Sunday, November 11, 2018

Homeschool Myths: What About Socialization?!?!


Before I started homeschooling my children, my biggest reluctance with it was the fear of them being socially awkward. After all, most of the homeschoolers I had known or had met up until that time had fit the stereotypical homeschool standard of being a bit "weird" or "off" when it came to social skills.

Seven years into this homeschooling gig, and I am nearly at a spot where I would almost argue the opposite. Homeschooling is a very social way to educate children, and even more, I think it's a more natural way to do so.

The first time we showed up to a homeschool picnic with a bunch of people we didn't know, I was shocked at how children of all ages played together. Big kids grabbed little kids, asked their parents permission to bring them along with the group (I'd never heard kids talk to adults with confidence like I observed at this moment), and went off on adventures together around the park. I just remember feeling so inspired by what I saw. Big kids didn't write off the little ones as annoyances, and little kids happily jumped in with the big kids knowing full well they'd be welcomed. My new-to-the-group children were entirely welcomed. It was an eye-opening moment for me.

Homeschooling allows for the unique opportunity to engage with people of all ages. While there are a lot of age or grade specific co op classes around our city, there are also many all-ages gatherings, classes, and groups. This offers kids the opportunity to work, collaborate, and engage with kids at different stages of development than their own. I believe that this leads to homeschoolers being more accepting of others who are different than themselves.

My kids talk to the mailman, the garbage man, and the neighbors. They go to the store with me. The bank. The DMV. Doctors appointments. And more. They interact regularly throughout the day, primarily, with adults. They're getting to learn social skills from ADULTS, who know much better than children how to interact appropriately (or at least we hope so, right?). Their examples for social behaviors are grown-ups, not 5 and 10 year olds, which (I believe) is a more helpful way of learning to interact in our society appropriately.

Now don't get me wrong, they don't only interact with adults...my kids interact with other kids pretty much every day, whether that is during co-ops, field trips, and/or martial arts classes. They have play dates, neighborhood friends and other participate in seasonal sports.  We play with friends A LOT.

I love the balance that my homeschoolers receive in interacting with kids of all ages and adults, alike. 

I get told a lot by random adults after they've interacted with my children, "they are so social for homeschoolers!" To which, when I'm in a snarky mood, I sometimes reply, "they're so social because they're homeschoolers!"

Once upon a time, homeschoolers WERE socially isolated. Before the internet, before easy access to groups and classes and activities, before homeschool was more main-stream, homeschoolers often did all their schooling at home, which can absolutely lend to social awkwardness. But it's 2018. Homeschoolers are everywhere. They're doing all the things. They're interacting with ALL the people. Lack of socialization in homeschooling is no longer a concern. (I get it, you know that one homeschool family that is awkward....but how many do you know at your local public school? I'd bet statistically it's the same. Some people are just weird.)

If you've been considering homeschooling but have had concerns about the social aspect of it, I encourage you to think of all the social benefits to homeschooling. Is it different than the norm? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Our Favorite On-the-Go Games (Easy to Teach, Quick to Learn)


Our homeschool family loves to play games. I love that a good game can not only engage my kids, but teach them math skills, co-operation, reading, and more. We happen to spend a good chunk of our time at our martial arts gym. Between the classes that I teach, the classes that they each take, and the classes that my husband and I take, we are there for a few hours each day. Sometimes they play with the other kids, sometimes they sit and veg out on iPads, and a lot of times they bring games to play together and with their friends.

I'm always looking for simple but fun games that my kids can play on their own easily. Games that are easy to teach and are easy/quick to learn are the BEST!  (If you have any that you love, I'd love to hear about them, too.) I figured since we've got a few good ones at the moment, we'd share with all of you!


1. Snappy Dressers. I love any game that I can throw in my purse and bring with me on the go. This is one of those games.  This is a fast-paced card game that anyone can learn and play quickly. While there are at least 9 different ways to play this game, we generally stick to the first option. Every card in the deck matches every other card in the deck in exactly ONE way. You have to spot the matching item on the card (hat color, scarf, top, bottoms, shoes, gift, or animal) to lay it down in the discard pile. First person to get rid of all their cards wins.

 

2. Sleeping Queens. My sister in law, Jenny, gave us this game for a birthday once, and it quickly became a favorite. Not only is it fun to play and won several game awards, it also incorporates matching, addition and subtraction, and silly character cards. My kids have taught many of their friends to play, and it quickly becomes a favorite for most. We've played it with numerous 4 year olds, as well as up to big kids (10-12's).

