Homeschool season is upon us again! It’s that time when we start to purge + organize our homeschool spaces, stock back up on school supplies, and gather our curriculum. Luckily, it’s also around the time Prime day deals happen! I’ve gathered a list of prime day deals for items you may need and will LOVE for your homeschool/teaching needs.
First, if you don’t have an amazon prime account, you can usethis link to get a FREE 30 day trial that you can cancel anytime.
To shop: click on the photos or links to take you directly to your Amazon app! Let’s get on into the good stuff!!
Puzzles & Games
Tech & electronics:
That’s it, you’ve made it to the end of my list! Make sure to share this with a friend who might like it,too!
Disclaimer: prime day deals and early prime day deals are subject to change. These are current discounts valid at the time this blog is posted. Links are commissionable links, which mean I may earn a small commission- at no extra cost to you- when you shop these links, thank you!
Wow, summer just flew on by! It’s time to get ready to get back into the swing of things, more specifically: School!
For us, this will be our third year Homeschooling, my daughter is four but we’ve implemented a learning-through-play/intentional play time since she was very small to help encourage her with her speech delay. This year, we’re joining the big guns – a homeschool Co-op!
What’s a homeschool co-op? There are all different types of co-ops, but in general, it’s a group of Homeschooling families who meet. Some meet weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. This year we’ll be meeting weekly, so school for us will have a little bit of a different routine to it this year.
Many times we hear about back to school tips for the kids, these tips will be for you- The parent! Spending all day with your children is a huge blessing, but finding pockets of time to get what you need/want done can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips I’m implementing this year to help us have an easy going school year.
1. Fill your cup
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t meet my needs before I have to meet everyone else’s, I’m an anxious hot mess. So, I wake up at least an hour before everyone wakes up rather then waking up when everyone else wakes up. This gives me an opportunity to get into the word of God- one of the most important things that help me with day to day life. I’m able to shower in peace and get ready for the day. Literally, it sounds so insignificant but trust me. Getting that time to take care of yourself in the mornings, makes a world of a difference and it’ll help you serve others better, too.
2. Meal plan for the busy days
Co-op days will take up a huge chunk of your day. I’m the type of person who if I’ve been out all day, the last thing I want to think about is what I have to cook for dinner when I get home. So, I’ve designated co-op day our official crockpot day! Pinterest has a ton of dump-and-go crock pot recipes perfect for busy families. If you’re not a fan of crockpot meals, give your busy days the easy meals. One pot or even oven meals to take off the load of the day.
3. Start the school year off stress-free
This will be our first year using multiple curriculums, like actual curriculums. The last few years we’ve done a lot of hands on learning with toys, puzzles, books, and a little bit of curriculum mixed in. We’ll still be doing that this year, however we’ve added some more structure to our day.
It was SUPER overwhelming trying to make lesson plans with all brand new things. SO, what I’ve done to help ease us into this school year is create a 3 week refresher where our focus will be 1. Getting into a homeschool rhythm that fits for us 2. Re-visiting all that we’ve learned last year and working on what needs improvement and 3. Making lesson plans as we progress!
Homeschooling is all about helping your child learn with the learning style that best fits their needs and starting off the year this way, I feel, can be less intimidating and you as the parent can see what your child needs and go from there. Rather than jumping in at 100 miles an hour.
4. Get out of the house
The beauty of homeschooling is that learning can take place literally ANYWHERE! I am an introvert by nature, but I also recognize how getting out of the house when homeschooling can really help with minimizing burnout. Don’t get so caught up in textbooks that you for get to live! We’re making designated library and park days to help mix it up!
5. Make a plan, but don’t let it own you.
For many new homeschooling families, the pressure of creating a public school setting at home takes over. The specific structured learning times, the pressure for learning to only happen at a desk with a book, the pressure of only and always sticking to the plan! Let me tell ya, that’s not what homeschooling is about!
Make a general plan for the year to help you get an idea of what you’d like to touch on this year, but don’t let the plan own you. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility! I decided to plan out general things I’d like for us to work on this year, rather then writing down specific structured plans for specific days and times.
This not only allows you to work with your child on a certain subject or topic how ever long they need, but it’ll also help your child not feel so pressured to 1. Please you by trying to move forward with the lesson even if they don’t fully understand it. 2. It takes stress off of your back from feeling “behind” or feeling like you have to “catch up”. Can I tell you a secret? There’s no behind in homeschool.
