school supplies

Fun Posters for Your Homeschool Rooms

Maybe it's just me, but winter always seems like a fun time to spruce up the old school room (or living room or back porch or hallway). We've rounded up some delightfully nerdy posters to give your space a little lift.

Full of wacky examples, passionate about things like the difference between they're, there, and their, and illustrated by images like barfing pandas, the Oatmeal Grammar Pack posters may not be for everyone. But they're hilarious and packed with truly useful information for growing writers.


Fun Posters for Your Homeschool Rooms

I love the gorgeous DNA Double Helix print from Grammatical Art, but you can also find cool dinosaur prints, playful grammar posters, and other science artwork in this shop.


Fun Posters for Your Homeschool Rooms

Outmane Amahou's minimalist graphic prints condense the history of art to a few indelible images. There's a pretty healthy roster of options, so you can put together a wall to go with your art history studies.


Fun Posters for Your Homeschool Rooms

This groovy space alphabet by Fifty Five Hi's has tons of information and cool, vintage schoolroom style. The shop's Dino Alphabet is also pretty fab.


More inspirational than informational, the Be Radical poster by Ink & Sword makes science look good.


One of the most stylish anatomical posters out there, this typographic diagram of the heart by Ork Posters is a great science poster when your schoolroom is also your dining room.


I have a weakness for British history, so I am a little obsessed with this Kings and Queens of Britain poster by Supertogether.

52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 12: Upgrade Your Pen

52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 12: Upgrade Your Pen

In general, buying something new isn’t the most effective way to boost your happiness. But we make an exception for new writing implements, which can make everything from making flashcards to taking notes to writing papers feel a lot more fun. These are some of our favorites:

  • Lamy Safari fountain pens make you want to use your best handwriting—and you can probably find one in your favorite color.
  • You don't have to save the budget-friendly Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens for a special occasion.
  • Doodlers will love the super-sharp points and fade-resistant ink of the Sakura Pigma Micron pens.
  • Zebra Telescopic Brights fold down to a tiny size, so they're perfect for nature journaling and backseat script-writing sessions.
  •  Mirado Black Warriors sharpen and erase beautifully, making them our favorite everyday pencils.
  • Watermelon- and cinnamon-scented pencils may seem a little wacky, but Smencils are awesome.
  • My friend Shelly turned me on to the Pilot G2, which is the perfect pen to use when you’re commenting on essays. (I like the green one.)
  • The Lamy Logo Multi-Color Ballpoint pen is like the cool four-color pen you had in 4th grade but so, so much better.
  • The Palomino Blackwing is probably our new favorite pencil. It’s not cheap but it lasts forever if your kids are out of the lose-all-the-pencils stage. Plus you can easily replace worn-out erasers!

What are your favorite writing implements? Please share in the comments!

Your mission this week: Buy a writing utensil that you really love. (If you want to set it aside to tuck into somebody’s stocking, we support that; otherwise, start using it today! Why do we so often set aside the nice stuff “for later” instead of enjoying it now?)

Our Favorite Homeschool School Supplies

Homeschooling is more fun with new school supplies! Here's a roundup of some of our favorite homeschool gear

Suzanne and I are talking about back-to-school season in the latest episode of the podcast, so naturally school supplies came up. It seemed like the perfect time to share some of our favorite homeschool supplies. Share your faves in the comments!

Parts of this were originally published in the winter 2015 issue of home | school | life, but we’ve updated and expanded it a bit since we’ve got school supplies on the brain this time of year.

Amy’s Homeschool Budget: August and September

Really useful actual dollars and cents breakdown of one homeschooler's budget for classes, curriculum, supplies, etc. #homeschool

My ankle tragedy may have made me slack about posting my August budget, but it certainly didn’t make me slack about stocking up on school stuff. I’m lumping my August and September purchases together in this post so that I can catch up. You'll notice that paper is something I splurge a bit on—it's one of my little homeschool luxuries, and I like having the good stuff to work with. Usually I would have spent a much bigger chunk of my budget at this point, but we decided to forego official classes this fall (see below).  

  • 12 Miller’s Notesketch books, which we go through like candy. I love that half the page is lined and the other page is blank—perfect doodling while writing or taking notes.
    12 @ $3.99 each = $47.88
  • 2 Bare Book bundles, which are beloved by my children. (Two of them are already in progress—a book containing the perfect Pokemon team and a story about a bird who is afraid of heights.) The packs come with three big and three small blank books, which seems to be a good variety for us.
    2 @ $19.99 each = $39.98
  • 5 Create-a-Cover Sketchbooks—I really love the paper quality of these and have been known to steal one from the shelf for my own personal use. We use them for art—the pages are sturdy enough for light watercolors and acrylic painting or for collage or just for drawing.
    5 @ $3.99 each = $19.95
  • 12 Palomino Blackwing Pencils, as part of our continuing quest to find the perfect pencils. (These were pricey, but so far, they are definitely the best in terms of holding their points, especially for writers who tend to break into artwork mid-paragraph.)
    $23 for 12 = $23
  • 3 packs of Oxford multi-color index cards for Latin vocabulary cards. We use different colors for the different parts of speech, which is handy when we want to do a quick declension drill.
    3 100-card packs @ $5.49 each = $16.47
  • Annual membership to our homeschool group. (The price increase for classes this year meant that we couldn’t afford to sign up for classes, so my daughter opted to sit in on my publishing class and my son is “auditing” Philosophy for Kids, which is conveniently taught by my best friend. It’s possible that we could have figured something out cash-wise, but with my unexpected broken ankles, we decided to just sit this term out. We’ll sign up for “real” classes during the January term.)
  • Independent reading books from our library’s book sale—I picked up 30 new-to-us books (including three Edward Eagers, David Macaulay's Castle, and Five Little Peppers and How They Grew) for super-cheap.

Total spent inAugust/September: $232.28
Total spent this year to date: $391.28
Total budget for the 15-16 school year remaining: $3,409

Total budget for the 15-16 school year: $3,800
(You can read more about our budget breakdown here.)