I was thinking about how Facebook changes, momentarily, in November. Many people are counting blessings, grace…things to be thankful for. And here it is November 1st.
I have a lot of things to be thankful for…more than a months worth, by far. But today I thought I’d bring you my top ten list.
My Homeschool Top 10 Things (to be thankful for) that make our days easier.
1. pencil sharpener – I don’t think I would have purchased one, as they seem to be kinda spendy. But my grandfather died last year and this was one of the things we got out of his house. Who knew our daughter would take after me in her belief that a pencil only writes well when it is very sharp. The whirring sound is the sound of school work and writing…music to my ears!
2. paper cutter –I can’t draw a straight line and I’ve learned since trying to become this crafty-we-can-make-anything mom that I can’t CUT a straight line either. For a little under $40 we bought one a few years ago. We use it all the time…crafts, projects, ministry, you name it. Great investment, especially if you find yourself wanting to cut more than one of anything.
3. laminator – Another one of those things I didn’t think I would need or buy, but!!! I bought a simple little Staples brand laminator when it was on sale — like super on sale a few years ago. I’ve been laminating anything I feed through it ever since. It is best to try and find a deal on the pouches and sheets, but you can or just by in bulk (a way to save) because you know you are going to use them. We laminate charts, certificates, worksheets, and all kinds of stuff for school. I have laminated recipe cards, signs, bookmarks and more.
4. dry erase board, crayons and markers – We didn’t buy this one. The board and markers we sort of inherited after a ministry project. And someone along the way gave the kids the dry erase crayons. We use them mostly for math “class”. This year fraction practice for our lil man has been all kinds of fun on the board with different colors and the ability to erase.
5. computers – We have two in our office/school room. This year we have instituted game time after school work is complete — the kids are learning to type, read, navigate a mouse and keyboard all while playing and having fun. We also have formally started using Rosetta Stone for Spanish.
6. prayer sticks – Admittedly these might be one of my favorite things we do. In an attempt to engage the children in prayer every morning we began prayer sticks last year. I had no idea how much we would all enjoy them. We update them periodically adding new people in our lives or taking out family members that pass away. Each morning we each pick a stick (or two) out of the jar and take turns praying for who we draw. The kids ask to do it everyday and are excited to see who they will get. It is a simple, colorful way to make prayer an active part of our homeschool day.
7. our “school room” – Half office, half school room — it used to be our dining room (which is now in what used to be a formal living room). Shelves, computers, a keyboard, globe and boxes and bins full of everything we need. There is no table in here because the kids choose where to work; sometimes on the floor, on the couch, at their desks or at a table.
8. room to run – Oh! How important it is for them to stretch their legs. To run, giggle, screech, roll, chase and just play. It isn’t recess for us…it is life. We have school time throughout the day punctuated by periods of play in yard or walks to gather things or investigate nature. The best part of homeschool is all the school stuff that happens along the journey not in a book or in class.
9. Paper, Paper and more paper – there are shelves of paper in the school room – white paper, lined paper, construction paper, cardstock, you name it. Creativity is never hindered by lack of material or color. It is fun to see what they make when they get an idea and have the room to cut, glue and create on their own.
10. Chalkboard breakfast table – A few years back we got this brown(ish) little breakfast table with two chairs. I never really liked the color, so this year when we decided to add two more chairs to the set I jumped at the chance to paint it all white. How cute and crisp it all looked…while it dried. Then life began to be lived on it and soon there was nail polish on it, koolaid in the cracks, and some mysterious person drew on it in pencil (that didn’t erase!). My cute white table became a pain the backside and daily chore….it was cute but this mama doesn’t need ONE more thing to clean or look after.
Chalkboard paint to the rescue…..
It was so cute!! I began to leave love notes for the family and write scripture on it daily. And when it was all clean (not chalkboard looking) it was quite stylish.
Then our daughter started cursive. The little lines in the workbook weren’t the easiest place to get a handle on the motions. So cursive practice began on the table…big, easy and erasable (3 things I like in ALL homeschool materials!). I had no idea how much we would use it for when I painted it — games (like dots and tic-tac-toe), lessons and school work practice, love notes and planning.
There are many other things that make our days easier and are blessings in this homeschool process, but what I’ve found as I wrote as the list is that many things that I use and rely on I stumbled on. That is why I wanted to share. I would love to hear your top ten or even the number one thing that you use the most or rely on the most in your homeschool life.