 
3. Mancala. This isn't a new game, for sure, but it's a fun one that we recently rediscovered. After purchasing this game and realizing that I played differently than the instructions in our game box, I took to the internet for the rules.  And guess what? It turned into a whole history lesson as we explored the oldest game ever known! It originates in ancient Egypt, and there are over 600 variations of the game/ways to play. There are a variety of board shapes, styles, and rules. So if you play this game with others who already know it, be sure to clarify how you plan to play! You may find that you play by different rules. Side note: My 4 year old manipulating the little beads in his hand is the absolute cutest thing ever. He loves playing this game with his 4 year old buddy from martial arts while their big siblings are all in their classes. So cute.


4. Nerts/Group Solitaire.  You know the age-old game of solitaire we used to play on our computers as kids? Did you know you can play group solitaire? To play: Everyone needs their own deck of cards. Set up your seven piles just like normal solitaire (first pile is face up, then six face down piles; move to the second pile and place one face up, then the other five piles face down...continue until all seven piles have a face-up card on them). Everything is the same in group solitaire EXCEPT that ANYONE can play off of the center Ace cards.

This is an interesting one because although you are trying to beat each other, if one player doesn't uncover all their cards, you might both lose. SO, there is a little bit of team work, too. My 7, 9, and 10 year olds have all been working really hard to get good at this game, and it's become really fun to play with them.

   

5. Labyrinth.  We've had this game for a couple years now, and it is still a favorite. A portion of the squares on the game board are stationary, the rest are movable. Each player draws a card to find a treasure. They then have to get through the labyrinth and to the treasure in as few of turns as possible. You only get to push one square on each turn. The first person to get to five treasures wins. The labyrinth is always changing, making it a fun challenge to set up moves for your next turn. Even the little ones simply enjoy changing up the labyrinth on their turn. This game is most-loved by my little 7-year-old engineer brained child, who can *almost* always get himself to the treasure on his first try.

This is a decently quick game, easy and quick to set up, and great for all ages...even adults.


6. While not a game, I wanted to mention this neat little tool that allows our youngest kiddo to jump into card games with the rest of us. My friend Ginny gifted this to my Levi, and it has gotten more than its fair share of use. This card holder allows little hands to grab on and stick their cards across so they can see their cards and play. He uses it every time we play Sleeping Queens.


7. Last thing, I promise. These waterproof cards were also a gift from my friend Ginny to my husband...I have since claimed them as my own because they are my favorite. BUT, they are also the BEST cards to pack up in my purse, car, to go to activities, etc. because they are waterproof and cleanable! My kids often bring these cards with them to martial arts and play with their friends while I take class...and if they get dirty from kid hands, I can easily wipe them clean! So great. Everyone needs these cards! (Side note: I am aiming to provide you with an Amazon link to buy these, but the one showing up for these appears to have BLUE spades/clubs, not black. While not a huge issue, I find it difficult to play Nerts with differing colors of card numbers/shapes.) 


What are your favorite games to play with your family/friends? I'm especially looking for more games like these that can go with us anywhere, are easy to teach, quick to play, and fun for kids of all ages. Leave your ideas/suggestions in the comments!



(Some of the links in this post are my referral/affiliate links.  Read my disclosure policy HERE.  Thank you for supporting the continuation of this blog by using my links!)

Friday, April 13, 2018

My New Favorite Homeschool Curriculum Company



It's been a crazy couple months (in my world, this means it's been super fun). Since I last blogged here, I closed up my Kindermusik toddler music business. I began teaching adult fitness classes. I completed my Youth Exercise Specialist Certification. I organized a soccer team with local homeschoolers so my 6 year old could try out the sport and I could schedule practices for the daytime instead of the evenings. I launched a new blog (3fitmoms.com) with a couple super awesome mommas. I began taking a course for my prenatal and postnatal fitness certification.  I created and launched a Little Dragons program for toddlers at the martial arts gym where I train (think a fun fitness class for littles with a martial arts influence-they're the cutest). I earned my brown belt. And I changed over most of our homeschool curriculum.

Since I've so often shared with you the ins and outs of our homeschool day and the curriculums I use, I thought it only reasonable that I update you with our new, absolutely amazing, can't-believe-I-hadn't-found-it-sooner, homeschool curriculum. Truly. This curriculum has been life changing and life giving in our homeschool.

