This week’s 10 in 10 theme is, “Your top 10 must have items”.

When it comes to our unschooling life, what are the things that we consider essential to learning?  What do you consider “must have” for your homeschool?

1. Art & Craft Supplies

If you were to walk into our home on any given day, you will more than likely encounter one of us creating some kind of art or handicraft.  The arts are big in our house.

Over 3/4 of our bookshelf space is dedicated to art & craft supplies.

Some of the supplies I consider essential:

  • A good set of watercolor paints
  • Colored pencils
  • Beads and jewelry making supplies
  • colors, markers, pencils, pens
  • Duct tape (Raven makes wallets and other crafts with it)
  • Air dry clay

2. Computers

This one is kind of a no-brainer.  Computers are the best tools for unschooling!  I use funny videos and interesting websites to spark my kids’ curiosity about different topics I think they might like.

The girls each have their own computer that they use to play games, research ideas, connect with friends, and learn with.

3. Bible Study Tools

We love studying the Bible together as a family, so having good Bible study tools is important to us.  We love our Narrated Bible in Chronological Order and our Wonder Story Book for the younger kids.

4. A Place to Enjoy Nature

When we are not on our computers or making art, I need a place where I can kick the kids outside for some fresh air!

Having a backyard where my kids can play, explore, and experience nature is an essential on my list.

5. Kid-friendly Food

A LOT of learning happens in the kitchen.  I want to make sure that my kids feel comfortable with preparing and cooking food for themselves because it provides self sufficiency and valuable math and thinking skills.

I make sure to stock plenty of appealing, easy to prepare foods- and make sure my kids are aware that they can utilize the kitchen.  Some of their favorite items to prepare are scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, fruit smoothies, frozen fruit treats, and of course pb&j’s.

6. Games

Games add quality family time, plus they spice up life!  We love every kind of game in our family. And what is not to love when they foster math, critical thinking, language skills, reasoning, problem solving, and sportsmanship!

7. Paper!

Paper gets its own category on this list.  We love paper!

  • Watercolor paper
  • Sketch books
  • Journals
  • Printer paper
  • Notebooking pages
  • Recycled paper
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Old magazines and calendars
I could go on and on!

8. Camera

Unschooling doesn’t always lend itself to easy academic recording.  I don’t have neat plans that say what we will be learning and from what resources.

That is why I have a camera– to capture the learning moments so we have proof that the kids are progressing.

9. Audio Books

When I am too tired to read to the kids at bedtime, we turn on an audio book.  When we ride on long trips in the car, audio books keep us entertained and give us something to discuss.  The girls would not have heard half the literature they did if it were not for audio books!

10. An Over-sized, Well-worn Table

When everyone in the family has their own interests, hobbies, pursuits, and schedules, the one thing that can bring them all together is a place to work at.  I love having a big table because it is the only place in our house where we have room to paint, sew, lay out card decks we are working on, build legos without brother destroying them, and more.

Our table brings us together, and so I consider it a foundational part of our learning adventure.

Please consider linking up with us over at Many Little Blessings and share your top ten list.

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16 Responses to My 10 Essential Items for Unschooling

  1. Mary says:

    I love your list. Especially the oversized table 🙂

  2. I love, love, LOVE your list! I’m a wanna-be unschooler and we do try to just let it happen when it does. Games are great! Camera? Yes! Art supplies? I’m not so great in that area but we’re working on it. Can I homeschool at your house? 😉 Thanks for visiting my blog this morning.

    • Aadel says:

      Raven has plunged me into the world of art supplies! I love crafts and sewing, but art was a whole new adventure for me. 😉

  3. Aww, man, now I have ANOTHER thing I want my “What Aadel said” button for! 🙂 I’m going to do mine this evening… and it sure does sound a lot like yours! I am super-jealous of your big table, though; ours is only that big if we put the leaf in, and we can’t keep it in because you can’t really walk around it if you do 🙂

  4. Ginny says:

    Excellent list of must haves. We’re the same as you are about the audio books. Without them I think my kids would have missed out on some of the best literature there is. Thanks for sharing. Be Blessed.

  5. Aadel – I really like this list, especially the last two. I don’t know what we would do without audio books, either. And, the oversized table – you’re so right!!!

  6. Ann says:

    Great list! That sounds like a lot like our home too! Art supplies and paper have their own shelves here as well. You have an interesting variety of dice. Haven’t seen several sets you have – very intriguing!

    • Aadel says:

      Ann-

      Dice sets : Rory’s Story Cubes, Koplow Jumbo Polyhedral Dice Set, and Zombie Dice (horrible name I know but the game is fun- kind of like Farkle)

      We are dice nerds! ;0)

  7. Aadel, I love the photo of the girls at the table! I can see that your homeschool is lively and lots of fun! You might like my top 10 list, too:
    http://classicalscholar.com/celebrate-ten-must-haves-homeschool-parties/
    Fondly,
    Diane

  8. Susan says:

    I love this list! Reading your items made me realize that I’d forgotten to put many of them on my list 🙂

  9. Amber says:

    “An oversized, well-worn table.” I just got chills..
    I want an oversized table, so, so bad. I’m going to build myself one someday…

  10. I need to do more record keeping with the camera. We’re not unschoolers, but I still totally need to keep more records like that. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. sheri says:

    My kids are just starting to get into audio-books. They love them! We find them not only enjoyable, but relaxing. Can you recommend some good ones? My kids are 5, 2, and 2.

    • When mine were little, they loved these audiobooks and recordings:

      Kiddie Records Weekly – free and a great place for toddlers

      Storynory – another great free site

      Jim Weiss recordings – these cd’s are great. We especially like the American Tall Tales

      My kids also loved Hank the Cowdog on audio. They didn’t enjoy reading them, but the audio was done by the author and is so hilarious! My son is 2 and he likes Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Winnie the Pooh, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

  12. […] home – a former golf course turned into a walking trail! I’m totally stealing this from Aadel’s list (I joke that I should sometimes have a “What Aadel Said” button), but being outdoors is […]

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