Lastly, have fun!
Have fun with it! Homeschooling is what you make it, and it can be the best experience (or your not so favorite) but the reality is, it’s your school! You can change and move things around for what best fits your family’s needs. Create fun homeschooling traditions for the first day, or even the 100th day! Celebrate the milestones as you hit them and remember to HAVE FUN!
I’ve connected with some amazing bloggers to share some Back to school tips! Getting back into a schedule, school supplies, diy projects, etc. Head to each of their pages to check out what they are sharing!
It’s 2021, we’re living our best lives and leaving the clutter behind! Today I’m sharing a super simple and easy way to organize and store your kids playdoh and craft accessories! You can also use this to create your very own Toddler activity boxes!
We love activity and sensory boxes in our home! They’re a great way to keep the kiddos busy while you take some time for yourself, prep dinner, or do a quick pick up of your house. Whatever you use these for, it’s an easy way to help your kids be entertained, especially if they need a break from technology or on bad weather days when you can’t get outside!
You’re going to need some sort of storage box, I love these from Michael’s AND they’re on sale right now!
Fill it up with your items! We filled ours with playdoh, paints, and all of our craft accessories!
I’m sure If you have toddlers then you may have most of these items already, but if you don’t, here are some ideas with what you can fill your box with!
And there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this idea, and if you create one of your own feel free to tag me on Instagram so I can see your wonderful creations!
Disclaimer: post may contain affiliate links, which mean I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you purchase these items through those links. If you do, I want to sincerely thank you for helping support my family.
We finished our FIRST week of Homeschool and I am just so excited for this journey!
Disclaimer, this post contains photos with clickable links and links through out the post. The links may be affiliate links, which mean I may earn a small commission when you shop through those links. If you chose to do so, I sincerely thank you for helping support my family.
Our first week of Homeschool didn’t exactly go as planned. We experienced so many technical difficulties trying to prepare our curriculum and set everything up. TWO of our printers died, and with the majority of the world now homeschooling and working from home, finding printers to purchase was almost impossible. Eventually we found one, its on back order and is due to arrive weeks after we had originally planned to start.
Initially I thought to myself, “i’ll just wait until it gets here”. But truthfully, we got so relaxed with our schedule during quarantine my toddler and I BOTH needed some sort of rhythm. So I came up with fun ideas to start us off, using things we already own.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a cute first day picture with the “my first day” sign, but the important thing is that we HAD FUN! The first few days have been going really well, and i’m so excited to share with you what we have been doing. My daughter is doing a combo of preschool/pre-k , and in reality at 3 or even 4 years old you don’t NEED to have a structured curriculum ; and at this age, you don’t need to spend hours and hours doing school or tons of worksheet. With that being said, we did put together a curriculum mostly consisting of free or very inexpensive resources from teachers pay teachers, which we will incorporate as soon as our printer gets here, but like I said, its totally not a necessity. You can absolutely start with things you may already have at home.
If you haven’t already watched my video on how to Homeschool your preschooler you can watch HERE.
Here’s what we’ve been doing this week:
1) DEVOTIONS: After breakfast, we get ready for our day and head to the playroom. We set up a little corner of ‘school’ that houses our books and supplies. We start off with our Morning Devotions and Prayer. You can skip this part if you are secular, or opt for doing morning words of affirmations or going over a positive quote for the day.
2) FLASH CARDS: We purchased flashcards when we noticed our toddler had not started talking, like many small children her age. She was late to talk and we read that flashcards would be super helpful in encouraging her, even if it was just making the animal sounds. Funny enough she recognized every flash card by the time she was almost two, but didn’t actually start talking until passed two years old. Which leads me to say, you can totally use these at truly ANY age. We are currently working through these in Spanish. On the back of the flash cards you’ll find a guide with pronunciation in several languages. We just do one box a day, and they’re pretty quick to go through.
3) Wipe-Clean Workbook : There are a TON of wipe-clean workbooks on amazon, some of our favorite items in our homeschool come from the Priddy Brand. We love this workbook because the pages are sturdy and of course the re-usable aspect. We absolutely do not work through the entire workbook in one day. Truly, I let my child pick whatever pages she likes to do, and we spend as much time or as little time a she wants working through it. I will say, the reviews about the marker are hit or miss. In our experience it wasn’t actually dry-erase, more so wet-erase, but that honestly didn’t bother us. Because it came with only one marker, and we’re notorious for losing writing utensils, we purchased this pack of expo markers and they literally wipe off SO easily with minimal effort.
