Yay!!! There's not much I love more than a bargain, and there's no better place for bargains than the dollar store. Yup, and I found that our local Dollar Tree and Dollar General essential places to find plenty of homeschool supplies and inspiration beyond the obvious things like pencils, paper, and colorful craft supplies. We also have local stores that have a dollar section inside, like: Target, Michael's, and Ben Franklin.
#1. Preschool through Elementary workbooks. These not only have age-appropriate, skill building, activities, but many come in your child's favorite characters. I make black and white copies (see your local office supply store, because it's still way cheaper than using your home printer/copier/scanner). Making copies allows me to use the same pages again for reviewing of skills we need more work on and can be saved for future kids (like the baby in my belly). Shelby now wants to take a folder of worksheets with her everywhere :)
#2. Flash Cards and Learning Card Games. My daughter absolutely loves these. They come in a variety of skills and characters. These are good for reviewing as well and can be a much less structured time. Again, a favorite at our house.
#3. Manipulatives. I have also found counting blocks and sorting shapes, sponge cutouts of letters, numbers, and shapes, as well as foam cutouts of a clock, the human body (only because I loved anatomy in college), the solar system, and lamenated mats with numbers, letters, dinosaurs, and more. So far we haven't used these as much, but mostly because we haven't gotten much past basic counting, shapes, and colors, but I couldn't resist getting them for the future ;)
#4. Teacher Supplies. I'm not sure this is a dollar store staple or just something ours has, but I'm loving it! Everything from bulletin board borders and cutouts to banners, reward stickers, award certificates, and even lesson planning books and grade record books. (My mom was an elementary school teacher before and after our preschool years, and some of my favorite memories are of helping her make decorations and decorate her classroom.) I realize these aren't really essentials for homeschooling, but I like them, and it's a way for us to set up themes and showcase our work that's cheap, easy to use, and fun for Shelby to help with. Plus I can easily switch themes. The only foreseeable problem so far, storage and organizing and only this because I know it will mean more time needed for mommy's planning.
#5. Craft and Scrapbooking Supplies. Not essential either, unless you're like my daughter and love to make things. At a dollar each, I don't feel overwhelmed with the expense and I can do alot more projects in our lessons, which again is Shelby's favorite part!
#6. School Supplies. All the lined writing papers from preschool to high school, folders, binders, markers, crayons, scissors, glue, poster boards (less than $1 each!), construction paper, fat pencils, rulers, and more stickers than ought to be allowed.
All in all, the dollar store is and most likely will be a great source for all our homeschooling needs without bankrupting us! However, one of my favorite things so far about homeschooling so far, is how many things can be done either with what you already have on hand or with little expense and effort.
Happy Homeschool shopping! :D