So the kind of cool thing about our radical unschooling lifestyle is that we require very little in the way of traditional “school supplies.”
Sure, we have notebooks and pens. There’s the occasional binder. But really, our must-have items focus on some different areas, like technology, travel and toys.
Today, as part of an iHomeschool Network series on homeschooling must-haves, I thought I’d round up some of the things that we do need to make our life – and our learning – happen. (You can read more about our “Top 10” in this 2012 post, as well!)
- Our Netflix subscription: This is HUGE. From Mythbusters to Star Trek to Mission: Impossible and more, we use movies as a huge part of our learning experience. Some are more “educational” than others, but to us, there’s something to learn from and talk about it all of them.
- Laptops and phones: Here’s where we connect with other humans. Yes, we have “real-life” friends, but we just as often connect through gaming and chatting (World of Warcraft and Minecraft for Sarah, Facebook games and groups for me). This is also our primary way of answering all the questions that come up day in and day out, like how lightbulbs make light or how the fridge icemaker works.
- Video-game systems: We’re big fans of learning through video games. We also just plain enjoy them, whether it’s rocking out as a family to Guitar Hero or working through a challenge in Assassin’s Creed.
Our family field trips are pretty much the highlight of our years. We’ve gone to Philadelphia and Jim Thorpe, as well as dozens of smaller places, here in Pennsylvania. Most recently, we went to the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., which was phenomenal!
But travel isn’t just field-trippy stuff. It’s spending our days hanging out in our town’s antique stores and bookshops and video-game stores. It’s going out to dinner at new restaurants and talking to people along the way at all of these places.
This is a top-10 list in itself! We’re huge fans of learning through playing, and some of our best times have come from the toys that have lasted us into Sarah’s teenage years.
Some other favorites
I think I could list dozens and dozens of must-haves, from our local libraries and parks, to any number of books or websites, to our county 4-H program, to ANYTHING to do with animals, to art supplies, to time! You can read more about some of those here, if you’re so inclined. And if you’re interested in some of the things we’re hoping to get for future use, Sarah’s wishlist is a pretty fun look at what we have our eye on!