4) GUIDED READERS: We actually aren’t using these as curriculum to learn to read just yet. We’re more so using these tiny books to help build reading confidence and a love for reading, which I can 100% say is working. These books are perfect for small hands, aren’t over crowded with a lot of words, the font is large, and they have very nice large pictures. We love looking at the pictures and talking about everything we can find. With these we’ll read as many or as little as she wants as well.
5) CHARACTER BUILDING BOOKS: Character building, life skills, good citizenship, and learning about emotions and diversity are something we try to incorporate daily. Whether be it leading by example, educational shows, or books! Here are some of our favorite books that we are currently using.
6) Crafts and Activities: Homeschool is more than books, workbooks, and lesson plans. Its also great to incorporate some fun activities that involve the whole family. Going on nature walks, enjoying some fun in the sun, crafts on rainy days, board games, etc. Homeschooling can be a wonderful opportunity for everyone in the family to grow closer together. And while teaching core subjects is obviously essential, that doesn’t mean learning stops there.
And there you have it, our first week of homeschool, and how we’ve been doing it WITHOUT a curriculum. Have you all started your first day of school? If not, when do you start and what are you most excited for? Share down below!
I shared a MASSIVE Home School Supplies Haul. Today I’m going to be talking about some of those items, and sharing some of my TOP essentials to have in every HomeSchool Classroom!
Disclaimer – Some of the links provided may be affiliate links. Which means I may earn a small commission when you shop through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Now, you absolutely do not HAVE to have these items in your homeschool , and some of you actually may already own them.
These suggestions, I feel, make the homeschooling journey more fun ; and while they may be an investment upfront, they sure do end up paying for themselves.
For our first year of Homeschool we decided to try our best to put together a free or ,very inexpensive curriculum, which consists of mostly DIY’s and Printables we got from Teachers Pay Teachers. Because of that we felt comfortable making some of these bigger purchases. Its also good to note that we follow a pretty strict budget system, we put together a Sinking Fund for our Homeschooling Purchases.
Ok , now that we got that out of the way, lets move on to the fun stuff!
TOP BASIC ESSENTIALS FOR EVERY HOMESCHOOL CLASSROOM:
1) A PRINTER. Whether you’re using a boxed curriculum for Homeschool, or a print-it-yourself diy type of curriculum, a Printer will definitely come in handy. You can create or purchase supplemental resources to add to your Homeschool curriculum. A benefit of having a printer is that many come with copiers and scanners. Which can allow you to save money by making extra copies of work for your entire class. OR even copying some resources to save for the younger kiddos as they grow older. We got this printer, the initial price is jaw dropping, But you save HUNDREDS on the ink alone. I’ve heard many testimonies from veteran Homeschooling parents who say they’ve printed 3,000 pages and have barely made a dent in the ink. OR you can purchase this one, and sign up for HP insta-ink, which I’ve also heard is super affordable.
2) PAPER. You may find yourself printing more than you originally thought. And if you’re a stationary nerd like myself, you may know that there is a significant difference in the types of paper on the market. My favorite paper for our Homeschool is 92 or 98 brightness, I find anything less than 92 makes the paper almost see through. Hereis the paper we usually purchase.
3) A LAMINATOR. Que the Angel chorus! Ya’ll. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE my laminator. Its fairly inexpensive, and with the Homeschooling route we’re taking it will definitely pay itself off. We’ve opted for an Interactive Learning Folder for the Core of our Homeschool Curriculum. Which entails many Wipe-clean sheets, Puzzles, Matching, Sorting, and more. Laminating helps you keep your pages lasting longer, and allows you to re-use them many times. This is the laminator we got for our Homeschool Classroom. You’ll also need these pouches for your laminator.
3) Pens & Pencils. I dont know about you,but I’m ALWAYS losing pencils and pens. And no homeschool classroom is complete without writing utensils! These items are fairly inexpensive and they’re often used daily. Depending on the age of your Homeschool kiddos you may enjoy different types of pencils. We purchased these chubby pencils for our pre-schooler, but I’ve always loved these original Ticonderoga pencils. If you have older homeshchoolers, they may enjoy mechanical pencils better. Just make sure you have plenty of lead refill on hand. For our current homeschool we will not be using pens quite yet, but some of my favorite pens are the RSVP, INKJOY, and Frixon pens.
