Gathering Homeschool Resources can be a daunting and finicky task. Firstly, there are just so many resource options—all shamelessly trying to convince you to give them a place on your shelves! Secondly, Homeschool materials range from cheap plastic junk to incredibly expensive, hand-made, solid wood eye-candy. Not to mention that these materials can either demand a lot of space in your home, or boast a ton of tiny parts that are difficult to keep organized and even more difficult to keep from getting sucked up by the vacuum . . . or the baby. And then there is the issue of whether or not the materials will even get used for all the money, space, and hassle they have required of you.
This guide is my attempt to give you and your family a little bit of direction for where to start in gathering your Homeschool Supplies, and hopefully save you a little bit of time, energy, shelf space, and headache in the process.
~5 Tips for your Resource Hunt~
1.) Clear some shelf space first
There will be nothing more frustrating to your Resource Hunt than boxes of new resources cluttering up the entryway while you feverishly try to make space in your home for them. PURGE BEFORE PURCHASE.
2.) Take serious stock of what you already have
You may very well have Homeschool Resources already in your home and not even realize or remember. Spend some quality time with your shelves and storage bins before you head out to Target.
3.) Take a look in the toy box!!
If you are short on money, space, time, or energy . . . you may want to consider teaching from the toy box for a week or three to buy yourself a little time.
4.) Make a list of what you want to buy . . . and then SIT ON IT
Make a colossal list of everything you think you need or want for your supply and resource cupboard/shelves. You know, that crazy master list that makes you feel like throwing up either for how much it’s going to cost, or how much time it’s going to take to go out and find it all, or how much space it’s all going to take up. Then take that list and stick a pin in it for a week or more. Week by week, buy one or two things that you need/want the most. It will be so much more manageable to take in a few new things a week into your home versus an incredible pile all at once. Also, you may realize after a few weeks that you don’t need what you originally thought you did.
5.) Go treasure hunting!
Treasure hunting to me is a very real thing. In fact, I go on a treasure hunt at least once or twice a month! I’m talking about GARAGE SALES. I can’t even begin to tell you the treasure troves I discover at the humble rummage sale. Take that master list of yours and hit a few garage sales. It’s incredible how often I find exactly what resource I’ve been looking for or thinking about . . . and of course I pay pennies to the retail price.
In case you don’t believe me, just this weekend I found the following at garage sales:
- -a fraction set I’d been eyeing on Amazon . . . for a fraction of the price ($2 versus $15)
- -3 like new books for the kids for 25 cents each
- -a lacing toy for toddlers that I had put on our daughter’s Amazon wish list ($2 versus $12)
- -the exact Kindergarten phonics book that I had as a little girl, except brand new and in perfect condition ($1 versus OUT OF PRINT)
- -a puzzle set I had put on our daughter’s Amazon wish list ($2 versus $14)
- -a set of seven activity/sorting placemats ($5 versus $40)
- -2 sorting baskets ($2 versus $12)
I spent $15 and got at least $100 worth of Homeschool Materials. I call that a TREASURE TROVE!!!
I highly recommend checking out some garage sales before you buy:
- board games
- learning toys
- art & craft supplies (especially easels!! I find them for sale all the time)
- baskets/containers for toys and sorting activities
~Resources by Homeschool Style~
*To find your Homeschool Style, check out my previous post: What education model fits your family’s HOMESCHOOL STYLE? Take our free QUIZ!
General Supplies: lined paper (large ruled for littles), pencils, colored pencils, books/literature/free-reading material, art materials.
Montessori: if you are going to homeschool in a Montessori Style, THIS IS THE BOOK YOU WILL NEED for preschoolers, click here:
and THIS IS THE BOOK YOU WILL NEED for grade schoolers and middle schoolers, click here:
These are my favorite, practical application Montessori books ever. They are basically your non-curriculum curriculum guide. Both are awesome, and easy to follow. You will also need to purchase or make various elements for the tray materials as outlined excellently in these two books.
Waldorf: you will need scarves, figures and raw materials for “small world play”, and plenty of wooden and natural toys. You may also want to include some Montessori materials for a stronger emphasis on core subjects, particularly if you have older kids.
Charlotte Mason/ Literature-Based Learning: the first things you need are BOOKS; literature/fiction and cross-curricular/nonfiction titles preferably linked by a thematic unit. For example, a Charlotte’s Web week may look like reading Charlotte’s Web and then nonfiction books about farming, spiders, and pigs. Secondly, you may want to order yourself the Charlotte Mason curriculum if you want to follow a guide.
- For book recommendations, refer to my page: Book Lists
Classical Education: you will want to select a curriculum first, for which there are LOTS of options! But that selection should occur first since each will have it’s own list of materials, text books, literature, and supplies that it requires.
Standard/Traditional Education: you will want to select a curriculum first, for which there are LOTS of options! But this form of education is the least specific of the six I have described, so you can start with ordering any grade level workbooks you can find that are aligned with common core.
Unschooling: you will want a wide selection of materials on hand for making things, crafting, writing, as well as free reading materials, etc. You will also want to have a lot of card and board games on hand.
NEED CURRICULUM HELP? Check out my previous post:
DOWNLOAD MY FREE LESSON PLAN TEMPLATES here:
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~