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Your Home Is Already a Homeschooling Supply Warehouse!

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Your Home Is Already a Homeschooling

Supply Warehouse!

By Linda Dobson

homeschoolingWhen life and learning co-mingle as they do in homeschooling, you begin to look at the world differently. You realize every moment holds the potential to be a learning moment, every experience is a deposit in a knowledge bank, and every “thing” can contribute to the education of your child.

To help you see resources through the eyes of a homeschooling parent – and to save you money! – I once questioned homeschooling moms of “early years” children: “What items do you have in your home which you consider invaluable for homeschooling?” I expected an array of answers and, boy, did I get it! Here, for maybe the first time in homeschooling history, homeschooling parents reveal to the world their most highly regarded resources. Now you, too, possess knowledge of the heretofore secret educational resources for early years children!

Household Items as Homeschooling Supplies Already On Hand

Library card

Newspaper subscription

Craft magazines



Money and coins

Piano and other musical instruments

DVD player and DVDs

CD player and CDs



Magnifying glass

Needle and thread, fabric


Chess set



Box of “useful things” – string, paper clips, rubber bands…

Lots of assorted paper, for writing and creating




Gardening tools

Masking tape


Tape measure

Scotch tape



Museum Memberships

First-aid kit

People as Homeschooling Aids Already On Hand




Children’s best friends

Interesting, creative people in the neighborhood

Pets, including dogs, cats, and horses (Give me some leeway here; our pets were always treated like people.)

Places as Homeschooling Aids Already On Hand

Entire kitchen

Greater community

Backyard plants and dirt



Things You Thought Were Just Toys are

Homeschooling Aids Already On Hand

Tinker toys

Yahtzee, Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Mancala, Life



Deck of cards


Dress-up trunk


Shovels and pails

Colored chalk

Assorted balls


K’nex set

Map puzzles

Stuffed animal collection

Playmobil toys

Wooden train set

Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars and toy construction vehicles

Children’s magazines

Additional Homeschooling Aids You Can Easily Make

History timeline

Alphabet posters


Hundred chart

Surprise! Your Home Is Already a Homeschooling Supply Warehouse!

homeschoolingEveryday household items sit waiting to be used in fun and creative ways. “Our finances aren’t tight, but I choose to not spend much money on homeschooling,” says Leslie. “We use real money, real clocks, and a real thermometer to learn about money, time and temperature. For math manipulatives we pull out checkers, poker chips, Matchbox crs, Legos, M&M, or whatever else my son wants to use.”

Looking for ways to expand the idea of “real” materials, Rachel thought a backyard garden would be a great resource. “It’s amazing what you can end up investigating after even only a fifteen-minute session out there,” she marvels. “We’ve learned how seeds germinate, figured out what’s eating the plants, performed experiments with light and water, and we get to eat fresh veggies, to boot!”

While Rachel and her son knew what their harvest results would be, other backyards yield surprises. Holly and her son were visiting her cousin’s farm, where they read that Civil War soldiers used pokeberry ink and feather quills to write letters from the battlefield. Holly says, “We brought home a handful of goose feathers from the farm into which we carved nibs. Then we picked pokeberries from our own backyard, crushed them, added a little water to make ink, and wrote with the results. It really worked!”

See also Libraries Still Keep Homeschooling Affordable for Families

Many times the children themselves spot a great homeschooling resource that adults fail to notice. Her children are now teens, but Valerie still treasures the pots made from clay dug out of the local creek bank where her little boys spent long hours playing.

Celia’s six-year-old daughter has a knack for finding human resources. “She finds the ones I overlook. She’s the one who remembered her grandpa speaks French and could help out,” Celia says. “And she doesn’t mind questioning the lady in the grocery store line behind us.”

Get rid of the notion that you need to consider spending anywhere near the amount of money your local school district spends on each child each year. Consider the items you already have, and then supplement these with others to fill in gaps you discover.

Your pocketbook will thank you.

“I should have started homeschooling my first son in first grade but I didn’t know about resources,” Rhonda recalls. “I didn’t know about all the catalogs and learning supplies available so I didn’t start.

“When I found the homeschooling support group and an online homeschooling community, I learned about the richness of resources and felt totally competent at that point.”


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