Last year, I gave the Master Books math (Math Lessons for a Living Education-MLFLE) a shot for my math struggler- my 10 year old. Math has just always been difficult and challenging for her. We had started out with A Beka, which worked until about 3rd grade, at which point the 2 hours a day it took her to complete the assignments were just a nightmare. We had tried some others in between, but nothing that really met her needs in a way that made her feel successful and helped her to continue progressing and retaining new info. This curriculum immediately changed that for her. It is Charlotte Mason based, meaning there are stories to start the week. They are faith based, meaning it reinforces biblical concepts throughout, and it has short assignments-"ask less but require more."  The page may only repeat a problem 4 times, but she is able to talk me through it, explain what she's doing and why, AND of course, find the right answer. She began completing her assignments without tears, making progress, and even starting on math without me asking. After a few months, we switched the other kids over to this math curriculum, too. They all love it and are thriving.

We quickly followed it up with their science (zoology) and history (America's Story) curriculums-they are amazing! I do these two subjects with all the children at the same time. We follow them up with art (like drawing the animals we read about) or acting out a scene from history, or Youtube videos to further explain a particular concept they were particularly interested in exploring.

For Bible, we bought their apologetics books for kids and I've found that even though it's written for the children, I have really enjoyed it and been challenged by it. We often read through 3-5 days of these books at a time because the kids love it so much.

Lastly, and most recently, we switched our 10 year old over to their language (Elementary Bible & English Grammar). This one has by far been my favorite move. While I love A Beka for learning to read and grammar basics, it drills to death diagramming sentences. She was bored. I was bored. It sucked. This company uses a Bible story book for language and grammar for her age, and it is INCREDIBLE. Her grammar assignments are tied to sentences from the stories, her activities often relate to family life or creating a project based on one of the stories, her writing assignments are sometimes a reflection on particular scriptures she read, and her vocabulary comes from the Bible stories as well. It's meaningful and practical and accomplishes so much all in one. Absolutely amazing.

Master Books just released a few new Living Education Language books for younger grades, which I have yet to try but am eager to do so for my younger kids.

My top 5 loves for this line of curriculum:
*Charlotte Mason style-lots of beautiful stories, pictures, & photos
*Reasonable course work-everything seems like a perfect balance of not too much and not too little
*Spans multiple grades-many subject kits cover multiple grades (like 4-6), giving my kids the ability to pick which topic to study each year (for instance, this year I allowed my 10 year old to pick between zoology and anatomy)
*Faith-based-stories, explanations, and readings point my kids toward Jesus
*Price-books are priced on the lower side of most curriculums, AND many of the books include the teacher key in the back
*Bonus-There is a "Moms of Masterbooks" group on FB where moms can chat with each other and even directly to the authors/publishers!


I truly wish I had found this curriculum early in our journey.  It has changed the atmosphere in our school day and has helped our children grow so much. I highly recommend checking them out!



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Homeschool Questions: What Does an Average Day Look Like?



Continuing with answering some of the more commonly asked homeschool questions, I decided to use my white board to write down my entire day on Friday.  I'm often asked what a typical day looks like...what we do, how and when I get household chores done, which subjects get covered, how I "do it all" (hint: I don't), when I work out, etc.  The problem is that because I'm very relaxed in our homeschool approach and often practice student-led learning, we don't usually have a "typical" or "average" day.  I  often have goals for which subjects I'd like to do that day, but the children may have a totally different idea of what interests them instead.

The weather lately has been amazing!  It is still hot, but definitely cooling down and starting to feel a bit like fall.  This means that the kids have been playing outside a lot during the day, which they couldn't do previously since it was so hot (this is why I do some school in June...I love the option to play outside more in September!).

This is what my Friday two weeks ago looked like.  As much as it appears I accomplished a lot on Friday, all moms know that there is always more to do!  This is meant as a learning post, not a comparison post (again, my own personal day-to-day schedule is always changing!).  My goal with this is to help those of you considering homeschool to see that you can fit little things in here or there throughout the day, and that you don't necessarily have to have a "school morning" or set hours for schooling.  The words in bold are items I consider part of my kids' "homeschool."

