The Happy Haul/Gathering Resources

I am a big fan of doing the research first, and shopping later.  This doesn’t mean that I can resist the impulse-buy from time-to-time.  Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum has been helpful in deciding where to begin, as far as specific curriculum is concerned.  After being in a community and seeing other moms who homeschool, I also get a lot of curriculum ideas from word-of-mouth.  My brick and mortar go-to shop for resources is The Homeschool Gathering Place.  All of the other resources I buy online.  Here are some of the websites where I have bought resources that could be considered one-stop shopping sites. 

For Our New School Year Shopping List

Rainbow Resource (competitive pricing with Amazon and other online retailers, pricing is held for the life of the catalog, great selection, variety of products, longevity of business since 1989, free consulting, fast delivery and free on orders over $50. variety, seasonal bargains (their 99 cents sale was in April and I got some biographical flipbooks on people of the Bible to look at with the kids), and they offer a lot of different types of homeschool resources, including the one below.

The Homeschool Compass I just discovered this webpage on  It looks like a lot of people have worked on curating a few topical studies that we could use with our children during Morning Time.  Seasonal resources include (for SPRING, as an example): spring nature study printables, spring booklist, free printable Easter activity book, Father’s Day card and suncatcher craft, ladybug color mixing activity, Memorial Day Unit Study & poppy craft, free Mother’s Day poetry tea time guide, free Mother’s Day card and Eric Carle-inspired craft.

Well-Trained Mind  The book, The Well-Trained Mind, has proven very helpful to me starting out along the classical education trail.  I also glean a lot from the free PDFs for which they allow access via their website and their articles, blogposts, videos, etc.  There are multiple support communities a homeschool parent can join via Well-Trained Mind, under their “Community” tab.  There is a lot to this site, so I recommend sitting down for a while to peruse it.

Simply Charlotte Mason Among their podcast and videos, the Simply Charlotte Mason website offers organization tools, articles, and curriculum they developed for purchase.  They even have a CM organizer , which I have not used (yet), but looks enticing for record-keeping and planning.  Simply Charlotte Mason offers the Charlotte Mason methodology in practical application! We love Simply Charlotte Mason’s Picture Study Portfolios.

Marcy Cook Math This is a vestige of my public school teaching days.  I love Marcy Cook’s games that encourage mathematical thinking.  Nobody is too young to begin thinking algebraically, either.  One of my favorites is “Turn Over Tiles to Find ‘X’”. 

Classical Conversations We use the materials we know we need for the year, and I usually try to purchase them when they offer a sale (usually in spring) for the upcoming cycle.  Maps, timeline cards, and CDs are the main resources we have purchased for each cycle.  Find a community using their Community Search tool.  If there is anything “extra” I think we need, I usually look to Classical Conversations Connected first, before going to the CC online bookstore.  For $6/month, you have access to thousands of files CC community members have uploaded.  Some of these are better than others, but it is a great starting point.  For the past two years, I have downloaded flipbooks for memory work from CC Connected.  It is worth a look in the “File Sharing” tab, accessed by way of the Learning Center.  There are other services offered through CC Connected, as well, including a forum and tutorials. 

Heart of Dakota The Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum is a unit study that meshed well with CC Cycle 3 and the American History we learned this year.  I incorporated many elements in our Morning Time since they would only require 5 to 10 minutes a day.  For example, the poetry, Bible study, and song for each week are included in our Morning Time.  In the afternoons, we would use the geography, history, art, and science activities which rotates daily.  

From their website: Featuring open-and-go daily plans, engaging books, and fun activities with God’s Word at the heart, our award-winning curriculum will take you all the way from preschool through high school. With Heart of Dakota, you’ll love learning again.”

The Lord is your shield. When the Spanish pioneers were afraid on the stormy seas, they cried out to God, just like King David did in Psalm 18:1-6. Unit 1, Day 5 Art (Heart of Dakota: Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory)

I am not exaggerating when I say this curriculum saved me a lot of time, and I trusted the methods and content.  In other words, it was good for all of us.  I have LOVED learning alongside my son.

