Hey homies! Welcome back to the third episode of THH Podcast! Today we are going to talk about 8 of my family’s favorite homeschool resources.
Most of these resources are free or relatively cheap and a few get a little pricey. I organized this podcast to go in order from cheapest to most expensive.
If you are short on time or just don’t have a means to listen to a podcast right now, I’ll leave a brief summary of my favorite homeschool resources. Let’s dive in!
#1: The Great Outdoors
The first, and arguably BEST, homeschool resource around is the great outdoors. As you know by now, we are huge advocates of outdoor schooling, forest schooling, Waldorf learning…whatever the fuck you want to call it. If it’s outdoors, we’re about that life.
There are so many benefits of taking your homeschool lessons outdoors that I’m half inclined to do a whole freaking podcast on it. The beauty of learning outdoors is your children get to mix up their regular routine.
What’s the point of homeschooling if you’re going to make it exactly like public school? Make it fun, make it exciting, take it outside!
#2: The Public Library
I know this seems super obvious, but someone, somewhere needed to hear this. If it’s not already, the library needs to become an essential part of your go-to homeschool resources.
We love the library because we are able to pick out as many books as we want, FO FREE, that pertain to whatever theme we have going on for the week.
In addition to the free books, most libraries have a toddler story time in the morning which can be a great way to get some socialization in for the day. For the older kids, you can check for fun events like STEM days or LEGO days.
You may have to visit a few different libraries to get the most out of the free activities, but ITS FREE SO WHO CARES!?
I am such a huge fan of thematic learning activities that I do a different theme every week. I think it adds a little excitement to our regular learning. The website 123homeschool4me.com has been an absolute blessing for our family this year.
This website is run by an amazing woman named Beth Gordon who make free themed printables for weirdos like me who love weekly themes. We have used her website at least 6 times this year and we’re only 4 months into the school year.
I would highly recommend bookmarking this free homeschool resource if you have children at the early education level. It will quickly become your best friend.
#4: Composition Notebooks
We’ve finally arrived at our first paid resource. Luckily, composition notebooks are one homeschool resource you do not have to break the bank over. I would recommend waiting until the back to school clearance sales are going on then swoop in and grab every 50 cent notebook you can carry.
This is another resource I will probably do a separate post on because there are so many ways you can structure a composition notebook to meet your child where they are.
If you are antsy to find some ideas right away, check out the mothership of all homeschooling ideas: Pinterest. ORRRRR you can listen to the podcast to hear a few ways we use our notebooks.
#5: Anything By Scholastic
Cue fond memories of the Book Fair in elementary school.
I swear Scholastic books (and Lemony Snicket) are the reason I am such an avid reader as an adult. Their products really are masterfully crafted to be both entertaining and educational.
Even if reading isn’t what you are most interested in, Scholastic has a toooon of other homeschool resources. Their website is home to tons of free lesson plans (that have been tested and approved by my kiddos). They also have a ton of excellent workbooks for math, language arts, and STEAM.
The website is completely free, but obviously the books are going to cost a little. I would recommend buying paperback any time you can to save a few extra dollars. Also, check out public school book fairs and obviously Amazon. Sometimes you can find really great deals there.
If you are a fan of curriculum based workbooks, I would definitely recommend Scholastic. Their books are easy to follow and show you exactly which common core state standards are being met (if that sort of thing matters to you).
#6: Puzzles And Board Games
We are so blessed to have a 1000% kinesthetic learner in our family, but it can be a little challenging at times. Instead of being able to hand over a workbook and review lessons that way, we have to turn everything into a game.
This is where puzzles and board games have been a true saving grace. We are really big fans of the brand Melissa and Doug because their products can withstand the intensity of my kids. We have really been loving their wooden sight word puzzle to get our son familiar with letters and sounds.
Other board games we have been living for are Zingo and Word Work Folder Games. Both games are tailored to learning sight words and can be played by the kids with minimal adult supervision (which let’s be honest, is worth any price).
#7: Thrift Stores
Here comes the hippie rant you have been waiting for. We are at a point in our society where it is paramount to reduce our carbon footprint. An easy way to do this is by thrifting for homeschool resources.
We have been very fortunate to find all of the games listed in the previous section at a thrift store for LITERALLY $8. The Carson Dellosa thing alone cost $40 brand new. We’ve also found multiple curriculum guides and workbooks for literal pennies.
Sure a few pieces may be missing or a few pages in the workbooks are filled out, but 9 times out of 10 it will not go on the sale floor if it’s completely unusable. Not only are you going to save yourself money, but you’re going to help save Mother Earth. Win win, my friends.
#8: Evan Moor Workbooks
Wrapping out our list with the most expensive homeschool resource is the Evan Moor workbooks. I am all about giving my kids a unique homeschool experience, but I also love making sure they are staying on track with their grade level.
The Evan Moor curriculum is so freaking easy to use and, just like Scholastic, they tell you what state standards you are covering. These books can be pricey ($15 to $30 per book), but you don’t need every single one.
We spent about $70 on spelling, reading comprehension, critical thinking, a Native American tribes workbook, and math word problems and we will be set for the entire year. Compared to the $400 it costs per year for ONE of our kids to take the bus to school here in Hawai’i, that’s nothing!
That’s A Wrap On Homeschool Resources
We do use a few other things (like websites and subscription boxes), but I wanted to stick to the absolute basics and make this something anyone can use regardless of your financial situation.
I hope you have found these homeschool resources to be beneficial! I would love to know in the comments below what your favorite free/cheap/or super boujee homeschool resources are. We are always looking for new recommendations.
For a more in depth analysis of these resoures, be sure to give the podcast a listen (put it on 2x speed if your strapped for time). Thank you so much for hanging out with me today and listening to me ramble! I’ll be back soon with more great homeschooling content for y’all. Peace out homies!