5:00 Wake Up
5:30 Strength Workout with my friend, Erin
6:30 Breakfast, financial budgeting, & bills since it's payday
7:15  Shower, fold first laundry load, start another load
7:50  Kids clean their rooms & do chores
8:15 Kids outside to play while I clean the kitchen
8:35 Boys find a bird outside interesting so we pull out books and do science on the grass
8:50  Girls-history, Aaron-handwriting, Levi-playing
9:30 Snack, outside play, order teas online for our kombucha, pack lunches
10:00 Errands-bike shop and Target
11:15 Outside play, clean the house
12:00 Martial Arts class for myself; kids play with friends and eat lunch
1:10  Bring a coffee drink to Ben at work
1:40  Quiet time; kids read books
2:20  Outside Play; Backyard clean-up with kids, feed/water chickens, tend to garden, load dishwasher, laundry
3:00  Snack and get ready for evening classes
3:45  Take kids to martial arts classes (PE :))
4:00 Squeeze in a 20 minute mini workout on the TRX bands while kids are in class
4:45  Drive another kid to a separate class elsewhere
5:30  Sparring class-my favorite part of Fridays!
6:20  Pick up a child from a friend's house
6:40  Prep for my Saturday Kindermusik class, shower
7:00  Ben comes home with Costco pizza and we eat
8:00  Books & Bedtime & audio books as they fall asleep


By the end of Friday, my children had completed:
*chores
*history
*science
*reading
*handwriting
*PE
*Lots of outside play
*Played with friends
*Listened to audio books

I had personally:
*Worked out (strength workout, martial arts class, sparring class, and TRX workout...yes, it's a lot!)
*Done 3 full loads of laundry
*Cleaned up the backyard
*Cared for the animals
*Homeschooled
*Cleaned the house
*Prepped for teaching
*Showered...twice
*Budgeted
*Surprised my husband at work with a treat
*Gotten the kids' bikes fixed
*Shopped for necessities

I try as often as possible to do chores and take care of my responsibilities while the kids are playing or are occupied with self-directed schooling.  Several times a week I do a short workout while my kids are in martial arts classes.  When we are leaving the house or starting on school, I try to start a load of laundry.  Kids help with chores, too.  You can see that my boys' fascination with a bird in our backyard led them to hunt through books for specifics...this is child-led learning!  We fit this type of learning in as often as a question or curiosity pops up. Homeschooling and getting all the other stuff done comes down to being creative and purposeful with your time.  Homeschooling is doable...and your house can still be clean, your groceries bought, and your health and fitness prioritized too!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Homeschool Questions: How Do You Make Sure To Teach Everything They Need to Know?



I've been taking the past couple weeks to answer some of the more common homeschool questions that I receive.  My hope is that these posts will find their way into the homes of mommas who may be considering homeschooling, new to homeschooling, or struggling with homeschooling in some way.  I hope you find encouragement and peace as you read about some of our approaches, thoughts, and methods for homeschooling.

Today's question is one that I personally struggled with for a few years.  It's the question of, "how will you make sure that you teach them everything they need to know?"  OR, an extension of that question being, "what if you 'miss' certain things in their education?"  You know what?  It's a really good and hard question.  It honestly took me until last year to feel at ease with this question, and with my answer.

My answer in short?  I will absolutely, unequivocally miss certain things.  And I'm okay with that. 

Now hear me out.  I'm not saying that I am being flippant in how or what I teach to my children.  I'm not saying that I'm not going to try my best to ensure that they learn all they need to know in life.  What I AM SAYING is that things will be missed or excluded.  Not necessarily by choice, but because you know-it happens.  Life happens.  They can't possibly know EVERYTHING anyway.

Here's where I find my comfort and satisfaction in my answer....

1)  I went to public school all my life.  I graduated with an honors diploma.  I worked hard, got pretty much straight A's, and hated missing school for any reason.  And yet, as an adult, I knew absolutely nothing about American or World History, American Government, or Geography.  I'm certain these subjects were taught at various times in my school career, but I'm also certain that I just studied to pass the tests and then put it out of my mind because they were subjects I wasn't presently interested in learning.  Twelve years of public school, and I couldn't tell you anything beyond "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue."  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

Guess which subjects are my first-born's favorites?  Yup.  You guessed it.  All of those.  And guess who now finds it fascinating?  ME!!!  So guess who is learning it now with her?  ME!!!  These were "missed" topics/subjects for me in public school, but because I know how to use the internet and library to do research, when the time came that I had a need and interest to learn it, I did (and still am).  We learn it together, which has been really fun for both of us (she loves that I don't 'know it all').

