We are almost at the end of our first semester officially homeschooling (via the university model method), and I’ve quickly learned that there are just a few must-haves for every homeschool family (at least for this homeschool family!).
Check out what I think every homeschool family needs:
Don’t ask me why I did not think about this before or why I tarried so long in making this purchase!
We started out the school year with a handful of pencils and two tiny plastic pencil sharpeners (that we probably paid no more than $2 each for!). Not only did those little sharpeners easily jam with pencil shavings, but they were also small enough that we frequently misplaced them! Really? They were pieces of junk and caused more frustration than good!
Call me the unprepared homeschooling mommy, but I will admit that we have begun several homeschool days with unsharpened pencils and not a pencil sharpener in sight.
I finally broke down and bought this electric pencil sharpener a couple weeks ago. Our homeschool has never been happier! Not only are we prepared with nicely-sharperned pencils, but the sharpener has doubled as an entrainment device for all three of our girls!
2. A Good Printer & Ink
Especially if you put together your own curriculum or purchase printable curriculum online, this is a must!
There is no way we would make it through homeschooling without our printer and ink, and we only do part-time homeschooling, and the curriculum comes from our university model school! I can only imagine how much more ink a full-time homeschooling family must use.
With compatible printers, the program detects the level of ink in your printer and sends you new ink as soon as it detects you are about to run out!
Instead of running out of ink mid-print job (I’ve been there–more times than I wish to admit!), you will have the ink you need, without having to run out to the store (a major plus of the program for me!).
Plans start at $2.99 per month for this service and go up to $9.99 per month. The lower plan is recommended for occasional printing–or no more than 50 pages per month. This is the plan we got for right now, as we do not print as much as a full-time homeschooling family would print.
The $9.99 plan is for families who print up to 300 pages per month. There is also a middle-level plan: $4.99 per month for families who print up to 100 pages per month.
As my husband and I were checking things out, we decided that Instant Ink would be worth it for homeschooling families who do a lot of printing. If you are not a family who prints very often, this might not be a good option for you.
We recently upgraded to this printer, which also includes a scanner and copying machine. We really love these added features and have found we use the copying and scanning almost as much as we use the printing feature!
3. A Laminator
This is another one that I would have never thought about just a few years back!
If you are a homeschooling family who is making your own curriculum, using posters and decor for your “classroom” that you have made and/or printed yourself, or are developing games and other manipulatives, printing on cardstock alone will not cut it (ask me how I know this!). Laminating your visuals will help them to last for a lot longer.
Plus, laminating allows you to turn any old piece of paper into a “white board”! My girls love to use white board markers on laminated papers, and they are so easy to wipe clean!
My family uses this laminator.
4. A Library Card
This one is FREE! Hallelujah!
But seriously, every homeschooling family needs a library card. If you cannot afford a good printer, laminator or pencil sharpener right now, most libraries have these for you to use for a small fee (or even for free!).
Most importantly, instead of spending the big bucks on books that go along with your curriculum, check out your library first!
My girls are just now getting into read-aloud chapter books, and I was thrilled to find the Boxcar Children series (one of my favorites from childhood!) at my local library recently. They are also enjoying audio books, and our library is chock full of them. We can even check out audio books via our library’s online system–and never even have to leave our house to do so!
What are your suggestions for things that every homeschool family needs? If you are a homeschool family, do you have these four things in your homeschool?
Top image from pixabay.com. This post was underwritten by HP Instant Ink.
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