Few words get a homeschool mom as excited as "school supplies". Now add on "sale", "quality", or "organization" to those magical two words and we get downright giddy. Solid school supplies bless our homeschool by keeping us organized and in the long run saving us time and money. Let's not overlook the short run effect of our days being made easier.
The Desk Apprentice
Some time ago, I asked for help from my readers on my Facebook page. I remembered seeing a product and could not remember the name. I did my best to describe it and thankfully someone knew exactly what I intended: The Desk Apprentice. I have coveted this little beauty for a few years. Before the Desk Apprentice, I would gather the day's school work and supplies and drop in the middle of my dining room table. By the end of the day my table would look like the aftermath of an atomic bomb. Pens scattered, papers torn, post notes like ricochet covered different areas, while I stood in the middle and wondered how it all happened. Clean up was a pain but it was the only way to uncover the survivors of the weckage. Not having to worry about bombs or extensive clean up made this little organizing tool one of my all time favorite school supplies.
It rotates a complete 360 degrees. The size is just right for daily needs at 11"H x 16" W x 16"D. I fit three kids' daily assignments along with my planner and teacher materials. I can hardly believe that my planner is within reach. Most of the time I have no idea where it spends its days.
Expanding Folding Crate on Wheels
I know you are wondering why any person would need such a contraption. Do not dismiss this versatile, back saving, cart just yet. I didn't think I needed on either. I took the advice of a reader and decided to give this a whirl. I discovered it was the one thing I never knew I needed. You see in my homeschool, we are hardly ever home. School is often on the go and that means lugging around a ton of school books and projects. I normally priortized and spread things out among the kids to carry. However, the Expanding Folding Crate on Wheels, makes school on the go so much easier. The crate can carry up to 70 pounds and the wheels mean you never have to feel an ounce of it. My eight year old can wheel it around easily. My teenage boy encouraged his four year old sister to take a ride in it. While it withstood the ride to the car, it is not intended to be a stroller. Are you still wondering what you would do with it? Take it to the library, homeschool conventions, garage sales, flea markets, farmers markets, or to the park filled with school work for a fun day learning outside. It lays flat so you can always have it available in your car or store it anywhere.
Apple Wireless Keyboard
I purchased an iPad for my homeschool about a year ago. I cannot say enough amazing things about it and neither can my children. I bring it everywhere making every drive, waiting room, or park a classroom. We also conduct school on our porch and backyard. My smaller kids use apps most of the time and hardly noticed the need for a keyboard. Yet, my older kids and I often found ourselves wishing the iPad came with a small keyboard. I tried to fill the need by purchasing a case that had a keyboard attached. The keyboard was cheap plastic with sticky keys. The size was too big and too small at the same time. I am quite certain this is now Thumbelina would feel if someone handed her a cell phone and told her to text. I restrained myself throwing it in the street and calmly returned it to the store. My genuis husband told me about the Apple Wireless Keyboard. I reminded him that I had an iPad not a Mac desktop. The look on his face reminded me why I defer to him when it comes to technology. Once again, my husband was right. The keyboard is the perfect size and construction. It is lightweight and portable. It connects in seconds via Bluetooth. My teenage daughter now prefers to use the iPad with the keyboard. If truth be told..so do I. Not only does it make typing easier, but you can set your iPad up on a table and sit on your couch and type. The keyboard gave me the ability to set up the iPad for my 8 year old to see while I typed and controlled the screen during a lesson. I felt so techy and smart. It's iLove.
Bonus Item: Educational Materials from Staples
It may not qualify as a supply but it is worth mentioning. You see, I knew I could get the Desk Apprentice at Staples because no one else has it. I knew Staples could fill my supply shevles with pens, paper, binders, printers, and thumbdrives. But low and behold they can also tempt me with educational materials like Listening Lotto. Listening Lotto is a fun game to encourage reading. Players listen to a CD and place a token on the corresponoding word on their card. It is played similar to bingo except you must fill your entire card to win. It is a great way to begin or end your reading lessons. Among Listening Lotto, you will find plenty of other reading games, math games, math manipulatives, test preps, teacher resources, Christian resoucre books, and activity books in a variety of subjects. Whew! I almost ran out of breath. Talk about a one stop shop for classroom supplies and educational materials! Did you know Staples carried so much for your homeschool?
Full disclosure: Staples.com provided me with these products for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of HP Printers online.