2)  Homeschoolers have the advantage of having continuity of education.  I never have to wonder if her last years' teacher taught multiplication with this method or that one.  I never have to wonder which topics she's covered, which ones interest her most, or which ones she really could do without for now.  I know every book she's read, video she's watched, topic she's inquired about, and more.  We can pick up where we left off, and don't have to worry about spending weeks reviewing the basics since I know right where she sits.  I know which subjects are difficult for her and need more work.  I get more inside knowledge than a teacher (even the best of teachers) could ever have with her because I'm her mom.


One of my main goals in homeschooling is to teach my children HOW to learn.  If I can equip them to be able to take their curiosity and questions and turn them into research and answers, they will be set.  If there are certain subjects or topics that we "miss" while they are young (whether by mistake or because of lack of interest), if and when they have the interest or need for that information, they should be able to know how to find it on their own.  And with that, I am completely satisfied.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Homeschool Questions: How Long is Your School Day?



One of the most common questions among homeschoolers and those looking to homeschool alike (and let's face it-non homeschoolers as this all the time, too) is, "How long is your school day?"  Everyone wants to know how long it takes to homeschool a child.  Does it take all day?  Can you do it quickly?  What about when you have multiple children to homeschool?  Are you going to be stuck at your table all day long?  Is there time for fun stuff?  Time for work from home moms to get work done?

So today....I'm going to tackle this question!

To start, I must preface this by saying that your individual teaching style and your kids' learning styles will undoubtedly have a HUGE impact on the amount of time you spend each day "schooling" your children.  If you are a parent who aims to recreate a traditional school setting at home, your day will likely look a lot different than a mom who aims to make her homeschool unlike anything at a traditional school.  Neither is right or wrong, just different, but they will affect how much time you spend homeschooling.

I lean towards the relaxed homeschooler, student-led, interest based type style in our home.  I consider our "sit-down school" to be math and language.  History, science, geography, social studies, art, fitness, home economics, and reading are all subjects that are generally taught through living books or hands on projects, with all the kids together, at varying times during the day.  These subjects are relaxed, and accomplished all over the house, and outside of the house.  Sometimes these are even done via audio books at bedtime.


Now that we've got that out of the way...


On most days, my kids are done with all aspects of math and language within an hour total.  Yes, an hour.  And for some of them, it's actually less (like my kindergarteners).  These are often the first subjects we tackle in the morning since they are our "sit down" subjects, and it feels good to get them done.  Once these are done, all other subjects are much more relaxed throughout the day.

Kindergarten is usually a breeze.  I'm currently on my 3rd kindergarten student, and have found that EVERY subject can be easily covered in just two hours if you are teaching just a single kindergarten student (not accounting for play breaks).  Each grade level beyond this adds a little more time to accomplish all subject matter.

I currently have a 5th grader, a 3rd grader, a kindergartener, and a preschooler.  All children work on language and math with me at the table in the morning.  Sometimes, one child may start earlier than the others, and other times we all start together.  If one child is needing a lot of hands-on direction, I might send the other kids to go play a while so we can work distraction free. On these types of days, our day will extend a little longer.  Otherwise, it works really well to have all the children working on math at the same time while I'm available at the table to help them all out as needed.  I have early birds, and when my children have highly motivated mornings, we are sometimes done with math and language and even a few other tasks by 9:00 in the morning!  Those are fun days, with lots of time for exploring and playing.

Beyond math and language, which take us about 1 hour in the morning, it is actually difficult to put a finger on how much time we spend on school each day because it generally is so relaxed and weaves into our day so well.  We read books in the living room or outside together, do projects at the table while I cook in the kitchen, and regularly watch Youtube videos to answer the five-million questions that pop up throughout the day.  We do martial arts in the evenings all together as a family, co op classes once a month, field trips twice a month, and meet up with friends in between.  I would estimate that in total (even with four kids), we spend only 4 hours on school-related activities each day, but it's very broken up.

As a mom who also runs a business on the side, I find that I have more than enough time to get all my work on the computer done throughout the week.  I can usually budget time to work on my Kindermusik business, write for my blog, and work on building and household projects.

The kids go grocery shopping with me, and I use this as a learning experience for them (lots of math can be done here!).  The children are responsible for helping with household chores like laundry, sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, washing windows, taking care of animals, and more.  This means they not only are helping around the house but are learning their home economics.  My girls (8 & almost 10) are responsible for making lunches nearly every day.  They love to work in the kitchen and so I give them lots of opportunities to do so.

