Favorite Homeschool Items (If I Had Only $100)

What would you buy for your homeschool if you only had $100 to spend? 

Would you spend it on books and office supplies, or would you spend it on educational toys and games? 

Well, here's a sneak peak into my favorite homeschool items - and I'll keep the list to a minimum of $100.  These are items that, in the past 6 years, have won a top spot in our homeschool resource list. 

(And - good news!  I will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card at the end of this post, so you may be the lucky one who gets to outfit YOUR homeschool with some new things!)

*This post contains affiliate links.

Favorite Homeschool Items

Snap Circuits 

This basic set of circuits has been used over and over in our homeschool. All children (whether they are engineer/math minded or not) will enjoy creating projects with these circuits. My kids' favorite is the flying saucer. 

The Burgess Animal Book for Children 

This books holds so many sweet memories for me and my children. We read it when they were younger, and even now they ask me to read it again. 

In our homeschool, it really helped get all of us excited about and interested in nature study. 

Trust me. This is a magical book - and any of the Burgess Books are just as good. 

Sharpie Markers (Fine Point for Tracing) 

Tracing Paper 

We trace a lot of maps in our homeschool, and these supplies are constantly being replenished. I've found that lots of fun colored sharpies and a pad of tracing paper - along with maps of your choice to trace - provide hours of learning and fun. 

This year we created a geography table, and it gets so much use!

JAM Bluetooth Wireless Speaker 

Music plays an integral role in our homeschool.

Whether it is listening to classical music as the backdrop to our day, or working on a SQUILT lesson, I love my portable Bluetooth speaker! 

(I've also fallen in love with the Jam Transit headphones, but those don't fit in this budget!) 

8 1/2 x 11 Student Dry Erase Board 

Fine Tip Expo Dry Erase Markers 

This year, in Essentials grammar program, Grant and I spend a lot of time diagramming sentences. 

It works very well for me to have my own board, while Grant diagrams on his Quid et Quo.

We also use the board for working math problems during instruction. 

The possibilities for white boards are ENDLESS. And, it's really funny what dry erase markers do for the soul!  

Educating The Whole Hearted Child

This book is a MUST HAVE for any homeschooling parent. I have appreciated the wisdom, encouragement, and practical suggestions offered in this comprehensive homeschooling manual. 

(This book also makes a great gift for a new homeschooling mom!)

More $100 Suggestions:

Visit my good friends Colleen, Jen, & Tricia. Each of these ladies are my in real life friends. I love their hearts for homeschooling and their hearts for helping and encouraging others. We've joined forces to bring you our ideas for $100 in your homeschool!

Colleen - Raising Lifelong Learners ~ educating gifted kids, science education 

Jen - Forever, For Always, No Matter What ~ large family homeschooling, Catholic homeschooling, adoption 

Tricia - Hodgepodge Mom  ~ art tutorials, large family homeschooling, helpful habits for homeschooling

Now the FUN begins!

Follow the Rafflecopter widget instructions below to enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card.  This giveaway ends on April 8, 2015 at midnight, EST.  Good luck! 

Learn About The Hallelujah Chorus (free SQUILT download)

Today marks the beginning of Holy Week. 

I find that one of the best ways for me to worship is through MUSIC. 

I also find that one of the best ways to learn about HISTORY is through MUSIC. 

George Frederick Handel, a composer from the Baroque Era, composed The Messiah, an oratorio using text from the King James version of the Bible.

A part of that oratorio is the "Hallelujah Chorus", which is traditionally sung at Easter. There is so much rich history and tradition surrounding this piece of music (download the lesson below and I'll tell you more!). 

And, by the way, this little lesson is a perfect complement to the composer study in Classical Conversations, Cycle 1! 

Please enjoy this complimentary download, which teaches your children (and YOU) all about the "Hallelujah Chorus", as well as a little about the Baroque Era, what an oratorio is, and much more!  

SQUILT Curriculum users tell me they love these lessons because they are EASY to use, 100% internet linked, and it makes them feel that music is approachable, and MOST IMPORTANTLY - enjoyable!  

Download Handel's Hallelujah Chorus SQUILT lesson

Visit the SQUILT Music Appreciation site to learn about the FULL SQUILT curriculum, download samples, and more! 

Are you listening to special music during Holy Week? Do you have anything that is your favorite?

Some Homeschool Weeks (Years?) Are Just Like That

It's been an interesting week. 

Last week we were out of town. We missed a week in our CC community so everything feels a bit "off" now.

Our "scheduled" spring break is in two weeks, but we need to do some work to catch up during that time.

The discombobulated schedule, coupled with the stresses of grandparent illnesses, changing jobs, and more travel to see family, have made this school year challenging.

I haven't accomplished everything I would like. We're struggling with some heart issues. Things seem to be piling up more than usual. 

Some years are like that.

I'm learning to trust God, take care of myself, and know that "this too shall pass".

*This post contains affiliate links. 

I love Collage Friday, because I can look back on the week and celebrate our accomplishments. Despite the challenges, we did accomplish A LOT!

Foundations Weekly Work

I appreciate having the Foundations memory work as our guide. I know that, when all else fails, reviewing the memory work is ENOUGH.  This week we've been able to expand on the memory work a bit, read good books, and play, too.

Going through the pictures -- top to bottom, left to right:


Staying Physically Fit

Being physically active has been TOP on my list for 2015. I've lost 15 lbs. and am feeling great. (There's still a ways to go, but slow and steady wins the race, right?)

I normally walk 4-5 times each week (about 2.5 miles) and am watching what I'm eating. It's nothing scientific - just common sense. 

The kids are resuming tennis lessons next week, but in the mean time they have been working out at the YMCA, too! 

A sweet friend of mine gave me a present at CC this week. Isn't that little doTerra pouch cute? 

I've used essential oils just a little bit, and she is helping me to learn more about them. I need to educate myself about them and see if this might be helpful to our family. 

Thank you, Dawn!   

LEGO® Education Simple Machines

Oh, how we love LEGO® Education!

(Watch the blog in the coming weeks for a couple of fabulous giveaways!)

This week Grant has been learning about levers and wheels and axles. 


Link With Collage Friday on Instagram (and via your blog)

If you are on Instagram,  please join me for #Collagefriday.  Simply use the #Collagefriday hashtag - and be sure to follow me there, too! 

If you are a blogger, link your post (using the widget below) containing photo collages. Be sure to link back to this original post, and also include the Collage Friday graphic in your post, too.

Then, be sure to visit other bloggers on the list to offer encouragement and gain ideas. This community has been going for over three years! 

So... how was your week? 

Are you ready for Spring Break? Have you already taken a break?

Or, do you just school year round? 


Resources From Our Week

Following are the resources from our week -- so many people email to ask about things we are using, so I'm creating a special section in my Friday posts for just that!