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  1. #1

    Default What random item(s) has been invaluable to your homeschooling day?

    I love hearing about things that work out for other people that you wouldn't normally think of.

    One random thing that has worked out well for us is a squishy kind of cheap looking toy. When my daughter attended parochial school, her guidance counselor called it a fidget toy. Seems to help my distracted daughter stay on task. Another random item is the kitchen timer. I have a visual timer in my wishlist on Amazon, but just haven't purchased it yet. We use the oven timer almost daily. "When the buzzer goes off, save and quit on your game and get back to schoolwork"!

    I wouldn't have thought when we started homeschooling almost two years ago that a squishy toy and the oven timer would be a big part of our day

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Enlightened JenWrites's Avatar
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    My daughter is a fidgeter/squirmer, too. I have her play with putty while we read aloud so she won't drive me crazy. lol

    My son has a play kitchen with a very small chalkboard on it in his room. After we began learning letters, he started coming to me every few days and asking me how to write various things. I would write whatever he wanted on a Post-It and he would take it to his room and copy it onto his chalkboard, of his own free will and accord. I never tell him to do this or make it a "thing"; I just comply when he asks. He is getting quite good at writing letters this way. My favorite was the night he came to me and said, "How do you spell 'I'm mad'?"
    Kali: 5/03
    J.C.: 8/11
    Homeschooling since: 6/12

  4. #3

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    For me it was a game that I learned when student teaching that was supposed to fill time at the end of class. The teacher picks a topic: birds, things that are hot, things that begin with N, boys names, etc. The kids are supposed to write 10 things and then share their lists. The one with the most unique items wins.

    Both of my sons had issues with brainstorming, so every day for a month or so (starting around 5th grade) I had them write 10 things on a topic. Then, when they were supposed to write something on a school topic, I had them write 10 things they knew, then use those to start their sentences. It really helped to get rid of the writers block that each had.

  5. #4

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    Legos. We've used them for every subject! And, getting NEW kits works as a great reward for getting through things we don't like doing much. But, surprisingly we've used them for letters, reading, phonics, science, math, history, art, even telling time. It's one of those weird things that you don't think will be quite as versatile as they are until you fall into the land of learning on Pinterest and find out just how many things they are good for! Plus, Tech is kinda lego obsessed.

  6. #5

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    We love our WhirleyPop. Watching educational programming seems to go so much easier with a big bowl of popcorn.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Enlightened JenWrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    We love our WhirleyPop. Watching educational programming seems to go so much easier with a big bowl of popcorn.
    SOOOO much easier to sell them on a documentary if there is popcorn and maybe some fruit snacks in play.
    Kali: 5/03
    J.C.: 8/11
    Homeschooling since: 6/12

  8. #7

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    Small whiteboards. My 5yo has vision/fine motor issues and is a perfectionist, so getting him to write on anything on paper is a struggle. Writing on the whiteboard is fun enough, impermanent enough, and easy enough to see that he's never complained.

  9. #8

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    Oh yah, Small White Board is great. I can explain the math concept, we can work through a couple problems, and then no mess, no waste of paper.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  10. #9

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    I would also say the small white boards, I use them all the time and had one of mine doing all her math problems on the white board the last 2 years (not sure if we are ready to switch to paper or not this year). A mistake on the white board is so much easier to fix than on paper. I also use clip boards, my kids love them!

    Another thing I have found is tweaking real games into school games, like printing out phonics cards for Candy Land, making up different rules for Chutes and Ladders where you pull a whatever colored card, and if you spell the word right you get to move, do the math problem correctly and get to move- just cut up paper for each color in these games and instant school-related games!
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  11. #10
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    NM
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    Keeping personal items on their homeschool shelf - like lip balm, nail files, hair ties. Prior to this it seemed like every other day during read aloud someone would ask to go clip a hang nail, get lotion etc. 'real quick' and disappear into the bathroom for 20 minutes.
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

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What random item(s) has been invaluable to your homeschooling day?