Our Homeschool Essentials

I have read a couple of posts lately on homeschool essentials which have gotten me contemplating on our homeschool essentials.  What curriculum, places, things could we not homeschool without?  Well, here is my list for now.

  1. The library:  We are very lucky to have three terrific libraries with five miles of our house.  The library is an amazing resource.  Books, books and more books.  The internet has a lot of information, but there is something magical about having a book with pictures and stories.  I choose to use a lot more stories and library books to learn from than textbooks.  I find textbooks dry and boring for the most part.  Living books help us learn in a very natural way through stories.
  2.  Learning Ally: I have written many times about Learning Ally.  Audio books are AMAZING!!!  Learning Ally has a host of volunteers who read and record books for people who are blind, dyslexic or visually impaired.  I have a difficult time reading aloud for long periods of time, and I have a really difficult time reading some books aloud (life Robinhood or Peter Pan).  Without Learning Ally, we would not read these rich and wonderful stories.
  3. Parks: You all know how much we LOVE the outdoors!  Our local, state, and federal parks allow us to learn about our beautiful ecosystem.  Without these protected lands, I am not sure how much hiking we would be able to do.  I am so grateful that our country finds it important to protect our forests and natural treasures so that we can continue to enjoy and learn from them.
  4. Waldorf Essentials:  Initially, I followed the Waldorf Essentials curriculum fairly close to the way it is written.  Now, I mainly use it as a resource.  However, I go back to the Waldorf Essentials website often and read through blog posts.  Melisa ‘s work keeps me grounded and pulls me back into reality when I start to get overwhelmed.

Obviously, the above is not a complete list of what we use on a day to day basis.  I do use a math curriculum, and we do pick and choose from several other curriculum resources for our work.  However, the above definitely represents the things that I would struggle to homeschool without.

Do you have something essential to your homeschool?