Five Essential Items for Homeschooling

If you had to choose five items only to homeschool with what would you choose? My friends and I were discussing this the other day, and it got me thinking about what my favorite tools are in our homeschool. So without further ado, here is my list:

1. An Ipad

Seriously, I don’t know what I would do without it. We use it for the educational apps, to watch videos, to look things up quickly, and to listen to music. We also use it to read books with the Kindle and Nook apps. It is an invaluable tool.

2. Apple TV

I know, more technology, but I love Apple TV! The kids and I watch or listen to various podcasts throughout the day, from CNN Student News, to the Rachel Maddow show, to Coffee Break French and many more. The Apple TV can also mirror your iPad (if it is not a first generation), and this is a great feature. The twins have been enjoying A Midsummer Night’s Dream via Shakespeare in Bits, and it is so much better to experience it on the television.

3. A piano

I found our old piano at an estate sale of a former teacher. It was much loved by her in her classroom for many years, and it is well-loved in our home. Someone is always on the piano in this house, either practicing, creating their own songs, or just messing around. I wouldn’t want to homeschool without a piano.

4. A Wonderful Used Library Bookstore

Some books I picked up at the bookstore last week. Total cost $1.50

Amazon is great, as is Barnes and Noble, Rainbow Resource, and a host of other sites at which to get homeschool books. However I do not have an endless supply of money, nor do I always want to order my books online. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what I am looking for, and I want to peruse a bookstore looking for the next great book. Hence the used library bookstore, a favorite haunting place of mine and the kids. We are lucky in that we live in Southern California. There are many used library bookstores around us, and most of them are full of gems.

5. Nature

I wouldn’t want the kids to grow up without spending a good deal of time outdoors in nature. It is a blessing to have all the technology that we do, but I feel this needs to be balanced with time in the natural world. We are very lucky to live in a community that believes in preserving outdoor space for all to enjoy, and we are even luckier to live right on a nature preserve. Add to this the fact that the ocean is a mere ten minutes away, and these kids are surrounded in nature. For this I am forever grateful.

What’s on your list? I would love to know.

5 thoughts on “Five Essential Items for Homeschooling

  1. Let’s see: an animal to stroke when I get frazzled and frustrated (if you have a daughter that is homeschooling and has pets, all the better); a studio where I can surround the kids in painting, eating pastries, more painting and teaching them how to clean up their painting messes; coffee in the morning and tea break in the afternoon; del taco when I need to surround myself with bad food and sketchy people (keeping it real); and lots and lots of pencils and graph paper. That’s it, nothing else needed. Except maybe a mother to kibitz and leave unwanted comments once in a while. 🙂

  2. My 5 in no specific order: laptop (we also have an ipad but don’t use it as heavily), treadmill (great for reading or watching a documentary while exercising), whiteboard (both wall-mounted and lap board style — I can’t imagine homeschooling without one), piano/ music (hey, we have that in common!) and garage/outdoor space (I’m so thankful we have this space and I don’t have to worry about spills and/ or bunches of unfinished projects left indoors). 🙂

  3. I have to say that although I really like your list and can see why you would choose those things, I don’t have a single one of them . . . not even nature really, if you can imagine . . . We live in Mongolia Iand are buckling down for the very long winter – no playing outdoors for the next several months. Although we don’t have an Ipad or Apple TV (which I’ve never even heard of before. honest!), we do have internet and I can’t imagine homeschooling without it. It is in many ways, the window to the rest of the world from which we are so isolated.

  4. I am sure everyone would have a different list. Seeing everyone’s ideas I would also like to add graph paper and pencils (we are always out of graph paper!), and I would love a treadmill. Internet is also a must. We use it so much that sometimes I take it for granted. 🙂

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