Monday, July 8, 2013

10 Must Have Homeschool School Supplies

Can you guess what #1 is?
Okay, I’ve been making some heavy posts lately, helpful I hope but nevertheless heavy reading. If you want a heavier read you may want to check out Choosing an Exciting Math Curriculum or Teaching Your Child About Failure. But for now in an effort to lighten things up a bit and have a little fun today I’m going to write about those top 10 school supply’s that our homeschool could not survive without. After you read my list I am hoping you will add your own can’t live without item to the comments section below. I’m really curious what you all have in your homeschool rooms and cabinets. So comment away!

Now for the fun...     

My number one can’t live without it item…you guessed it GLITTER! I cannot homeschool without glitter; it keeps my life exciting and makes every project more fun and well, glittery. Sometimes our homeschool comes to a complete panic as we realize we have spilt the glitter and if we don’t get it cleaned up…Daddy might “ground” Mamma from using glitter and well we can’t let that happen so we clean it up fast, but not usually quite good enough to cover the crime scene.

Quality Art Supplies
On a more serious note, we can’t live without real art supplies. Every project is not only more fun but also more educational with good water colors, natural wax crayons, oil based paints, charcoals, water color papers and an artist’s canvas. Using quality art supplies enriches the experience for your student and helps them learn the basics of physical science. Quality art supplies are the basis for quality project based learning.
Food Color

We can’t make it through a week without using food coloring in something. We use it to make homemade play doe and slime. We use it for science experiments. We dye fabric with it. We add it to food like cookies and cakes because we can. Food color is not only fun to play with, but allowing your student to play with color and mix them around solidifies the basics of color and chemistry. I prefer liquid food color for science but the gel food colors come in fun neon colors too.
Vinegar and Baking Soda

Speaking of chemistry…vinegar and baking soda are the basics of many science experiments at least the fun ones…Vinegar is also a staple for food preservation and baking soda a staple for baking. If you are going to teach chemistry of any kind, and you should, you need to keep them on hand.

How do you spell fun? J-E-L-L-O, again, we cannot go a week or two without using Jell-O in something. Making Jell-O and Jell-O ice pops is the basic foundation for learning about solids and liquids. Do they get to make Jell-O at public school…no, they just get to eat it. Between the ages of two and 8, making Jell-O never gets old and every time you do it you need to be talking about the boiling points and freezing points of water as well as dissolving a solid into a liquid to make a solution.
Marshmallows and Toothpicks

Marshmallows and toothpicks are natural building blocks of math and science. Marshmallows can be used as manipulatives for math and you can pair them with toothpicks to build cells. I recommend having colored marshmallows on hand for cell building. Marshmallows can also stand in as building blocks and other things for art projects and crafts.
A Pet

A fish or a frog will do, but caring for a pet and observing its eco system is an experience that your child must have to develop a deeper understanding of biology.
Age Appropriate Building Blocks
Building blocks not only teach your child about architecture and physics, age appropriate building blocks help your student to develop problems solving skills and balance.
Grey Matter
This goes back to the concept of quality art supplies. Although your younger child can build motor skills with play doe and homemade play does are great for sensory work, there comes a time when the scientific process begins to require grey matter. Grey matter is something that has been around for centuries and working with it helps your child understand the processes of physical science. You can buy low fire clays at Michaelsor make your own from a recipe on the web.
A Garden
You may not have a green thumb yourself, but every homeschool child should have some sort of garden even if it’s an herb garden on a shelf. Experiencing the life of a plant from start to finish, watering, nurturing and smelling the soil, provides experiential learning that cannot be replaced by a field trip to the farm.
When your stocking your schoolroom this year, remember that your school supplies are an investment. You are making an investment in your child and yourself. How much money would you spend on private school? How about if you had to go buy new school clothes and supplies for a classroom? Your children are worth the investment.


  1. what a great school supply list! my children would love to be students in your school (I'm making notes!)
    thanks for sharing - this list will come in handy as I'm working up my own lists these days.

  2. Ty. Giggle. A little tip if you use as much glitter as I do, add a lint brush to your list, wrap it in masking tape and you can clean up any glitter disaster before your hubby comes home! :)

  3. Pets are awesome for the classroom. I've had a bunny, hermit crabs, and fish. I tried tadpoles once, but they didn't make it. That would have been fun. The butterfly cages are loads of fun, too. Great list!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this on All Things Thursday! I love that glitter is your number one item! Awesome! My daughter would love to be in your homeschool. I love the old standards...fresh pencils and pens in every color, a good pencil sharpener and lots of drawing paper. Have a great school year!


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Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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