5 Homeschool Items Worth Investing In

Thrift Schooling


When I first began homeschooling shortly after the 2008 recession, my friend and I would tease each other about our tight budgets. We would laugh and say we knew things were tight if we couldn't afford to buy paper towels. That was our gauge! Still makes me laugh. The economy has gone up since then, and fortunately so has my homeschooling budget—and yes, paper towels are currently in my kitchen! In the early years of homeschooling I would thrift EVERYTHING—hence my blog, Thrift Schooling. As time moved on, I began to see what was worth investing money in and what wasn't. I am going to share with you five homeschool items worth spending money on and why you should.

                                  Homeschool Items Worth Investing In

1. An EcoTank Printer: At this stage in my homeschool we own two. One in the computer lab (AKA basement) for the teens as they do most of their own work, and one for me as I print out materials for my early elementary-aged kids. We have found the Epson EcoTank wireless color printer to be the absolute best. What makes the EcoTank printer stand out from the rest is how long it last in between refills. With every other printer I feel like I am always purchasing new cartridges. With this type of printer, you pour in the ink into an inkwell and it last for months, sometimes up to a year, even with heavy use. I print hundreds of full color pages for my elementary aged kids and I am impressed with the quality every time. You don't see those strange lines that show up with inkjet printers and they seemingly last forever. It is worth the cost, which in the long run really isn't that much.

2. An Automatic Pencil Sharpener: Those tiny handheld ones in cute shapes and sizes that appeal to the kids simply don't measure up. They take forever and do not provide a decent point for your kids to write with, which is important in their formative years as they are learning to write. I was the mom who just let my kids use pens when their pencils broke because I didn't want to break the bank and buy an electric sharpener. Once my kids started using their pocket knives to sharpen their own I knew those little plastic ones wouldn't cut it anymore. Something had to give. Having an automatic pencil sharpener on hand helps the homeschool day go so much smoother!

3. A Picnic Table: Of course any outdoor seating would do. Patio furniture, lawn chairs, or even hammocks. I prefer having a picnic table because when we want to take school outdoors, we can all fit around the picnic table. What a wonderful change of scenery! I am blessed to have wooded area on our property, so ours is nestled in the shade, perfect for studying birds or wildlife. Of course sometimes I just take the kids regular coursework outside and let them work in nature. They love it!

4. Online Help: So much is available online for homeschooling—take advantage of it. For some of my kids I outsource math. You would think that cost would be a factor, but when you realize what you can gain and how much time and emotional stress you are saving yourself if you struggle to teach higher level math, then it is worth every penny. Focus on the subjects that you love to teach and don't be afraid to set aside some money for a course or two a year outside of your wheelhouse. It might seem like a lot at first but it actually might save you money if you are the type of person to try one curriculum after another once you find that one doesn't work.

5. Tablets: People don't believe my three teens when they tell them they don't own a cell phone. Especially my teen that is now driving. They look at them cross-eyed or think they are lying. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I learned to drive without a cell phone, my kids can too. There are plenty of people in the world willing to help if you break down and of the few times that I broke down as a teen without a phone, the Lord always made a way in a way only He can. That said, certain homeschool tasks and programs are done more efficiently online, some things that a desktop won't help with. Purchasing a tablet helps to provide the same ease as a phone would but in a way that we can monitor since we only allow it to be used in the home.

What do you think is a homeschool must that new homeschoolers should invest in?

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