As a successful educator turned homeschooler the Back to School season is like Christmas! The scent of fresh notebook paper and the sound of my electric pencil sharpener brings a smile to my face. As I’m making purchases for our school year stocking up on materials is critical (especially those crayons which seem to evaporate in our house).
Today I wanted to share my top ten teaching tools so YOU can stock up too.
*This post contains affiliate links which means I get a small percentage of commission from your purchase at no additional cost to you.
#1 My Laminator
I use the Swingline laminator almost every day. As a mom of preschoolers, I’m constantly making file folder games, reusable worksheets, and learning sets that I need to last. Laminating my sheets just lets stuff last long around here! Don’t forget to grab laminating sheets as well.
#2 My Binding Kit
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Proclick Binding Kit. This one has two “workbooks” that I can create with 25 pages each. I originally purchased these to use in my business for creating my curriculum workbooks but they serve twofold in our homeschool life as well. If you find something you want longevity for over the course of a unit, use these!
#3 HP Instant Ink
HP Instant Ink is like having a print shop in your house! I use their service to print as much as I want and juggling business and homeschool I print A LOT! But I hated sacrificing color print for black and white to save money. At $9.99 for 300 pages, I can print in color (YAY!). Also if I go over the 300 it’s just $1 for every 25 pages which are still better than the $60 I used to spend on ink.
#4 Amazon Prime
I can’t stress how much I love Prime. I get free books each month, my stuff ships super fast, and I get access to Amazon Prime video which has more educational shows for kids (In my opinion) than Netflix. Even if you thought it was too expensive before for qualified EBT holders you can join Amazon Prime too at the rate of $5.99/month.
#5 My Dymo Label Maker
My label maker allows me to stay organized and for the kids to better understand our ”everything has a place” rule. I label jars, book holders, file folders, binders, containers.
#6 File Folders
There are so many ways to teach with file folders! I can make lap books, file folder games, or just give my kiddies worksheets (even though I kinda despise them). The Dollar Tree sells them in various colors so they work just fine for me. Check out my video on how we use them in our home.
#7 Sheet Protectors
I use sheet protectors in just about every binder we have. They are great for dividers, for storing multiple copies of note booking paper, and make instant whiteboards to practice math problems, write spelling words, or copy work from the board. Pop in a sheet of bright-colored Astro paper to mix it up.
I just started using this service this year and love it! Pureflix is a service like Netflix but with good, safe movies for kids (and you). If you subscribe to their homeschool series page you can even learn more about the resources they have under each specific subject. Some even have lessons and discussions already created and ready for you to use. It’s great to even have for a family movie night or like we started our Sunday movie hour.
#9 World News Group
As adults, our primary source of knowledge about the world and culture where God has placed us is news media. But so much of the news is tragic, discouraging, and even misrepresented. How do we consume the news appropriately, sift it for truth, and find ways to apply it to real-life effectively? World News Group is the answer. All year round, our editors bring readers actual news events with specific biblical applications for leading pre-readers to discover, young independent readers to explore, young teens, to discern, and those approaching adulthood to apply. The good news underlying every story is that God is working His purposes out in all things, and He uses His people to bring about His kingdom work on Earth.
My children fall within three age categories so we have three separate subscriptions to these magazines. Gods Big World (3-6), World Kids (7-10), and World Teens (11-14). The kids love when their magazine comes because it’s full of world news, history, and interesting information. As a parent, I enjoy seeing them cover the same information age appropriately! They can have discussions with each other about the same topic at each child’s level of understanding. There are also online videos to accompany the articles even further bringing these stories to life! The number of subjects you can cover with this magazine makes it a great educational resource and it’s very affordable.
#10 iTunes/Apple Podcast
Listening to podcasts is great especially in the car. We also listen when cleaning via the Bluetooth speaker. You can pull so many podcasts depending on your child’s interest. You can also explore various genres of music for a music study unit or to sing together if your family is into music. You can literally learn something new every day!