A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up a post on how to start your homeschooling journey. This week I’m going to give you a list of items that you should probably consider investing in. These things will help you with your homeschool life. Trust me. They will not only help you save money, because let’s be honest, homeschooling ain’t cheap, but it will help you be a little more organized.
Let’s get started shall we?
Become tax exempt.
Let me tell you, I wish I had known about this when I started homeschooling. Seriously. I learned about this a couple of months ago in our co-op meetings. We had a lovely lady from a homeschool store near where we live to come and talk to us about homeschooling and I swear the first thing she started talking to us about is becoming tax exempt. This helps a little bit on how much money you’re spending on your kids’ school supplies. Now obviously, there are restrictions on what you can use your tax id number on, but for the most part you can use on anything that you would use for education.
Going along with this is, once you apply for your tax id number, you can then head on over to Amazon and get enrolled in their tax exemption program. Then anything you buy for your homeschool will have no tax on it!
Online Garage Sales
I love love love online garage sales. You can get some awesome stuff for super cheap. My friend Jennifer introduced me to the curriculum we currently use as well as online garage sales on Facebook that sells said curriculum. I will tell you it is so hard not to buy all the things you need for your school year in one sitting. This will save you a ton of money buying used rather than new.
This is one of those things that I wish I had thought of prior to our homeschool journey started. A laser printer. These bad boys will save you tons and tons of money on “ink” when you’re printing out all the things for your kids for their schoolwork. Laser printers use toner, which uses less “ink” than your inkjet printer. We bought one at the beginning of the year last year and it came with a starter toner cartridge. I printed so many things for two boys’ schoolwork after we hooked it up. We didn’t have to change the toner until November or December last year. That is like 4-5 months worth of printing stuff on top of it.
Anyone who has read my blog in the last couple of years knows that I’m a huge planner girl. I love my Happy Planner. I love it so much that I have 3 of them. One is a personal one, where I keep track of all the things I need to do and events that are going on. The other two are for homeschooling. One for Turbo and one for String Bean. I use them to plan out what things we are going to cover on a weekly basis. It also helps me keep track what pages we’ve done and what lessons we need to do.
Going along with your planner, make up a tentative schedule on how your day is going to go. It doesn’t have to be set in stone because, truthfully, something will come up. You get an important phone call, a project takes longer than expected or you have an appointment. Just have something set up that you’re going to do social studies after the kids do math, which is after lunch.
This is what ours looks like:
I would invest in a really good bookshelf to store all your books that you are going to have that come with your curriculum. We had purchased the Ikea Kallax storage unit for the kids’ overflow of books they weren’t using. It’s great becuase you can either use it as a bookshelf and stack a bunch of books in it, add in some baskets and other things, or you can use it on it’s side and kind of use as a bookshelf and a sideboard. We did the former, and put our printers on top of the unit.
Electric Pencil Sharpener
I was told of this must have for homeschooling in my co-op. I didn’t think of why I would really need one until someone explained it during one of our meetings and it totally makes sense. Kids spend so much time sharpening their pencils to get out of doing work or their pencils are never sharpened. So you take all their pencils and sharpen them before you set out for the day and it’s not a tedious task with an electric one. Another plus is that if you use one of those little plastic ones, you can have the risk of them popping open. This way, the sharpener is on a shelf somewhere and probably will have little chance of the shavings spilling all over the floor.
Get yourself some means of filing important information for your homeschool, if you don’t have some place like a filing cabinet already. You are going to need to have some place to store your kids’ testing results, attendance records (or anything you have to document) and receipts. Why receipts? Because anything you buy for school, you can deduct it from your taxes, up to a certain amount though. We usually keep our receipts (when I remember to save them) in with our tax folder for that year. I’ve already been saving receipts for items for this tax year.
Join A Co-Op
This isn’t really a thing, you have in your home, but I feel like it is necessary. We were not in a co-op up until this last year. And man am I thankful for it. My kids are in “school” for art, gym, and music. Two out of three of those subjects, I would have been somewhat ok attempting to teach my kids but not the other. This way, I can have licensed teachers teach my kiddos that. Plus I can have some parent time with other homeschool moms learning and exploring the homeschool world while they are learning.
I’m sure there are so many more things that make homeschooling easier, but I don’t want this post to be a run-on post. If you have any ideas that you feel should be added, please comment with them below!