Let's talk about school at home: our favorite resources and ideas
Plus we need your expertise!
We are both choosing to homeschool this year and we are really excited about it! We are brand new to this journey and are far from experts...we are most definitely beginners. With that in mind, we are not going to share curriculum favorites with you because we are just hoping we made good choices for our families! (though we are happy to share what we did choose if you want to know) But we do want to tell you about some of the other things that we are really excited about and have helped us navigate this new form of education.
We each chose three things that we want to share with you. And please...if you are a homeschooling pro or are also new to this journey, we want to hear from you!
What curriculum do you love?
What resources do you love?
What are your favorite books or podcasts?
What do you wish that you knew when you started?
What do you love most about homeschool?
Share all your wisdom with us!
Disclosure: We are affiliates for Amazon.com. We link products that we love and recommend, and purchasing through them provides us with a small commission that we put toward this ministry.
Steph's Top Picks
Homeschool Bravely by Jamie Erickson
I am absolutely obsessed with this book and have been telling everyone to read it. I listened to it on Audible on my walks and my neighbors probably think I've lost my mind because I constantly fist pumped, exclaimed "Yes!" or threw up some praise hands. It's just so full of goodness and truth. As a brand new homeschool mom I have no clue what I am doing, but this book has given me so much confidence to be brave and dive in.
Jamie also has a really fantastic website called The Unlikely Homeschool that is full of resources and ideas. Check out these cute task cards to help keep your kids on task or her section on sneaky learning. I think you will find her website really helpful so check it out!
Brave Homeschool Planner
Another Jamie Erickson resource is her Brave Homeschool Planner. You can purchase it on her website for $6.99! I bought the black and white with color accents version, but there is also a full color version. I printed mine out at home and had it bound at my local FedEx. It's a really simple yet organized planner that allows you to track goals, curriculum, attendance, and field trip ideas. It has monthly and weekly calendars for tracking work and activities.
4x6 Photo and Craft Organizers
I'm trying to keep things organized and simple and I've seen a lot of people use these clear plastic containers to store math manipulatives in. I love a good storage container, so naturally I had to order some. I think they will help keep everything in place and make it easy for my kids to find what they need independently (here's hoping!)
Sarah's Top Picks
Sarah Mackenzie, creator of the “Read-Aloud Revival” podcast and community, is a great person to follow! She gives so many great tips and resources to parents about how to make reading aloud fun and why it is so beneficial. There is a free quiz on her website to help you find great read alouds for you and your family.
I listened to this podcast episode and it inspired me so much! She shares 10 homeschooling mistakes she's made and how to avoid them.
My biggest takeaway is that the most important thing I can do for my kids this year is to smile! They will learn more from a calm and smiling mama, than from a mom with a perfect to-do list, checklist, and plan. (This is gonna be hard for this recovering perfectionist. I need all the prayers!)
We covered our homeschool table with butcher paper and it has been so helpful! The kids doodle and draw and spill all over it while we read and learn and chat. It keeps them creative and entertained and keeps me from being worried about mess. It's amazing how much kids can retain while also doodling.
First Day of School Printable
We had a really fun first day of homeschool. I love praying for our school day each morning and writing down a little goal for the day in my prayer journal. The last four days I've just written down, SMILE A LOT! I am trying to start off slowly.
Here is a printable prayer sheet for your school year.
You can do this on the first day of school or you can do it at any time.