Homeschool Materials We Wish We'd Had In The 1990s

I homeschooled my daughter back in the 1990s

homeschool picnic

I homeschooled my daughter in the mid-1990s. Today she is a well-adjusted mom of four, who now homeschools her own children.

Back then, there were quite a few books available for homeschooling families, but nothing at all like the almost limitless supply of creative items available now.

As far as creative supplies to use in our homeschooling, there was a certain amount available, but the sheer variety of materials available today is mind-boggling.

If I still had children to buy homeschool books and materials for, I'd feel like a kid in a candy shop trying to decide among all the wonderful things available.

This page is a collection of books and materials I wish would have been available back in the 1990s.

Photo courtesy of whgrad on Flickr

Books for homeschoolers

Here are a few books that I wish I could have read back when we were homeschooling-- everything from living with less clutter, to allowing your child to explore his or her own interests, instead of sticking to a rigid schedule.

The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start
Linda Dobson $15.41

The first year I homeschooled my daughter was a bit like groping in the dark. There weren't a lot of other homeschoolers around who could answer questions and share tips. I could have used a book like this.

Homeschool Your Child for Free: More Than 1,400 Smart, Effective, and Practical Resources for Educating Your Family at Home
LauraMaery Gold $16.24

Homeschool families tend to live on extremely tight budgets. Many times, a mother has left her job to stay home and teach her children. The loss of one income makes the budget even tighter. Though there are certain costs associated with homeschooling, it doesn't have to be EXPENSIVE. I would have liked to have had this book on my bookshelf for ideas when we were homeschooling.

How to Get Your Kids to Get Things DONE! (Easy Homeschooling Book 2)
Jim Erskine

As any homeschooling family knows, it can be a challenge to keep the children focused on their schoolwork, instead of procrastinating with their assignments while they find ten other things to do. I wish this book had been available when I homeschooled my daughter. I especially like to see books that include "easy" in their titles.

Homeschooling for the Rest of Us: How Your One-of-a-Kind Family Can Make Homeschooling and Real Life Work
Sonya Haskins $13.92

Back in the 90s, homeschool was just starting to catch on again, and many people didn't hesitate to lecture you on the "damage" you'd be doing to your children if they didn't attend the public school. This looks like an encouraging book that I could have used back then, as I had to navigate the waters of "defending" our homeschool choice to those who didn't agree with me.

The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
Mary Griffith $15.26

Most of us know that children learn better when they're interested in the subject matter. As more of a laid-back homeschooler myself, I would have enjoyed reading this book that encourages parents to allow their children to explore their own interests, rather than constantly worrying about sticking to a sometimes-rigid homeschooling schedule.

Creative homeschool materials

Back in the 90s, a lot of us made our own supplemental learning materials. Today the number of items available to help you teach your children is amazing.

Smethport Tabletop Magnetic Sentence Builders
Patch Products $16.19

How fun, for both parent and child, to put away the paper and pencil and use these magnets to learn how to build and structure sentences. The more of a game it seems, the longer you'll be able to hold your child's attention.

Learning Resources Calendar and Weather Pocket Chart
Learning Resources $42.06

What a fun way to learn about both the calendar and the weather. Everything is all in one place, and you don't even have to make your own cards!

Math Blaster Prime Adventure NDS
Majesco Sales Inc. $13.00

My grandson always enjoyed playing math games on my computer when he was younger. I know my daughter would have enjoyed doing math exercises on this Nintendo DS game rather than having to do them in her boring old math workbook.

2012 Switched on Schoolhouse Civics Elective for Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 SOS, CD-ROM
Alpha Omega Publications

When we homeschooled, everything was pretty much paper and pen with a textbook, or doing exercises in a workbook. Civics seems to be sorely lacking in the public schools these days, but how convenient it would have been to teach civics to my daughter using this set. I know that the Switched On Schoolhouse is a popular and excellent aid to homeschooling families, so I'm sure this CD set would be something I would have liked to have had available to us back in the 90s.

SmartLab Toys Squishy Human Body
M.D. Lucille M. Kayes $23.98

This looks like it would have been just plain fun and interesting to use in learning about the human body.

So what do you think?

People tend to feel very strongly one way or the other

Which is better?

Enter the characters shown in the image.


Writer beckyf says "Homeschool!"

Public school

And just for fun...

These homeschool designs are all 100% guaranteed. If something catches your eye, simply click on the image to see it larger, or to order for your own homeschooling family.

How to set up for a homeschool day

The mom on this three and a half-minute video shares how she makes sure to start the homeschooling day on the right foot in a relaxed and unstressed way by setting up her teaching supplies for each child the night before. 

Did you ever homeschool any of your children?


25 leaves
17 forum posts
Lorna on said:
We are homeschooling our daughter and we love seeing her progress every year.

Add new comment