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Homeschool Resources You Might Have Missed

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

homeschoolersContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

Whether you’re new to homeschooling or have been doing it for years, you probably know about the materials and resources designed especially for the home school market. And most of those are wonderful. But did you know there are so many more options to add interest and new educational tools to your home school curriculum?

Here are ten home school resources you might have missed, simply because they’re not labeled for for education or schools. Check them out and see if they can work for your school plans this year. (Oh and traditional school teachers might like them, too!)


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10. The world on video

TRAVEL VIDEO STORE Passport to explore videos for teens

Geaography videos made for schools often have two traits in common. They’re boring and they’re out of date. If you want to get your homeschoolers really engaged in learning about different places and different cultures, consider a travel video company instead.

They make sure all of their productions, even the ones focused on kids and teens, are interesting, well-narrated and above all, current. All for about the same price as those (yawn!) “educational” videos.

9. Subliminal learning

girl sleeping on school books

Sometimes the most effective learning comes from the things you don’t hear. Or at least, don’t know you hear. The impact of subliminal learning or “sleep learning” has been known for decades. (And no, it does NOT mean falling asleep on their school books!)

Have you ever considered tapping into that power as a part of your homeschooling program? Programs designed to improve memory, concentration and focus can help with mastery across all subjects. Other subliminal programs help with anxiety, stuttering and fear. And there are even programs to boost learning a new language or improving sports skills.

8. Real weather measurement tools, not toys

weather station

There’s no need for homeschool kids to make due with weather instruments that have more in common with toys than real scientific instruments. Not when complete digital weather stations, or individual digital and analog weather measurement tools are available for under $50.

In some areas, you can even tie your weather station into local or national weather reporting services and become an official weather reporting station! Check with your local broadcasters to see how to participate.

7. Free training from suppliers

before and after car restoration

Companies known for their auto body repair and restoration products, also offer a wealth of information in their free online auto repair library and online video library. A student interested in learning how to restore a damaged car can order the parts they need and learn the techniques all from one website.

If auto repair isn’t your student’s interest, try checking out other suppliers for free learning libraries. You might be amazed at what’s out there.

6. Professional level online courses

woman photographing dog

Did you know that homeschoolers can often take courses designed for professionals in a field?

For instance, if your student is interested in photography, they can by-pass the local co-op classes and instead register for professional level training through organizations. There are similar programs for graphic design, interior design and a host of other areas. Do a search for “online schools {your area of interest}” and see what you find. Most do not have age requirements, and some even offer financial assistance.

5. Plant diversity

woman harvesting food plants

Having a garden is a wonderful way to teach a child about botany, life cycles and ecology. But what if you could mix in lessons about bio-diversity and indigenous food plants from around the world?

Creating a food garden (and then using them to prepare regionally typical recipes from around the world) takes the idea of diversity from theoretical to concrete. Companies are making that possible with their seed projects.

Combine the garden with lessons on the various countries, their cultures, languages and history and watch learning bloom. (Okay, bad pun…but I couldn’t resist!)

4. Pinterest

pinterest logo

Everyone knows Pinterest as the place to go for recipes and home decor ideas. But a few searches will also show that it’s a home schooler’s treasure chest. Within minutes, I had found boards about every country on our list, boards filled with at-home science experiments and boards listing the best art museums, galleries and exhibits for kids and teens in tons of cities. It’s also a wonderful place to look for art projects, math resources, business and management articles and of course, everything for home schooling from printable lessons to record keeping pages.

3. Thrift stores

second hand store

You’ve probably checked out thrift stores for used books, but there is so much more for the home schooler beyond the bookshelf. Old wind up analog clocks make great tools for teaching time skills — and provide an older child a lesson in how gears work. The formal clothing aisle offers a wealth of costume material for staging student-written and directed plays. Used sports equipment lets kids try a variety of sports without buying pricy new racquets, bats, balls and gloves.

Old lamps can become part of a lesson in electricity (kits to rewire lamps are under $5 at most hardware stores.) Random castoff items in metal, wood or plastic can become the base for a new work of art with only some glue and craft paints.

2. Meetup

meetup logo

Meetup.com is a website that lets groups post events and activities happening in a city or town. Some of the groups are for adults, like singles parties. But so many of them are wonderful for homeschooling families. Thanks to Meetup, we have gone on birding hikes, explored ghost towns, met with famous authors, attended the theatre and toured the state capitol building.

There’s no fee to join Meetup (the groups posting do pay a fee), and usually you only pay the actual admission or ticket price if an event has a cost. It’s a wonderful way to meet other people in your community and see things you might otherwise miss.

1. Business training stores

active learning games

Sometimes the tools used by corporate trainers are a wonderful addition to a homeschool program. Quiz spinners and game buzzers can turn ordinary lessons into interactive, engaging learning. Icebreaker games can bring a larger, co-op learning group together faster. And tossables help keep kids focused. Check out education catalogs with an eye for making your homeschool more fun and more effective, too.

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Enrich homeschool learning by stepping outside of the box. The world is your classroom. Enjoy it!

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