My must-haves are things that are either no-brainers, or things that I had to figure out the hard way. I consider it a given that a computer and a good internet connection are must-haves these days. Beyond that I have compiled a very practical list that I hope will be helpful! 🙂
1. Electric Pencil Sharpener– Just TRY using one of those little hand held ones for more than a few days and you’ll be looking for one too! It’s #1 on this list for a reason. Don’t buy a bottom end one; get a middle of the price range sharpener and you’ll be very glad that you did. The really cheap ones chew up pencils like kids eat candy on Halloween.
2. A Laminator– I lived without one for the first ten years we homeschooled, but when I did get one I quickly saw that I didn’t know how we lived without one! You can do SO MANY things with a laminating machine!
3. Laser Printer that Duplexes– My black laser printer is my go-to for printing ALL of my black & white documents, especially E-BOOKS! This thing was worth every penny I spent on it and then some.
4. Color Printer/Copier/Scanner– Emphasis on the copier. How many times have you needed just one more copy of a lesson sheet? Having two kids and using master notebook packs or mastered activity sheets, there’s always a need for a copier. I am about to replace my color ink jet printer and my monochrome laser printer with this all in one color laser printer.
5. Digital Bookmark Timer– Comes in handy for timing lessons and keeping track of time spent reading. We use timers for lots of different things, but especially for my son to help him self-regulate activities.
6. Good Pencils- Lots and lots of pencils! Don’t buy cheap ones either. Get the best ones you can so they don’t get eaten by your pencil sharpener.
7. Wiggle Seat– Whether you have fidgety, busy boys or are dealing with special needs, a wiggle seat allows your child to move and wiggle around easily on his chair without getting up from it. My son LOVES his. Our children’s pastor bought several for those who need them to sit in the kid’s church and Sunday School class.
8. Mini Trampoline– A MUST for the sensory seeker. Get that excess energy out or practice math facts and spelling words while engaging those big muscles and gaining sensory input. Can be picked up for under $20 at WMart.
9. Fun Educational Games– Using games to teach or enforce concepts helps cement it in their minds and lets them have fun with school too. You can use anything from Preposition Bingo to practicing times tables with dice, or the multitudes of educational board games available.
10. Composition Notebooks– We use these for everything! We buy at least a dozen every summer when they’re on sale. We like them better than spiral notebooks because they keep nicer.
What supplies can you NOT homeschool without?