An Eclectic (Heavily Charlotte Mason) Homeschool: New School Year Shopping List

As you probably know by now, I like to place a feast of ideas in front of my children (and myself, because… who doesn’t like to eat and try new foods?).

A new school year is encouraging me SHOP my HOUSE first! Did you know that if you present something you already have in a new way, it can almost feel new? Yes! Try it!

Nonetheless, for homeschooling families looking for a comprehensive back-to-school list with categories, I have made y’all a list. I have thought through our homeschool day. I know what I want my kids to have in their weekly rhythm. If you are a CM mom like me, you will probably understand this format fairly well. Not trying to alienate anyone, because these are all good things to have for a living education, no matter which methodology or philosophy draws you in most.

(Note: Click on the images to link to the products)

Disclosure: As an Amazon associate, I may make a small commission off the purchase of some of the supplies listed here, at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

School Supplies Shopping List

(save yourself some time… and gas money)

If you do venture out into the brick and mortar stores…just for fun, I made this fun downloadable shopping list for you! Enjoy!

We will be homeschooling our 2.5-year-old, 4.5-year-old and 7 -year-old children. We lean heavily toward classical and Charlotte Mason education, but we are not purists. Therefore, the products I list here reflect our needs and lifestyle.


Composition book for narration (oral, written, illustrated all in ONE book). If you have older elementary kids, you could divide one page into 3 sections (width-wise) for the week: they can practice with all 3 kinds of narration by the time the week is over!

Check out my Living Booklist for CC Cycle 1 (a Charlotte Mason Approach)

Some of the titles and studies we plan to use this year!


Why invest in an expensive handwriting curriculum?

Simply Charlotte Mason Delightful Handwriting Teacher’s Guide

Simply Charlotte Mason Delightful Handwriting Student Book

Montessori Wood Alphabet Tracing Board


We will use the exact same composition book for spelling words and vocabulary we find during reading time as we will use for narrations.
Sticky notes – for finding words in the context of what we are reading


Base ten set of math manipulatives
Unifix Cubes

Grid paper for copying multiplication tables and basic computation, as well as for graphing
Wool pom poms for representing in a tangible way
Telling time practice
For representing quantities and carrying out operations
For representing quantities and carrying out operations
Any Marcy Cook Math product is quality. Her website has a lot of offerings. Marcy Cook Math

Another great resource is Kindergarten Mom. She has a good amount of free printable resources.

Word Work (phonics and sight words)

We are using the All About Reading Level 1 Curriculum by Marie Rippel. The book shown above is a book of 50 lessons for struggling readers and readers with dyslexia.

We are using All About Reading Level 1. The entire package of resources in the curriculum can be purchased here. Individual elements of the curriculum are listed below.

Teacher’s Manual
Student Activity Book

Note: I cannot find the AAR Level 1 Basic Reading Interactive Kit on Amazon. I am linking it here (from the publisher’s website).


Nature Study

Portable picnic blanket
Mini microscope
We use flour sack towels as wall art in our school room. This one is a field guide.
Field Guides
Right now, this is a good deal!
This would be a great thing to have, year-round!
We love this one!
Nature notebook, with durable pages so watercolor won’t bleed through
Basic rain gauge – there are more expensive, digital ones, too
Magnifying glasses

Play-Based Learning

Sponge painting
Tempera paint
Sensory bins
Waldorf-inspired people set
Kitchen tools – I actually bought some cheap ones at the dollar store!

Poetry Study

A favorite
We have listened to this in the car

Picture Study

For picture study, I recommend Simply Charlotte Mason’s Picture Study Portfolios. We have enjoyed Monet, Winslow Homer, and are going to enjoy Michelangelo this year!

