When I first started homeschooling my daughter (3 years ago) I made a mistake which I think a lot of new homeschoolers make – I rushed out and bought a bunch of school type workbooks from our local WH Smith. And yes we did start off using them for a few days but it quickly went downhill. Then I stopped and started spending time on the internet looking at what others did, I spent ages reading reviews after reviews and I slowly started buying items which suited my daughter and our family lifestyle.
So this is just a few ideas of the goodies which we have used in the past 3 years, the ones that have been successfully used and loved by my daughter and now are being used by my son.
All of the items I have listed are items bought by us and used by us in our homeschool. I have included affiliate links in the post. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a small commission, however your cost will be the same.
My daughter did lots of dot marker pages (or some call them Bingo markers). We did the cute pictures that you see on Pinterest, but we also did numbers searches, letter mazes, word searches, word mazes, even basic math sums with our Dot Markers. They are great for little hands.
When my daughter was around 4 and 5 years old she never was that keen to colour in or use a pencil for anything. That was until a friend recommended these stunning STABILO woody 3in1 Wallet of 10 colours – Multi-talented pencil. We bought a set and I am so glad that we did. They have been used and used and are now being used a lot by my youngest. They are not cheap pencils but with both of my kids they have been the pencils that have been used the most (for a long time my daughter would only use these pencils to do her writing).
Learning Resources Snap Cubes (Set of 100). These have been our favourite Maths manipulative. My son is now using them and loves them. My daughter has moved on to using her Plastic Base Ten, Starter Set but she does still sometimes fetch these to help her solve a maths sum. She used her snap cubes for counting, working out which numbers are greater or less than, addition, subtraction, place value and multiplication. By far one of the most used homeschooling resources that we have in our house.
Magnetic letters and magnetic numbers (we bought ours from ELC in the UK). We have used ours for so many activities. We have hidden them in sensory tubs, we have written words with the magnetic letters and done sums with our magnetic numbers. We actually have a small white board on the wall in the kids play area and I often find them using the magnetic letters in their imaginative play.
Smart Games Camelot Jr. Puzzle Game. This is a brilliant problem solving game for kids. The game comes with a booklet which sets out a number of challenges for the kids to complete. Once the kids have had a try they can turn over the page and see what the solution is. As the kids progress with the challenges so they get progressively harder.
Bug spotter. These have honestly provided the kids with hours and hours of fun learning. They love finding insects and plants to place inside and inspect. And as a result we have actually ended up learning a lot about insects over the past few months and it has been relaxed, fun learning, all by just exploring our garden. I am very glad that I bought these for the kids.
My laminator (oh I have used mine so much) and lately my Learning Resources Wipe Clean Pockets. I love these. I am finding them so useful. We have used them for tracing pages for my youngest, maths for oldest and even playdough. I honestly love these !!!! They are saving me time and money (the cost of buying laminating sleeves).
Our plastic trays from Ikea. We have six of these and we use them for everything from doing messy art projects on, building puzzles and sensory play activities. They are great for containing the mess.
Pinterest. I love Pinterest. It is such a great way of storing ideas and links for later on.
And finally my library card and my national trust card are well used and very much loved by me and both my kids.