4) Crayons, Markers, and Colored Pencils. Your homeschoolers will never out-grow these. I remember using items like these even in college. Whether it be coloring a map, studying Color Theory, taking an Art Class, or simply using them to organize their notes. Crayons, Markers, And Colored pencils are a must have for every homeschool classroom.
5) Binders, Dividors, And Sheet Protectors. Whether it be for organization, setting up your lessons for the week, or for your homeschool kiddo’s work. Binders, Dividers, and sheet protectors are great items to have in every homeschool. They’re easy to set up and take with you on any days where you’ll be doing homeschool on the go!
These are just a few of our favorite Homeschool Classroom Essentials! Curious about some of our other top homeschool classroom supplies? Check out this video!
Do you have any other homeshool supplies that are a must have for your homeschool classroom? Share them down below!
You’ve probably seen this topic talked about countless of times throughout the last few days, myself included. I’m sure many of you are sick of it, and many of you are still gathering your thoughts, resources, and information so that you can make the best informed decision for your family.
Now, to be clear, this is something we had our hearts set on since I was pregnant, the plan was for me to continue working until Olivia hit Kindergarten age and then I would resign and pursue Homeschooling for our family. Of course if our daughter ever expressed to us that she would like to try school outside of home it is definitely a decision we would respect.
With the whole Covid thing going on, more and more parents are weighing the options of homeshchooling vs public school. And I just want to say, neither decision is a bad one. Some children absolutely THRIVE in public schools, while others unfortunately do not.
Here are a few short reasons why we chose Homeschooling for our family:
1) FREEDOM: “What do you mean, freedom?” When you homeschool you are literally your very own school. You can adapt your schedule to fit you and your children’s needs. You can focus on topics as much or as little as you see fit, you can teach in styles that work best for your own students. You can chose different curriculum for each child depending on their learning style, interest, and passions. You can even make your very own curriculum. Nature Studies, Unit Studies, Etc, Let life be your classroom. The beauty of homeschool is that everything is individualised to everyone’s specific needs. Lets be honest, Public Schools inevitably fail some of us. It is impossible to ensure every single child’s needs are met with large class sizes. And with the one-on-one focus Homeschooling gives you, you’re never rushed to “meet deadlines” or “be at a this level” by a certain age or grade. And for many states that also means NO standardized tests!
2) SOCIALIZATION: I know, I know. I thought the same thing many of you are thinking right now. “What about socialization” I don’t recall being taught how to be social in school. In fact, it was quite the opposite. “Stay in your desks, Single File Lines, Keep your eyes to your self, NO talking!” I went to one of THE top schools in Texas, and I am one very socially awkward, and socially anxious person. I’m quiet, reserved, and often don’t engage in conversation unless someone approaches me first. Its something I’ve been working on diligently for years. With homeschooling your child has ENDLESS opportunities to socialize, and with people of all ages. Many families are heavily involved in their community, from serving their churches, to frequenting Nursing homes, Community Service, Co-Ops, etc. The homeschooling community truly offers an enriching experience with socialization. And unfortunately due to many restrictions with COVID, many families will not be able to experience that their first year.
3) Our Faith and Values: Many of my school memories were of us studying and taking benchmarks, and learning how to pass standarized tests as early as 2nd grade. One of the main reasons we are choosing homeschooling is to incorporate our Faith and to establish good character building. It is something we are very passionate about and feel like it is very important for our family to have a good understanding of our relationship with Christ. With that being said, not every homeschooling family is religious-based. Many are secular, but I think we can all agree with the character building and morals aspect of choosing to homeschool our kids.
4) INDEPENDENT THINKERS: Often times in traditional school we learn what we learn and don’t question it. Everything is set out in front of us and we don’t always have the opportunity to explore many aspects of certain topics. Homeschooling allows you to raise children who can form their own opinions and become independent thinkers. It allows them to fuel their curiosities and interest without feeling pressure to conform to the latest trends or “norms”
These are just a few of the many reasons we are choosing homeschooling for our family. Keep in mind the point of this post is not to bash traditional schools or teachers. At the end of the day parents, know that you have rights and you can choose. We teach our children how to eat, walk, talk, ride a bike, homeschooling is no different. You are more than capable, after all, parents know their children best.
For more information on homeschooling visit HSLDA.ORG