When we started homeschooling two years ago I had know idea what I was doing. I was completely overwhelmed by all of the amazing and beautiful resources available. I was following a lot of wonderful homeschooling accounts on Instagram and kept seeing so many resources I thought I needed. But we are a one income family and I don’t have the extra money to spend on alllllll the things. So I’ve had to be very mindful about the things I buy for our homeschool learning. I have two criteria that I follow every time I want something. The first one, can I use this more than once? And the other, can it be used in other ways? If I can say yes to both of those it’s in the running for me to purchase. I also consider if I really need it right now or if I can wait to purchase at a later time. Especially if it’s an expensive item. I usually save anything that is fairly expensive for Christmas or birthdays.
I thought I would share some of my favorite homeschool resources that we use everyday and that can be used in multiple ways. I’ve broken them down into subject categories but most of these items can be used for multiple subjects.
One of my absolute favorite math resources is the hundred frame board from Treasures From Jennifer. This piece is worth every penny! There are so many ways to use it! And many different “coins” available for purchase to use with the board. The board comes with your choice of 100 wooden or colored felt balls.
There are also numbers, letters, fractions, multiplication, and math symbol coins to go with the board. I keep all of our coins in old candle jars that I’ve cleaned out. Mason jars work great for storing too! I like clear jars so I can easily see what’s in each one.
We have used it with number coins to practice counting, skip counting, counting by 2s, 5s, & 10s.
We have used number coins and math symbols to practice inequalities, addition, and subtraction.
We have used the colored felt balls to practice patterns.
We have used the letter coins for spelling and practicing vowels and consonants.
There’s just so many uses for it! We use it almost daily. My girls love it!
Another great resources for math is manipulatives. Some of the one we have and use are pattern blocks, cuisenaire rods, and some 1″ colored cubes. We keep our manipulatives in a three tiered tray for easy access and transport. Pattern blocks are great for working on fractions, angles, transformations, patterning, symmetry, and measurement. Cuisenaire rods are great for teaching mathematical relationships. And the unit blocks are perfect for counting, addition, and subtraction.
For language arts we love these Montessori letters! We aren’t exclusively a Montessori homeschool but I love incorporating some of the concepts into our learning. When I was teaching my oldest phonics and spelling the different colored vowels really seemed to help her. She loves to use them for spelling when she doesn’t feel like writing.
We also love this reversible alphabet board from Treasures From Jennifer. This has helped my youngest daughter so much with her writing!
We also love the chalkboards from Chalkfull of Design. We have the alphabet trace and erase and the step 2 lined chalkboards. We’ve used the lined chalkboard for spelling, labeling, and even math equations.
For nature studies the best resources are the things found on nature walks. We collect so many acorns, pinecones, seeds, sticks, rocks, anything! We keep them in an old Melissa and Doug wooden cars tray and some tiny glass jars found at Hobby Lobby. We use these treasures for math, art, and loose parts play.
We also use this wooden shadowbox with a glass top from Hobby Lobby for our rock collection. We use our rock collection for math, counting, measuring, weighing, and so much more.
One of our favorite subjects is definitely art. My girls could do some type of art all day everyday. But I couldn’t stand to watch another 57 pieces of paper end up in the trash everyday. So I wanted to find materials they could use over and over again. One of our favorites is chalkboards. These small slate boards are perfect for drawing! We use slate chalk pencils, colored chalk pencils, and regular chalk. The girls love them!
Another wonderful material is polymer clay. We use this All. The. Time! I love polymer clay because it never dries out until you bake it! So your child can work on a project for days and weeks and not worry about it getting dried out. It’s very easy to mold and mix. It comes in every single color of the rainbow. We usually get Sculpey brand clay from one of the craft stores and use their 40% off coupon. So it’s very affordable. We keep our clay in one of these divided trays. It’s perfect for separating the colors and tools. We also use a large mason jar for white clay.
We have used this clay to make a frog and butterfly life cycle, clay planets, constellations using clay and toothpicks, small vegetables, beads for necklaces, and ornaments at Christmas time. The possibilities are endless!!