A Food Channel on DSTV recently interviewed several famous chefs and asked,
“What 3 ingredients would you have in your kitchen?“
Most of them stated the obvious – basics such as eggs, milk, pork (as either ham, bacon or meat) and one insisted on the versatility of rice, but several focussed on (what seemed like to me) extravagant non-essentials – condiments, chillies, some obscure nut, spice or sauce.
It got me thinking, “What essential 3 ingredients I would have for homeschooling?”
Would it be the standard basics – open to a hundred different options – or some exotic extravagant items that would make learning unique and unforgettable?
So, at the moment, I would probably chose these basics ~
- my nifty little travel art set
- Notebook with blank pages – nice large A4 hard-covered
- A classic novel to read aloud … or an atlas ( our good old large Reader’s Digest illustrated atlas)
Back in 2007, when we were on the road for 18 months, before buying our farm, and in the ‘dark ages’ before I owned a smart phone, all our children’s homeschool basics fitted in a small onboard-sized suitcase!
This list has more than 3 items , but these basics covered every subject for all 3 children for our entire year-and-a-half travels ~
- Footprints On Our Land (South African literature-based History curriculum – visit their website here. I have used and re-used it and it is an amazing family friendly curriculum!)
- An atlas, our large, blank laminated map to record our Footprints journey, and a mini dictionary
Our “Footprints On Our Land” map filled with our trips in different colours, photos of family and friends and places we visited, and the circular discs for each book we read on our Footprints journey
- Maths books, a calculator, Maths Mini Office and a maths set (protractor, set square and compass)
- An art set (waterpaints, coloured pencils and some felt-tipped pens) to share, and a wad of blank paper
- A “365 Simple Science Experiments” book and a magnifying glass (for nature study)
- A Children’s Bible
- Book of Centuries or a Timeline
- Laminated handwriting chart
Asking my children what they would grab now as their homeschool essentials, Lara (13yrs) said ~
- Pen, pencil and rubber, and a watercolour paint set with waterbrush
- Maths books & Mini Office
- Apologia Astronomy book
and Kate (16yrs) listed ~
- Maths Mini Office
- Black ink pen – for writing and drawing
- Notebook with lined, blank and quad lined pages
Now, as a more techno-savy mom, many of my basics are conveniently available as apps on my smart phone ~
- Kindle – with current ebooks, novels, and pdfs loaded
- Bible – I use You Version, and enjoy the different Bible versions and reading plans and Bible studies. Some good plans for teens and family devotions.
- Dictionary and Thesaurus (download the offline versions)
- Google Translate for 2nd language studies
- World Atlas
- Google Sky Map
- Google calendar
- Music – with our Hymns, Geography Songs, classic music to play in the background
- Timer for Maths drills
What exotic and unusual items would I choose to make our homeschool experience amazing?
- An amazing novel, or beautifully illustrated story book (for younger children)
- A detailed reference book on our current theme/ topic
- A poetry anthology book
When I asked Kate and Lara what special items they would choose ~
- A brilliant book for read aloud (Lara)
- A really good, classic leather-bound, genuine waterpaper sketch book (Kate’s suggestion)
- Good playlist on the shuffle – they love to listen to music while working
What essentials would I choose for young children and kindergarten?
- Unifix cubes (for sorting, counting, grouping, building and Maths)
- Playdough and some cutters, rolling stick and stamps
- Activity bags to rotate each week
- Beautifully illustrated children’s story book and Children’s Bible
- Large jotter for their illustrations and dictated narrations with some chubby crayons and water-based markers.
What essentials would you choose? Please share in the comments.