The home education resources we use the most
I often see posts on the Home Education Facebook groups, asking what resources people recommend to buy for Home educating and what people's 'best buys' have been; you can spend as much or as little as you want on Home Education but here's the resources we've used the most since starting Home Educating and they're all pretty cheap and suit our child's needs perfectly.
Main lesson book, maths set and Beeswax crayons
All three of these things together cost under £20 and we use them nearly everyday. The red book is a Waldorf style, main lesson book with onion skin plain pages, The quality of them is great as pages don't stick together and it hasn't broke, we use the one book for all subjects and use the Beeswax crayons to fill the book with colour and make the work memorable. When he starts his new book now he will keep the previous one for revision. Having one workbook instead of sheets of paper and books everywhere is so much easier and we never lose work. The maths set was under £5 on Amazon and we find it great to use while telling the number gnome stories and to make sure Cain actually understands the concept of what we're doing. The work he's done with the beeswax crayons looks amazing too, they do cost more than normal crayons but they last much longer and are really good quality. We've had these about 6 months and their still in perfect condition, so no broken crayons around the house and you can even clean them!
Chalk board and chalk pens
We've found buying a chalk board has made an amazing difference to our Home Education life, firstly they look much better than white boards in your home and much less like modern schools because you don't really want your home to feel like a school. We now do any main lesson work planned using the chalkboard and main lesson book and hardly even use worksheets anymore. By Cain creating his own work in the main lesson book copying from the board he's learning much more than he does from a worksheet and his work is easier to revise from if he wants to look over it, but just because we use a chalk board it doesn't mean we're stuck with bland looking board work and struggling to draw with chalks that snap. We've bought these amazing chalk pens that have a great range of colours and feels just like your using a board pen. Our main reason for trying the board was because our Home Education is Waldorf inspired but it really as made a huge difference and planning and preparing a board lesson is really easy to do once you've given it a try.
Lego is great for all sorts of play and learning, whether we're using them for maths or Cain's re-creating something he's been inspired by. We find the mixed brick Lego sets and big base plates are really good to get for imaginative building.
Cain loves playing with his instruments (he has loads), in between activities throughout the day and he's even learnt how to play guitar, keyboard and drums a little bit. It's really good for building concentration and co-ordination skills too. We don't want our children to miss out on things like music lessons because they're Home Educated, so we encourage lots of music and instrument playing throughout the day. I'm not saying you need to buy a drum kit or a keyboard, we even have little things such as triangles and Ukulele's as well as making DIY instruments.
Our trampoline has been great, Cain has the neighbours kids over to play on it all the time, and it's perfect to use for exercise and outdoor play on a day we're not going far. Since having it Cain has learnt to do front flips and land on his feet which he's really proud of and it's a really fun thing to do as a reward after a boring activity or chore. We can even sit on their for an outdoor lesson in the summer.
Lots of cheap craft supplies
Not only are they useful for the obvious art and crafts activities, but they're really good for making things for other topics too. We re-created an island from a famous five story with all our craft bits and when plans fall through there's always lots of easy crafts do to make the day fun and interesting without much planning. Having lots of craft supplies around also seems to promote the amount of spontaneous learning that happens around the home.
I'm not suggesting you let your children have free reign over the internet, but it is useful to have a constant internet source even if it's just for you to find free learning sources and information on topics. There are also lots of free online learning apps if you do want to learn online.
If you find you have money leftover after buying the basics that are right for your family, instead of wasting it on endless amounts of workbooks and learning resources that clutter your house, why not invest it in some yearly passes for national parks etc. A savings account for any exams or courses your children may want to take in the future or family days out, holiday's and educational and fun experiences.
The above are affiliate links but only to the products referred to in my post that I genuinely use