Forget that Rainbow Resource catalog! These are honestly the best things to have if you are homeschooling, considering homeschooling or just have children with you in your home at some point in the day.
#1. Ingredients for making chocolate chip cookies – whatever your dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, raw, whatever!) Find a foolproof recipe and always have the ingredients on hand. This can save any day!
#2. Chocolate in the bathroom. I am partial to dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts or almonds. I keep a secret stash in the bathroom. When things are really going south, I excuse myself, close the bathroom door, eat some chocolate, wash my face, sniff some lavender, and close my eyes for a couple of minutes. (Sometimes I repeat these steps a few times). This has helped me get through more than one very bad day. (Thanks to Melisa at Waldorf Essentials!)
#3. Slates and chalk (think Little House on the Prairie). For some reason math problems and spellings words are accomplished much easier this way.
#4. A small bookshelf stocked with great read-alouds. Light a candle and sit down for a good story. I also like to have a few audio books for when I am feeling under the weather.
#5. Candles. I spend an inordinate amount of my homeschooling budget on candles. They make me happy. We light one to start our lesson time, light one for story time, and then again at dinner time. If it is a dreary day, I will light a bunch – it just makes it feel better.
#6. Rubber boots and raincoats. We start every day with a walk, no matter what the weather. These make that possible. Plus my boys always think it is fun to go out in the afternoon in their rubber duds with an umbrella. This gives me a break if the candles aren’t enough.
#7. Good art supplies. I am partial to the German brands (Lyra, Stockmar, etc). These colored pencils, paints and crayons have been well worth the money.
#8. A case of blank art journals. I usually buy mine from jerrysartarama.com
#9. A crock pot, dutch oven or something that can make dinner while you do something else.
#9b. A Kitchen Aid mixer. Makes #1 super easy. I use mine everyday for countless things. (See photo above.)
#10. Beanbags. We use ours almost everyday. They make practicing math facts fun.