What is Your Favorite Homeschool Product?
Computer - If I had to homeschool with only one item, it would be my computer (with high speed internet access, of course). It is a library at your fingertips - encyclopedia, thesaurus, Bible, English handbook, atlas, cookbook, travel guide, literature ( complete books online), art and music history, etc. etc. There are so many sites with free lesson plans and unit studies and lapbooks and e-books and video clips and virtual tours and music files, that you could pull together a complete curriculum from online resources!
One of my favorite educational websites that I use often is Enchanted Learning. I pay for the yearly subscription, but you can also use parts of the site for free.
Copy Machine - second to my computer would probably be my printer/copy machine. I use it nearly every day! I copy workbook pages, assignment sheets, BINGO boards, outline maps, drill sheets, puzzles, copywork, and more.
Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La is one of my favorite "homeschool" books for preparing for and succeeding with the high school years. It not only includes tons of reproducible forms to help with course planning, grading, and record keeping, but also addresses the heart of homeschooling, which I found to be hugely encouraging!
Fourteen years ago, when I was just getting started in homeschooling, I devoured the curriculum guides by Mary Pride ( Big Books of Home Learning ) and Cathy Duffy (Christian Home Educators Curriculum Manuals). I appreciated how these two women not only listed the various materials, curriculums, companies, and programs available for homeschoolers, but also described the type of approach and type of learner these would appeal to. Since the homeschool market continually is flooded with great (and some not so great) new materials and companies, a recent book is necessary. I recommend Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child's Learning Style.
Last but not least, I'll put in a plug for my favorite curriculum. A few years ago, I found Tapestry of Grace, and was delighted to find something that I could use with all my children, that combined a Classical Approach with a hands-on unit study approach, could be adapted easily to include Charlotte Mason ideas in early grades, had a strong Christian emphasis, and included many of the wonderful books that I had already collected over the years! My dear children laughed at me. "Another new curriculum, Mom?" But I knew that this was one that would serve us well for the rest of our homeschooling years, as a foundation for what we did in our homeschool. We add math, grammar, art, phonics, science, music, and foreign language. Tapestry covers history, geography, philosophy and worldviews, literature, writing, Bible & Church History, and Fine Arts.