*Home schooling supply list*

Are you prepared to become the teacher?

I presently home school three boys. Even though we do not require the extreme lists that public schools send home every year we still have many things we use on a daily basis. Over the last couple of years I have found that we run out of some things faster then others. I am also beginning to figure out what different age groups need as they develop. These things change from family to family but I thought I would share what we use as a beginning for your shopping list.

During hard times school supplies even as simple as paper and pencils will become luxury items. In the past, during hard times, people have resorted to using can labels, packaging materials, boxes, and even cornhusks to write on. I feel it would be a good idea to store most of the following items even if you do not have children. They will be high on the demand list for barter when hard times come along. The nice thing about storing school supplies is most do not go bad and many can be vacuum-sealed to last longer.

I divided our children’s needs into five age groups and then again into subject matter for other items. The age groups are Pre School, elementary school, junior high school, high school, and college level study needs. The subjects are math, English, history, science, religion, art, physical education, music, and play.

Pre School children need more of your time and manipulative type items like blocks and toys used to build developmental skills so they may adapt to holding pencils and crayons. Once they can control these items they will be better prepared to practice making shapes with them. Using sand in a pie pan is sometimes easier for first time games and skill practicing to help a young child get used to making letter and number shapes as well as for judging sizes and textures. Songs, games, playtime, and repetition are the best learning techniques for this age that I have found so far. Children learn different subjects at their own pace. This is normally the time when children learn their letters, numbers, concepts of placement, directions, beginnings and endings, and how to interact with other children and adults. They also learn what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Reinforcement of good work habits with positive rewards (such as words of praise or small awards) can really make all the difference in a child who feels like he is not as smart as other children.

Elementary school age children have gained confidence in the basic skills and go on to improve them along with learning new ones most every day. I allow our children to stay on a subject until they fully understand it. Once the subject is mastered they can go forward without having to review over and over again. This builds self-esteem and saves you from many problems down the line when pieces of their education are missing. I would rather have a child end up with a solid ninth grade education then an iffy twelfth grade one and a piece of paper that shows they slipped through the cracks of a bad system.

Junior high students have had most of the developmental skills introduced by this time and are basically trying to enhance their skills and develop their minds as their body tries to catch up. It can be a very emotional time, and learning about himself or herself physically and emotionally is as important as learning algebra or any other subject.

High school students are now at the point where they should be mastering their skills and learning the philosophical applications that go with what they have learned so far. They are spending a lot of time struggling in between being a young adult and grown child. Each student at this age tends to have one special thing they do better then others. I think it is good to help them excel in these areas while trying to help round and level out the other areas in their education.

College can be anything from a vocational technical education to a multiple year college education. In hard times the education they learn at home may present them with the opportunity to be the only local specialist in the area, thus providing them with a skill that will later help feed their family.

My list is a general list that I may sometimes add an item estimate on how much we use in a given time. These numbers vary for each family and child but will give you an idea of what items you might like to purchase.

Paper: one ream of each kind per child per year.

Printing paper, typing paper, wide lined paper, narrow lined paper, college ruled paper, graph paper, construction paper, carbon paper, pads of paper, steno paper, spiral note books, legal paper, note paper such as sticky pads, 3x5 cards with and without lines, and hand writing practice pads like the Big Chief Indian pads for younger children.

Ink for printers, ink for pens, fat pencils, #2 pencils (at least two per child per week), ink pens, colored pencils, fat crayons, big box packs of Crayola brand crayons are best for your money since the generics seem to not color very well, colored chalk, white chalk, dry erase markers in many colors, white out, and magic markers (washable as well as permanent.)

Glue comes in all purpose varieties, wood glue, super glue, glue sticks, pastes, and glue sticks for glue guns.

Tape can be scotch tape, duct tape, masking tape, hot and cold shrink tape, packaging tape, and electrical tape.

Math items you might need are solar charged calculators with college level operation buttons on them, rulers, compasses, protractors, large erasers, top of pencil erasers, dry erase practice boards for adding, subtracting, multiplication, and division, and any college level tools such as drafting, architecture, and other such tools for classes you may want to explore.

English items you might store are dry erase practice boards for practicing letter formation in print and handwriting, research materials such as dictionaries, thesauruses, a set of up to date encyclopedias, a good collection of famous poems, plays, and some of your favorite selected stories. You might also like to store the same supplies for a second language and add a few audio self help sets to your list.

History items should include a good globe of the earth, maps of the world, each country in detail, each state in detail and several good books on history for each grade level.

Science should include sets for experiments, prisms, magnifying glasses, solar system models, rock sets, bug collections, microscopes, telescopes, chemistry sets, books for each age group that include the human, animal, plant, and non living world information basics, models of the human body, steam or mechanical engines, and other such manipulative items. Remember things like kites, and model boats are good learning projects. Simple tools and ideas are at the base of all inventions.

Religion is a personal choice to be made by each family but can be as simple as praying together, reading out loud from the bible of your choice daily, talking about how you feel and what you believe, and or memorizing a verse a week or day per child.

Art classes will need paints such as finger paint, spray paint, watercolor paints, oil based paint, brushes, cleaners, canvas paper, colored charcoal, water color paint pencils, glitter, beads, scissors, and other little items used in crafts.

Physical education items can be a variety of balls, net games, weight lifting items, hunting items, basic exercise routines, stretching, walking, dancing, and every day work.

Music is a great way to educate children in almost every subject. You can buy small instruments such as harmonicas or penny whistles and the educational materials to teach a child to read and play them for relaxation, rhythm and coordination building, entertainment, stress relief, and self-esteem building.

Games can consist of learning games like Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Monopoly, Risk, cards, checkers, chess, brainteasers, and puzzles with 10 to 5000 pieces to adapt to every age group. Family games of I spy and I am thinking of a word or even charades is a great way to pass time and reduce stress.

Miscellaneous items you may need are hole punches, staplers and staples, pencil sharpeners, paper clips, safety pins, Velcro, push pins and tacks, magnets, buttons, needles and thread in assorted colors, knitting and crocheting items, sewing supplies and materials, small award prizes, and maybe small treats like hard candy.

There are mass quantities of paper back books you can buy for extra practice and entertainment such as coloring books that cover most every subject and are for almost every grade level, practice work books, reading series sets, sticker books, diaries or journals, books on puberty to first aide, how to manuals, cook books, and survival books.

Remember to start with the basics when you shop. Some people say they can educate their children with only paper, pencils and the bible. I am sure it can be done but with so many items out there to provide the interest and drive to help our children want to learn we can surely add a few more items to our home school list.

It is up to you to make sure you can educate your children. You are already a teacher in everything other then school work so try not to worry whether or not you will be able to teach chemistry or algebra. You will learn as your children do and there is almost always someone who can help you figure out things you do not understand. Many home school mothers who produce top of their class college graduates do not even have high school diplomas. So get shopping and be ready to teach!


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