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Homeschooling comes with unique challenges, but deciding on classroom materials shouldn’t be one. Whether you chose to be a homeschool teacher or were thrust into becoming one, choosing the best classroom materials for instructing high schoolers can make a world of difference. Between advanced courses, standardized test prep, and electives, there are many subjects to cover.
Before buying your classroom materials, check out your state’s homeschooling requirements to determine what subjects and testing are mandatory. There are often several legal options and paths that you can take with homeschooling, and each state provides different resources to complement the mandated curriculum. Regardless of the route you choose, you’ll have to buy supplies to teach effectively.
Keep reading to discover 12 must-have classroom materials for homeschooling high school students.
Most homeschool teachers use a combination of resources and curriculums to find a design that works best. It’s possible to purchase a premade curriculum plan that will suit your student’s learning style and interest. However, these plans can become expensive, and they may not fit your teaching style.
Instead, you can design your curriculum. There are numerous books and free resources for you to implement. These will ensure your students keep pace with what they’d learn in traditional school. Many of these books include free lesson plans and worksheets you can integrate into your teaching.
A comprehensive curriculum — whether bought or designed — is the most valuable classroom material for homeschooling. As a teacher, it’s a necessity!
Organizers are essential for keeping everything systematic. You’ll need to have a folder for new worksheets, a file for completed projects, and a notebook for keeping track of your lesson plans. Organizers work to keep things separate and orderly. They will help you stay organized even during the most chaotic days.
Choose an organizing system that fits your needs. Maybe it’s a filing cabinet, binders, or plastic tubs. Regardless of what you select, ensure that you have organizers ready for your first school day.
3. Erasable Pens and Pencils
Erasable pens and pencils may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget about them until the start of your school year rolls around. Pencils are great for lesson planning, and you’ll be prepared if the students forget their own.
Erasable pens are life-changing because you can remove mistakes or errors you might have made while grading. They are also a useful tool for students who must use blue or black ink on most exams.
4. Graphing Calculator
As you progress through your high school curriculum, you’ll notice many advanced math courses requiring a graphing calculator. Buying one from the start will give you time to become comfortable with using its functions.
Notecards are multifunctional, and you can apply them to any lesson plan, regardless of grade level.
Activities that utilize notecards include:
- Taking notes
- Writing a speech
- Recording resources and citations
- Providing feedback
- Drawing lessons
- Organizing materials
6. Compass and Protractor
If you plan to teach geometry, a compass and protractor are essential classroom materials. Typically students learn about it in their second year of high school. Still, if they elect to continue with advanced geometry, you may be using these classroom materials for several years.
Whether you choose to purchase a laptop or desktop is your choice. Laptops are portable and lightweight, which is useful if you intend to teach while traveling. In comparison, desktops are often less expensive, and you can update components as they become obsolete.
You’ll need a computer to access online course materials, but it will also simplify the teaching process and reduce paper waste.
You’ll need a printer unless your students will be utilizing a tablet or computer to complete assignments. Choose a machine that prints in color and black and white to produce a variety of products.
Remember to buy extra ink cartridges, as daily printing can use them up fast.
9. Proofreading Software
Most states do not require you to have a bachelor’s degree to become a homeschool teacher. As a result, you might feel better investing in additional proofreading software to critically evaluate your student’s writing. Grammarly, Hemingway, and Wordcounter are examples of free websites that assess writing for repetition, reading level, and grammar.
You can also pay for access to plagiarism checkers like Copyscape.
10. Art Supplies
If you choose a curriculum with a strong emphasis on art, purchasing an art supply set is a must. Present your student with a variety of art supplies so they can explore the field. This range of materials will be useful if they decide to build a portfolio.
If you have room in the budget, consider ordering a digital tablet with an active pen for graphic design courses.
11. Sewing Machine
Home economics or family consumer science courses typically cover life skills like cooking and sewing. Purchase a sewing machine to use for classes on stitching, tailoring, and fashion design. As a teacher, you can decide how much emphasis to put on this course material. If your student is interested in fashion or upcycling, a sewing machine may get heavy use in lessons.
12. Dry Erase Board
A dry-erase board is an essential classroom material if you intend to teach multiple students at once. You can use various colored markers to differentiate subjects, and it is easy to keep clean.
In comparison, chalkboards produce chalk dust, which forms respirable particles that have negative health impacts.
Homeschooling With Ease
With these 12 classroom materials, you can begin homeschooling with ease. High school may include complex lessons, but these items will help you navigate the curriculum with confidence. Set aside a yearly budget to buy supplemental supplies that will harmonize with your lesson plans.