Even though we call this thing we do homeschooling, most of us spend a great deal of time learning and teaching outside our homes. In fact one of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is that we are not confined to anyplace in particular. Because of our busy schedules, we often take school ‘to-go’. Here’s a list of the 10 best supplies for homeschooling on the go in our opinion.
1. Carrying Bag
We have a couple of Thirty-One’s utility totes. What I love about these bags is that they are big enough to hold everything we need, yet small enough for me to easily carry. Because there are seven pockets, I can keep my keys, wallet phone, first aid kit, headphones, modem and flashcards on individual pockets, and lessen the risk of loosing something by having to dump everything out while looking for my keys.
2. Personal Dry Erase Boards
These are small, light weight and cost effective. We use them for brainstorming, spelling, math or to just keep score when we’re playing a game.
By far, flashcards are my favorite way to teach and learn. We use flashcards for every subject. I keep a pencil pouch handy with the cards we’re using that particular week. Also I picked up a set of 550 vocabulary flashcards at our last homeschool convention. The original set was made by a young man who wanted to help his sister prepare for the SATs. I’m going to be rotating these, and keeping them on a ring for quick vocabulary review.
4. Fully Stocked pencil Box
Ours is stuffed with color pencils, highlighters, pens, erasers, sharpeners and dry erase markers.
This one may not make much sense to you but it’s one of our favorites. My girls love science, and they love looking at all sorts of things through the microscope. We often do biology and chemistry labs on Fridays, and since Fridays are our park days, it means we take our labs to go. This is great because since we are outside there are all sorts of things to look at, like leaves, pond water, insects. Also if we need to use any strong smelling chemicals, we don’t have to worry about ventilation inside the house.
The microscope we’ve been using is small enough to fit in our bag, and runs on batteries as well as electricity. It’s also simple enough for my 9 year old to use, also the magnification and lens are powerful enough for my high schooler to clearly see bacteria on a drop of pond water.
We take full advantage of technology in our homeschool. We use apps to enhance learning about science, do history research, type up essays, listen to audio books, watch videos, download ebooks, keep track of our homeschool schedule, etc.
Part of our history curriculum is on CD. I download the audio files on to an iPad as we start a new unit. If we’re at a doctor’s office, at the park or even on our way to the beach they listen individually while the rest of us are working on something else. Headphones also help with concentration. I like to listen to classical music while I read, or write. My high schooler focuses better on math and science when she listens to music.
8. eBooks and Audio Books
Last year we signed up for a monthly subscription to Kindle Unlimited. Three of my six kids are avid readers, and though we have a pretty good collection of books at home a having a subscription has come in very handy. I download books on the iPads, and because of the Kindle/Audible partnership a great deal of books are available in audio format, so the kids that are not so fond of reading can listen instead.
9. Mobile Hotspot
We are a techie family, and we appreciate having an ongoing internet connection. Our pocket sized modem allows us to connect up to 8 devices and still maintain pretty good download/upload speeds. We plan on doing a great deal of road schooling this year, so a constant wi-fi connection is a must.
10. First-Aid Kit
I was gifted this Hello Kitty first-aid kit during our first year of homeschooling. Since then it’s saved the day time and time again. We do a lot of schooling at the park. We bring basketballs and scooters, and with 4 extremely active girls accidents are an almost daily occurrence.
Having these items packed and ready at all times gives us the flexibility to just go without having to think of what we might need. You could even say that they’ve changed our life, by giving us flexibility to visit grandma, go to the beach, take a road trip, and not interrupt our learning.
For more life-changing school supply posts, check out the iHomeschool Network link-up below.