Tracing a picture cements it into your mind

Music Appreciation/Composer Study

I recommend using Simply Charlotte Mason’s Music Studies with the Masters. We love this year’s study on Bach. The kids are making friends with his music.


We got a lot of use out of our free printable book of centuries last year, and will continue adding to it this year. When my kids get older, I want to buy them a nicer, bound book of centuries that they can be proud of as they enter noteworthy people and dates.

We are reading through the Story of the World this year during our Morning Time. The Ancient Times Study loop looks like this: 1) Read aloud and narrate 2) Read aloud and work on map skills 3) Read aloud and color the coloring page. We will approach it one chapter per week, ideally. If we do not finish the loop in a week due to life circumstances any given week, we will just pick up where we left off the next time we do our Ancient Times Study.
This map had great reviews, but any world map will do! We use the Classical Conversations Cycle Maps.
I spotted this atlas for the first time in a coffee shop in Seattle (on their coffee table). I had to find out where to find it. With a little research, I got my hands on it!

Blob Maps: If you are in Classical Conversations, you might be familiar with the goal that many students have: to be able to draw maps of the world freehand by the end of the 7th grade! (WOW!) To start with lower elementary students, we trace maps and use the blob map to start the muscle memory process needed to lay the foundation for freehand drawing later! I found some blob maps here at Half A Hundred Acre Wood. However, If you are a member of Classical Conversations Connected, check out the FREE files in the file sharing section. There are blob maps there, too. You must be a member of CC Connected to access these files from CC families all around the globe, but I think it is a $6.00-$7.00 charge per month.

Bible Study


We found our calendar pdfs for free. I bet a short search would turn up something for you. To save you time though, I found these cost-effective calendar pdfs on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Here is a more expensive version of the calendar. I inherited a wooden monthly calendar with removable dates similar to this, but if I were to find a good product that will hold up for years, this would be the next best thing.

We are not really using the Waldorf approach to teaching, but I do find some of its elements intriguing. This kind of calendar looks like a great way to show young children the passage of time, involving them in the daily ritual of changing the date. So colorful, too!


Ideas for handicrafts you can teach elementary children:

  • soap carving
  • paper sloyd
  • oil pastel
  • watercolor/brush drawing
  • origami
  • woodworking
  • charcoal drawing
  • chalk sketching
  • clay sculpting

Want more ideas? Look here at the Simply Charlotte Mason List.

Here are a couple of items to get you thinking.

Basic School Room Organization

Morning Basket, anyone? These are super cute!
IKEA Billy Bookshelf
We have this in one corner of our school room. We will use it for word work with our pre-K student.

I have used this planner in the past, when homeschooling my son for K and 1st grade.

On planners: Because I am teaching multiple children this year (2021-2022) and I plan content for my blog, I splurged this year. I bought a customized planner off of the website Plum Paper. I am VERY pleased with their product!

Basic Back-To-School Supplies

These are truly the best pencils out there (former public school teacher speaking)!

EXPO Low-Odor Dry-Erase Marker, Fine Point, 12-Pack, Assorted Colors

Tip: Do not give your children both of these boxes at the beginning of the year! Save one for Christmas, when the crayons from the first pack are wearing out.

Amazon Basics Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper – White, 8.5 x 11 Inches, 8 Ream Case (4,000 Sheets)

Love It?

That’s a wrap! If you all are itching to share some of your favorite back to school products for the school year, feel free to let me know! I would be happy to feature you and a brief description of the product, with a link to it on this page.

If you find this helpful, PLEASE SHARE it with others. I cannot tell you how helpful this kind of list would have been to me 3 years ago. Share, share and share! I love sharing. I also really appreciate you, loyal readers of my blog. You are much loved.

I am praying your year goes well! I am praying all you readers out there find inspiration and vigor as you plan the year. Your children have the best teachers, handpicked just for them: YOU.

Until next time. 🙂

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