Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Favorite Homeschool Tools 2012

Happy New Year! For my first post of 2012, I want to share with you the items we have discovered (or rediscovered) as homeschool essentials for our family this year.

1. Apps

My oldest son and I both moved into the world of smarter MP3s or cell phones this holiday season. We are already making use of them to look up unknown words with dictionary apps, find places with map apps, and make lists with note apps.

I do lots of different things to encourage writing in my dysgraphic son. Special writing items really help him to feel excited about writing. We discovered this product (thank you, Santa) is perfect as it allows him to erase as he is working, never breaks (he presses hard) and becomes permanent the next day.

My daughter is on the invisible thresh hold of truly "getting" reading and writing. She enjoys all work encompassing those subjects, but for some reason this tool has been like magic to her. She loves to write and erase, write and erase, write and erase. If I lived in a state with more stringent record keeping requirements, I would take pictures of her work before she erased it. As it is, I just mark her work as done in my lesson plans, and write on her work book "completed on dry erase slate."

4. Dedicated School Storage

You have heard me talk about this before, and I'm sure I will talk about it again - but it still bears repeating. Organize your materials ahead of time. Have a space devoted only to storing school items. In our case, it is an ugly old set of particle-board shelves I bought at a school garage sale. It's indispensable! I have a section for each child to keep their 'everyday' items like pencils, math books and journals. I have a section where I keep items I use every day like my lesson plans, the books we are reading that week, paper and flashcards. I have a section for books we have finished and books we have yet to come to. It saves me so much time and heartache!

5. Binders

How did I ever homeschool without binders?! I don't know either. I have a binder that contains the entire year's lesson plans, a binder containing enrichment materials, a binder for the appendix that came with my curriculum, and my own week-long binder. Each week, I move what I need for the five school days into it. This includes lesson plans for our core (shared) work, lesson plans for each child's language arts and reading, phonics materials for my first grader, and any seasonal coloring pages or enrichment activities. I separate each of these areas with tabbed, pocketed 3-ring dividers. I place uncompleted work (like spelling lists or coloring pages) on one side of the pocket, and completed work in the other. I also keep stickers for the kids' papers, a zippered pencil case for myself, and inspirational items there (this prayer card is my favorite).

What wonderful items have been a boon to your family in homeschooling this year?

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...