Homeschool Classroom Checklist
Now that you’ve decided you’re going to homeschool your children, you’ll need a classroom, or at least a reasonable facsimile. I don’t mean to suggest you use the guest bedroom or empty out the garage. Most people use the kitchen or dining room table as a desk for both the teacher and their children. What I do suggest is that you get some kind of portable wagon so you can store your frequently used materials in one place. Space is often at a premium in the homeschool classroom, so you’ll need something convenient and easy to transport. When you’re ready to set up your supplies for the day, it’ll be so much easier if you have everything in one place. When school is over, you can put everything back in the cart and take it out of the kitchen.
You probably don’t want your company sitting in the middle of your classroom. You will also need a portable board or white board to illustrate lessons and demonstrate difficult concepts. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend a whiteboard. Chalk dust is too messy for your house. A whiteboard is much cleaner and easier to use. You can get a small folding white board at any good stationery store.
First of all, forget about lunch boxes and backpacks. That is unless you plan on spending a lot of time on field trips with your kids, and you probably don’t even need the backpacks.
Here is a checklist, in no particular order, of some of the things you may need on your “first day” of homeschooling. I know you may have most of them somewhere in the house, but get them all in one place so you don’t have to interrupt your lessons to find them.
A trash can, cheap enough and you can always hide your mistakes 🙂
Separate work tables for you and your children. This is the ideal but you can only use your kitchen table.
A file cabinet: You will need to keep records, file away lesson plans, tests, your syllabus, report cards, and health records. You will also need a bookstore.
A computer with DSL Internet access or a dial-up connection if DSL is not available in your area.
Have a wall calendar to schedule your monthly activities, holiday events, and group activities with your homeschool association and other homeschooling parents.
Pens, pencils and erasers.
Children in grades 4-8 will need composition notebooks and spiral notebooks or a three-ring binder. Get some pocket folders too.
Elmer’s glue, crayons and colored pencils.
Organizers, such as small pencil holders, rubber bands, and paper clips to separate everything and keep things close at hand and in order.
Get a milk carton for each of your homeschoolers so they have their own space to store their schoolwork.
Two illuminators, one light and one dark.
Index cards and a 12-inch ruler.
A good hand held pencil sharpener with two different sized holes. You will be using it all the time.
Wide-leaf loose-leaf paper for writing teaching materials and compositions.
You must have your own homeschool stationery. Select a name for your school, such as “Smithfield School”, “Homeschool Preperatory School”, or use your own name or the street name with “academy” or “preparatory school” at the end. Use your imagination and let the children help too.
Once you have the name of your school, you can make your own homeschool letterhead in your word processor. Then save it to your hard drive so you can use it for all your correspondence. Put it on your letterhead and make name cards for your children. Do a good job of preparing these items and include photos for photo ID. You’ll want them to look their best, so get help from family and friends if you need it. Buy some laminating supplies and laminate your ID cards with your homeschooler’s photo to give them some legitimacy. Don’t forget to make one for yourself. They may need badges for admission to school basketball and soccer games, maybe even the library. Many of the school supply stores you shop at will ask for a school ID to get discounts and giveaways at the store.
Most major stationery stores have specials for teachers, usually in August at the end of summer vacation.
Staple Teacher Appreciation Day is an annual event. which can save you some money. They also have a Teacher Rewards program that will give you up to 5% off purchases and free delivery. This can be a nice savings and free delivery is certainly a benefit to save you time.
These are recommended items that you should consider having. If you live in a log cabin like Abe Lincoln did, you may have to make do with what you have. But Abe did good, didn’t he?
Lincoln was one of the original homeschoolers.