10 must-haves for our homeschooling days this last school year. It’s simple, cheap, effective, and saves so much time. My boys each have their own spiral notebook that outlines their days worth of assignments with a box where they check off their items as they finish. I try to get a week done at a time on Sunday evening but often I’m rushed for time and I’ll write it out the night before—if we’re being totally honest, sometimes the morning of—depends how the week is going.
Wall hanging file separator with daily folders for kids.
I have a file folder that hangs on our office/schoolroom wall which has several different pockets for files. My kids have a folder for each day of the week in it. I can easily put worksheets and any other school work they have for each day of the week. I love this method because it makes their work feel manageable. Rather than throwing an entire book at them, all they have is lesson 1 ripped out of their book for the day. Their spiral notebook also goes in the folder for the day they’re on. So, if it’s Monday, this is where they will find all the work for Monday and so on.
I’ve tried a few different bible study methods over my homeschooling years and the one I like best is the most simple. My boys read a few verses a day and then summarize what they have read. We use another spiral notebook for this that I label as their Bible journal. And since it’s important to me I usually always pick a literature study that somehow involves a Biblical concept—even if it’s just a character trait. It’s amazing how many wonderful discussions are started from reading a book together.
Which brings me to my next must-have for every school year—real, live, books. Certainly, textbooks have their place but there’s nothing like a story to bring their imagination alive. I love it because they will learn by listening to a book without even realize their learning something new. My kids have mentioned books we’ve read years later because of how it relates to something in their everyday life. This is probably one of my greatest joys from homeschooling.
Cathy Duffy’s 101 top homeschooling picks.
I love this book. It is the “bible” of homeschool curriculum. It has nearly every curriculum you could imagine in it. I bought this book eight years ago when I began homeschooling and it still sits on my shelf where I pull it out to look up various curriculum ideas. Cathy Duffy also has a website that you can go to as well.
School binder/filing system.
I have an entire binder just for our school information. Because we are part of a program where my boys go to school two days a week and I need to keep all kinds of records. So, not only do I have records I must keep for school but also for home. Having a proper filing system in place is a lifesaver.
I hope this post will give you some inspiration and fun ideas to start your school year off right!
10 must-haves for a new school year
As always, friend, thank you for stopping by,