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Homeschool Resources - They're All Around Us

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By Beverly S. Krueger

When I first began homeschooling there were so many things to get that often our budget for homeschool supplies ran short before our wish list ended. I've put together a short list of readily available, inexpensive substitutes I've discovered over the years. Often they were actually far better than an expensive version.

Math Manipulatives

When teaching time to your children, get one of those "We'll be Back at" clocks available at most office supply stores. You don't need a big teaching clock like you'll find at an educational supply store. The version I have is about 4 inches square which is the perfect size for one on one use.
Counters - almost anything can be used as counters for counting and sorting. Lego blocks work really well because the come in different colors and sizes. Milk jug lids, dried beans, M&Ms---are a few other suggestions.

Science Equipment

Wal-Mart, Target and other similar department stores often have an annual dollar days sale where they offer an assortment of different products like measuring cups, spatulas, scrubbing pads and the like. These sale items are cheap which makes them perfect for beginning science equipment. Rather than use the utensils you cook with, you can have an entire set of science measuring cups, mixing bowls and spoons.
Hand lens. Sold at most office supply stores, a magnifying glass won't replace a microscope, but when funds don't allow the purchase of a microscope a hand lens can still provide a lot of scientific investigation.

Literature

Classic literature can be found in paperback format for as little as $.50 a copy if you keep your eyes open. In the past I've purchased classics like Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped at Wal-Mart in special editions published especially for Wal-Mart and sold for 2 for $1.

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