Hiya; I thought I would share with you what I’ve found to be the most ‘important’ resources and sites in our homeschools (for anyone new to home educating, or considering it).
- Brave Writer; I wish I had heard of her from the beginning! I honestly feel the brave writer website and podcasts have transformed our homeschool and our lives. It has helped bring more focus, fulfilment, structure and achievements and yet also more calmness, laid back attitudes and beauty into our days. I pretty much binge listened all her podcasts in one week (their so uplifting and inspirational) and began implementing ideas like morning basket, family read aloud time, poetry tea times, family film sessions. We are beginning her Jot it down programme in the new year and then the wand and quiver of arrows in September (once hopefully we’ve gotten our feet under the table with the new routine). If you love the Nordic idea of hygge then Brave writer is all for you! It’s more then just a writing programme; it is a whole way of life. You can check out more at https://bravewriter.com
- Facebook home schooling groups; there is pretty much a group for everything on Facebook now, and one of my greatest resources I use are the local, national and international home schooling sites. On these I can find local groups and activities, ideas for lessons and curriculums and also run past ideas or problems with others in the same boat!
- Twinkl; it’s a resource site teachers and schools use which is also on offer to homeschoolers. They pretty much have work sheets, crafts, PowerPoint presentations and even stories for pretty much every topic you can think of! There are sections for if you wish to follow the national curriculum, or go by age group, or just search for random topics you’re following (which is what I tend to do). When our subscription ran out earlier in the year I tried to go without it for a couple of months and it was a complete nightmare as took so much more time trying to put things together for lessons. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/sign-in
- Pinterest; this is my go to for EVERYTHING. Literally I have board ideas saved for every brain fart I’ve ever had; to be fair I really look at them again BUT it’s great for gathering ideas and inspiration for different topics or learning styles. https://www.pinterest.co.uk
- World of books; is a second hand book site where books are cheap (often no more then £2.50 and some even lower) and best of all free postage!! I’m sure they will probably one day own my mortgage, but hey cheap books!! https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb
- eBay; my second go too for cheap books (and other resources). I honestly don’t know what I would do without my eBay account! https://www.ebay.co.uk/?mfs=&lgt=1
- Amazon prime; sometimes that are really beautiful books that I just can’t find second hand; this is where amazon comes into its element! That and board games tend to be cheaper here then eBay for some bizarre reason! Plus with the beauty of next day delivery if we discover we’ve run out of glue, paper, pens (a common occurrence in our household) receiving it the very next day can be a lifesaver! https://www.amazon.co.uk
- HP instant ink; the best service in the world! We have membership of £7 a month and can print up to 300 pages (there are cheaper options) as soon as you change the ink cartridges they send you more ink so you never have to worry about running low! Plus it saves SO much money on ink it’s unreal! https://instantink.hpconnected.com/uk/en/
- Library card; being able to check out books for free is always a winner. The children can choose stories or subjects that interest them whilst I make sure we have the topics covered that we need.
- Family and friends rail card; we signed up this year and it’s already saved us SO much money on the trains; making day trips out a lot more affordable and accessible. With the card we use I save 1/3 off of all our rail tickets and so far have had positive travel experiences every time (using the wheelchair). https://www.thetrainline.com/trains/great-britain/railcards/family-friends-railcard?ds_kids=p32616310533&cm=0p2a&&ds_kids=p32616310533&cm=0p2a&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2sPjrIT_3gIVFyjTCh3fwAiOEAAYASAAEgIRRfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
Materials we couldn’t be without:
Now these might seem pretty obvious but after two years of buying different things; some that were great and some which were a complete waste of money, these are what I have found most useful!
- Paper. Lots and lots of paper! Also white card, coloured card and black card. When we first started I brought all these work books like the ones they have at school but those quickly went out the window as the kids prefer using paper and putting it in folders instead.
- Folders and plastic wallets; I’ve found a folder for each child works best with a plastic folder for each week of learning
- Glue; so much glue! Pritt sticks and PVA; I’ve found getting quality glue over pound shop versions makes all the difference.
- Staedtler pencils and pens. Again paying that little bit more on decent materials really does make all the difference and makes learning easier! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Staedtler-185-C24-Colour-Colouring/dp/B00SF4NTF6/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1543681536&sr=8-5&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=staedtler+pencils&dpPl=1&dpID=613rDvG-9mL&ref=plSrch
- Sketch books; the kids ones may not be the most beautiful but they love using them especially when we’ve been out to visit art. I’m planning to get myself one in the new year so that we can all do them together as it’s such a peaceful activity! https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07DG9SRCJ?aaxitk=14pda0qik2BD6E18c2CvjQ&pd_rd_i=B07DG9SRCJ&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_p=845bb25d-d82a-4323-a192-dd4de840cc72&pf_rd_s=mobile-sx-top-slot&pf_rd_t=9701&pf_rd_i=sketchbook+kids&hsa_cr_id=5035262940202&sb-ci-n=productDescription&sb-ci-v=Artgecko%20Splashy%20Sketchbook%20A3%20Landscape%2040%20Pages%20(20%20Sheets)%20300gsm%20Acid%20Free%20White%20Cartridge%20Paper&sb-ci-a=B07DG9SRCJ
- Blue tac; again something else we seem to go through like there’s no tomorrow. Mostly sticking up their work, art inspiration, displays etc
- Poster paint and brushes; I’ve found the best place to get paint is The Works. It’s cheap and good quality so the kids can use as much as they like. My plan for the new year is to get a dedicated art table set up so they can do free art whenever they would like to. https://www.theworks.co.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrdWmj4f_3gIVxeR3Ch3mVw27EAAYASAAEgLI3vD_BwE&q=Kids%20Poster%20Paints&top=2011
- Bullet journals; bullet journaling is my go too when stressed. I use them for mapping out ideas, making lists and plans, and keeping track of what we are doing and when using habit trackers. I tend to get the 8×10 dotted unbranded bullet journals from amazon which are around £5. In the new year I’m hoping to get one for the kids to use for our book of Centuries (Charlotte mason inspired) where we have a double page spread for every 100 year span and every time we learn about someone/something we put it down creating a time line.
- Backpacks; for taking everything we need out on trips (pencil cases, sketch books, lunch boxes etc). The start of this school year I brought one for each of us but we’ve ended up just using one main one which goes on the back of my wheelchair.
- Lunchboxes and drink bottles; on field trips, days out taking our own food and drink saves SO much money meaning we can afford to do more.
- A camera; for recording everything you do. To be fair I use the camera on my phone rather then an actual separate camera. It’s wonderful to be able to look back at the memories and also see the progress the kids are making!
So there are my essentials for home school. I’ve probably missed some out, and would love to hear if you have different essentials that you find helpful 😊