Friday, August 24, 2018

Back to School: Homeschool Style: Must-Have Items in Our Homeschool

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What items just make your homeschool day run smoothly? Are there items that you couldn't live without? Earlier in the week I addressed some essentials in our homeschool and I want to showcase a few more today.

The Printed Word 

There are so many books that I find invaluable for our homeschooling. I have large collection of classic novels that we will be able to share with our children. I also have shelf after shelf of numerous history books that will be great for reference.

Over the years I have collected most of William Shakespeare's plays as well as the novels of Charles Dickens. I have several collections of Edgar Allan Poe's poems, short stories, and essays. In addition to these fictional works, I also have biographies and histories of individuals from Tudor England, the American Civil War, and Russia to name a few places and time periods.

Pretty Pictures 

Visuals are so important to education – from paintings and comic books to movies and videos – children can learn in so many different ways. I love that we live near enough to several museums where we can view art from a variety of time periods and styles.

We can also incorporate movies and videos into our homeschooling day without them just becoming a time filler like so often happens in the classroom. For example, if we are studying the American Civil War, we can watch Glory and then discuss its facts and inaccuracies. If we have the means, we could also visit the sites in Boston and South Carolina that feature prominently in the movie. I also have own several other fictional accounts of the Civil War including the North and South miniseries, the Blue and Gray miniseries, and Gone with the Wind.

For our younger children, our collection of Veggie Tales DVDs is a must-have! From the retelling of Bible stories to lessons about how to treat others, they are an excellent resource for families with younger children. Our children like Veggie Tales so much we even had a Veggie Tales-themed Birthday Party for our son.

How Many Dice Do You Need? 

Okay – that is really a trick question because you don't really need more than one set with D4, D6, D8, D10, D20, and percentile with a few extra D6 for most activities we do. But who doesn't want all the pretty dice? In our family, we each have a lunch box of dice (plus more). We use them for role playing as well as for games, counters, markers for activities and lessons, counting syllables, adding and subtracting, telling stories, and more.

Dice collecting is a side effect of liking dice. Multiple sets of dice are inevitable because they're often so brilliant and/or colorful. You can even buy dice by the pound! How cool is that? Then there are the rarer dice like the D3, D5, D7, D14, D24, D30, and on and on...

Writing Utensils 

Personally, I dislike using pencils. I have at my hand a collection of different brands of pens – including many colors. I like to use a purple pen for my blog and blue for making notes about others' blogs. I like to color code my notes, calendar, and schedule so that I keep everything straight. Right now I think our children use whatever pen or pencil is handy. Do you have a preferred pen or pencil brand? Do you like to color code with pens or maybe highlighters?

What are the must-haves in your homeschool?

If you have a moment, please visit the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew to see their posts for today and the rest of the week!


  1. must have..... my laptop! :) (and the lad's). without it our schooling would be VERY different

  2. It was the dice on Instagram that reeled me in: fellow gamer and homeschooler. I'd be interested in seeing more details of how you use them. I've got dice, but I barely ever use them outside of a game.

    1. Yeah - another gamer! I will have to share a post about it. Right now my 5 yr old uses them a lot as 'markers.' We were using them to count syllables. And he started using them for addition all on his own.