You’re committed to homeschooling your kids. Ready for the long haul. Out of the blue, an unexpected event happens, and suddenly your world is upended. You are now in crisis mode. What if, as a homeschooler, you couldn’t get access to the curriculum or resources you wanted to use? This scenario is a very real possibility. In fact, to some degree, many homeschooling families are facing circumstances much like this right now. Over the past few weeks, life has looked very different than it normally does.
We are facing times of uncertainty unlike anything we have experienced in recent years. With the closure of libraries, stores, and other places of business, homeschooling has become a little bit more challenging both for those of us who have been doing it for a while as well as those families who are new to it. In homeschooling, as in all of life, times of uncertainty and difficulty come to us all. We have all faced challenges and have had to learn to cope in ways we might not have dreamed of before. Were you ready for this challenge? Do you have the resources you need to deal with the closures and shortages we have come up against?
What about next time? Would you like to be ready and prepared if another situation arises that brings with it this level of uncertainty and challenges? What would you need to stock up on in order to be prepared to homeschool through an emergency or time of uncertainty?
As homeschooling families, it would serve us well to examine what sorts of supplies and resources to have on hand in case we should find ourselves in a place of need again in the future. But what sorts of resources should we be prepared with in order to be ready for that?
With the help of some fellow veteran homeschool moms, I have compiled a list of supplies and resources we feel would be beneficial to have tucked away for an emergency or another time of uncertainty if it should come along again. These are what we consider essential homeschool resources every homeschool family should have on hand in cases of emergency or uncertainty.
Read aloud books
Having a collection of good quality books for you and your children to read is vital for a well-stocked homeschool stash. If you do nothing else to homeschool your kids in a time of upheaval, reading together is one of the most important things you can do for and with them. Never underestimate the power of a good “living” book. You might also want to consider keeping books that can be shared with other families as well.
Having a nice variety of field guides for animals, birds, and plant life local to where you live can help with nature study. Observing nature is a perfect way to get plenty of science learning, so field guides for use in nature study can keep you covered in that area.
Reference books like dictionaries may seem outdated or unnecessary, but the truth is that you never know when you might not be able to use Google or spell check. Be fully prepared for any circumstance by having a dictionary on hand.
A set of encyclopedias is a good idea, even if some of the information might be a little outdated. Again, this is about being prepared for not having access to the internet, especially if you anticipate the possibility of not having internet at home. Some families have actually faced this in recent weeks while local libraries have been closed.
Math resources and supplies
Have a good supply of rulers, math charts, and flash cards for use in teaching or reviewing basic math facts. These are important resources to have in stock and at the ready.
It is always good to have a large supply of paper—both printer paper and lined paper—stocked and ready to use. You never know when you might not be able to get your hands on some.
Having extra ink for your printer tucked away is definitely a good idea under any circumstances.
School and craft supplies
Be sure to have plenty of school supplies such as crayons, markers, glue, paint, construction paper, etc. stocked up and ready to use when needed.
Atlas and/or maps
Maps for the walls and a good quality atlas on your bookshelf is extremely important for teaching geography and history.
Lined notebooks and/or copybooks
Have a good stack of notebooks set aside for writing assignments or copy work.
Musical instruments and lesson books
These might not be absolutely essential, but having access to musical instruments and lesson books is a nice thing to have for fine arts studies.
We all have to eat, and cooking is a wonderful learning opportunity for kids. Collect a few cookbooks with kid-friendly recipes in them. Again, Pinterest might not always be available. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some recipes you and your kids can make together at any time?
Consider preparing for your family’s future homeschooling needs by collecting a good supply of these essential resources so you will be ready for any circumstance that comes along.
A few parting words of advice for times when homeschooling might have to look a little different than usual: focus on the basics (reading, writing, and math); rely on hands-on learning (cooking, nature study, arts and crafts); and read a lot of living books (you can cover history, literature, science, etc. just by reading).
We have all seen firsthand that homeschooling sometimes happens under circumstances that are not ideal. Yet, if you are committed to educating your children at home, you can make it happen. Be prepared with these essential resources, and your kids won’t have to miss a beat as your family sails through times of challenge.