One of the great things about homeschooling is that every homeschool family is unique. Homeschooling families have the flexibility to make personal decisions to select curriculum, resources, scheduling options, and educational styles that best fit their children’s needs.
Over the years I’ve talked with many moms about their homeschooling choices. Even though each family is different, I have been able to find several distinct items that a LOT of homeschool “classrooms” seems to include. These are items moms use frequently because they make the days run a little more smoothly.
Based on my extensive (even if it’s not the most scientific) research, here are 7 items every homeschool mom should have in her toolbox!
Tools for the Homeschool Mom
When my kids were young we used the laminator for all kinds of things – vocabulary cards, math facts, to make place mats, etc. My kids’ sticky, messy fingers would destroy just about any piece of clean paper. After using our trusty laminator to protect frequently used items we could easily wipe off each paper at the end of the day and we would be good to go for the next lesson.
As my kids have moved into the middle and high school years we still use the laminator. Now we laminate maps, artwork, reference pages, bookmarks, and more!
Many families I’ve talked to are trying to use less paper. When purchasing books and curriculum for our homeschool we select eBooks and downloadable files whenever possible. Sometimes it is necessary to print items like lessons, activities, and completed assignments. Our printer of choice is a wireless laser printer – this makes it easier for everyone to print directly from their own electronic devices.
What do you do with papers once you print them? You put them in a binder. And, to do that, you need a reliable 3 hole punch. We graduated beyond those little hand-held hole punches years ago! The lessons and assignments we print usually include multiple pages so it’s much easier to have a durable 3 hole punch available for the family to use. Unfortunately, our hole punch tends to sprout legs and move around depending on who is using it, so over the years we have actually purchased one per child and one for me!
As I’ve polled my homeschool mom friends I’ve learned that many of us prefer to use the classic Ticonderoga #2 pencils. These pencils are probably my favorite school supply to stock up on each year! To keep these wonderful wooden pencils sharp we need a heavy-duty pencil sharpener that will hold up to almost daily use.
A few years ago we decided to make DIY Whiteboards/Dry Erase boards to use in school. We use these boards just about everyday in our homeschool for math problems, brainstorming activities, outlining, and more. We have small boards for each student and we have a large board on the wall. We stock up on new markers and erasers each year, but we have used the same boards for many years – one of our best DIY projects ever!
Yes, homeschoolers LOVE maps! For as long as I can remember we have had a world and USA map hanging on the wall. We refer to our maps when studying history, geography, and current events. Because our maps are laminated (we bought them laminated, our laminator isn’t that big!) we use dry erase markers to highlight places we are studying and places we have visited on family trips.
7. Duct Tape
If I had to pick the most versatile item in my homeschool “toolbox” I would definitely select duct tape! We have gathered quite the collection of duct tape over the years, with rolls in a variety of colors and patterns. We use duct tape to make our DIY dry erase boards, history projects, school supplies, gifts, and fun crafts (including pens, bookmarks, and more!). I’m becoming a fan of Washi Tape too, but duct tape is still my go-to adhesive for home and homeschool related projects!
We would love to hear about your favorite homeschool supplies!
What tools make your job of homeschooling a little bit easier?
Make sure to check out all of our other Simple Back to Homeschooling ideas!