In my opinion, a lot of school can be done just by being intentional about every day life with them.  There are so many great opportunities for learning throughout the day, and I just try to capitalize on them.

Remember, every homeschool will be different.  Your style may mean that your day is longer or shorter than mine.  Hopefully this glimpse into how long it takes us to homeschool with my style of homeschooling is helpful for you.  Find what works for you and your family.  What is important?  What subjects do you feel you need to do everyday?  What subjects make you feel accomplished?  School doesn't have to take all day.  Start with those and move onto the others throughout your day.  Don't forget to plan time for play and exploration and FUN!


Do you already homeschool?  How much time do you spend on school each day?  



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Back to Homeschool Supplies



I recently posted a picture on Facebook of a pile of my homeschool supplies and a little joke about how I somehow have to buy new scissors every school even though we homeschool and they literally have no where to disappear to (update-I found three pairs in Zoe's bedroom just yesterday when we cleaned it).  A friend asked me to put together a list of the supplies that I use for back to school for our homeschool.  And because I like her, I'm obliging :)

While many homeschoolers don't follow a traditional school year calendar, the stores all do, which means to save money, you really do need to purchase your homeschool supplies at "back to school" time.  Over the years, I've done the store hopping to get all the penny deals at stores like Office Depot.  The only problem is that I then found myself waisting a LOT of time each week running into all of the stores with the great deals, AND often spending MORE money since they'd somehow rope me into the unnecessary items, too (I can't resist a cute notebook).  Eventually, last year I got smart.  I decided that (in general) the best one-stop-shop is Walmart.  The only downside is that it means I have to go to Walmart.  Sigh.  Sometimes it's unavoidable.  So below is my general back to school list from this year.  I get most all of these at Walmart, and I've listed the prices that I paid (7-20-17) next to the items from there so you have a general idea of costs.  I try really hard to OVER buy if anything, because the middle-of-the-school year costs for things like crayons are ridiculous!

Quick note:
-I DO try to buy name brands, as off brands typically are not worth the hassle.  I stick to Crayola or Cra-Z-Art for markers/crayons.  For pencils, I ONLY buy Dixon Ticonderoga (really, I hate spending all morning sharpening pencils, and these are the best).
-Sometimes I use crayon boxes or marker boxes to add to birthday gifts during the year. It's an inexpensive way to add something all kids love!


This year's list:

*Washable Markers-10 boxes @ $.50/box (I still had 7 left over from last year)
*24 Pack Crayons-14 boxes @ $.25/box (I had 4 left over from last year)
*Glue sticks-38 total sticks @ $.25/2 pack
*Pencil sharpeners-2 @ $.47 each
*Scissors-4 @ $.50 each
*12 pack colored pencils-4 packs @ $.97/box (we don't seem to go through these as quickly)
*Spiral bound notebooks- 10 @ $.25 each (I had 5 left over from last year when I bought a larger quantity)
*Cute composition notebooks- 5 @ $.50 each
*5 tab dividers- 2 @ $.47 each
*3 Pronged Folders- 4 @ $.50 each
*Regular folders- I have PLENTY of these left over from last year when I bought them for $.10 each at Office Depot.  I usually plan to have about 4 per child per year.
*Index Cards- 4 @ $.50/pack
*30 pack Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils, pre sharpened- $5.97
*16 watercolors pack- 2 @ $1.64 each (we don't use a lot of watercolors-my children prefer messier paints)
*Construction paper pack- 1 @ $5.88  (we will need more of this as the year progresses, but I only bought one pack today)
*Expo markers- 20/year...I already bought these or had leftovers from last year


What I still need:

*Glue bottles- 4 (I have a gallon of glue with a pump and just refill these all year)
*White printer paper- 10 reams


Other supplies that I keep on hand for homeschooling, though already had in my cabinets:

*Staples & stapler
*3 hole punch
*Paper clips
*Brads
*Thumb tacks
*Tape
*Hot glue
*Gallon jugs of various paint colors
*Paint brushes
*File folders
*Index card boxes
*Sharpies

 I spent about $50 on this trip, and about $5 in previous weeks.  I will need to spend another $20, I'm guessing (I watch the office supply stores for my white printer paper-those deals are worth going in for!). These supplies will easily last us through the year, and many items will likely have leftovers going into the next year.  I store them all in labeled tubs to keep them organized.

What supplies did I miss that you find necessary during the school year?

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