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Do you ever wonder what a homeschoolers favorite resources are? The must haves? The ones they couldn’t imagine homeschooling without?
Today I am sharing my personal favorites! I am so excited!
As you know I love to save money, and so my top resource is free!
It’s a library card. As books play a huge part in our homeschooling a library is a homeschooling essential in my book. It is a must have.
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Homeschool Resource: How I Use the Library in My Homeschool
One way I use the library is to save money. The library is no longer the quiet dungeon of when I was younger. They are bright, noisy, fun filled learning centers. They provide not only books but video’s, audio books, games, reading challenges, STEM workshops, crafting classes and more! All for free.
Don’t underestimate or skip using the valuable resources of a librarian.
Do you need help researching a topic or perhaps you don’t even know where to begin? Ask a librarian, they are happy and willing to help. When we studied Shakespeare, I didn’t know where to start. I sat puzzled until a librarian asked me if I needed help. Within 20 minutes I was armed with several books and a few more on the way.
The inter-library loaning system also helps you to obtain books from nearby libraries saving you gas money and time.
Making good use of the library also cuts down on expenses related to having your own home library. You can borrow and return the books so others can enjoy them, saving your hard earned cash for more important homeschooling items. Then, if your child falls in love with a book and reads it again and again, then you know to adding it to your own library won’t be a waste of money.
(Psst! I share an amazing tool for saving money on books and uses the library that is totally free right here! )
Tips for using the library:
- Plan a library day, every two weeks or once a week. This makes it easier to keep track of due dates and avoid unnecessary and unwanted library late fees.
- Speaking of late fees, we keep a basket or box to store our library books. This helps us keep track of them, as well as avoid misplacing books or items. Keep it somewhere you can access it easily to encourage reading.
- Keep a list of books borrowed and read. We use our homeschool helper app. You can easily print it off and add it to your portfolio or submissions paperwork at the end of the year.
- Use the online library for searching for new books, reserve ahead of time and renew if needed. You can do this all from the comfort of your own home. You should be able to see the schedule for upcoming events so you can plan accordingly.
Second homeschooling must have is the Internet.Sometimes you just gotta know! Sharing my top 3 must have homeschool resources!Click To Tweet
Homeschool Resource: How I Use the Internet in My Homeschool
We all know the internet can be a powerful tool. For homeschooling, it plays a big part as the children get older. Even more so now that I have returned to work.
One way I use the internet is for the library as stated above. To renew, research and reserve books.
The internet allows me to find free/low-cost tools to reach our family needs for homeschooling. I also use it to find alternatives to programs that are not working or to solve a problem that pops up.
Another way I use the internet is to find encouragement through emails from friends and readers to facebook groups to websites/blogs I love. Sometimes homeschooling can be overwhelming and lonely but a note to a friend, or a quirky quote or post always helps.
When the children were younger, we choose more interest led school curriculum. I am a logical thinker, I like order and to be organized. The internet allowed me to reach out of my comfort zone and find fun activities that still taught my children something-usually at low cost or free.
One such site is HomeschoolShare.com It has come a long way from when I used it, but it was a source of encouragement and researched resources to a new homeschooler. It introduced me to the world of lap booking. It also taught me how much children really learn from the world around us, how to keep track of it for submissions, and not to take books for granted.
As the children progressed and reached subjects I wasn’t sure how to teach or what to use, the internet came to the rescue. With the help of my next tool and the library, I found websites, resources and tools to help teach the “scary” subjects.
The internet gives access to online schools and programs to help fill in those “gaps” we might worry about. Two sites I love are: Easy Peasy Homeschool and Schoolhouseteachers.com both are online, one is free and one is low cost. Read my review here.
Tips to using the internet for homeschooling:
- Use a timer, it is easy to lose track of time when on the internet.
- Stay focused, use a list of what you are looking for and stick to it.
- Bookmark your favorite sites so you can reference them when needed.
- Read reviews of online resources to help you make educated and informed decisions.
The last resource is the one homeschool book I always recommend for homeschooling, The Well-Trained Mind, A Guide to Classical Education at home.
Homeschool Resource: The Book I Would Hate to Homeschool Without
When I started homeschooling, I had a lot of questions. What was I going to teach? How was I going to teach it? What did I need? What I wished beyond was a list that was easy to read and understand that said, “do this, step by step”.
Now I know better, although I am sure those books and lists exist, they won’t always work. Why? Because each child, homeschool, and each situation is unique. Your “why” is your own. What works for me, may not work for you.
However, this book is my absolute favorite. I found it using the internet, borrowed it from my library and then bought it! I wish I owned it from the beginning. When talking to a homeschooler, it is the first book I recommend, and suggest-I love it that much!
Why I love this book:
This book instills confidence in the home educator. It is written for parents. It starts off with an overview and explains how to use the book.
Then begins with how to use the book in a practical way. (Right up my alley right??) Explaining that it is a large book and is not to be used exactly, encouraging the reader to use it in the way that is best for you.
I use it to learn more about the learning stage my children are in, to see how to tailor the curriculum to them and to understand how to adjust the current curriculum to suit their personal needs.
For example: After reading the section on the stage they are in, I learned they are entering a phase where they need to prove it to themselves, therefore including more experiments in the lessons is vital.
I love that it not only includes what to teach but how to teach it and ideas on how to organize it. It includes lists of programs if you prefer to use them, and even where to buy them along with expected prices! There are schedules to available (daily, and weekly along with examples) as well as expected amount of time you might want to spend on each subject per week.
I love that it includes scary things such as a high school transcript or preparing for college. It talks about how to deal with the local school systems, especially if your child wants to pick up a class in the locals school, as some do. Where to find online help, tutors if needed and more.
I don’t use it exactly, and personally, I think no one should. I do use it as a valuable resource. I use it as a planning guide and troubleshooting guide. When I plan for the next school year and I am wondering what to include this is the book that comes out. When I am wondering what books my children might want to tackle, I dig this one out.
I hope you enjoyed learning my favorite “go-to” homeschooling resources and how I use the library, the internet, and The Well-Trained Mind in my homeschool.
I love learning what others are using and why they feel it works for them, so please share below any resources you would need to have to homeschool! I look forward to hearing from you!
Extra Saving Money Resources:
I am so determined to save money on homeschooling curriculum that I keep resource pages for programs offered and recommended by other homeschoolers here on the blog such as:
- Free and Frugal Homeschool Resources
- Homeschooling Resources You Need to Know About!
- Simple Ways to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum