Little Log Cottage School




You do not have to buy a classroom full of educational materials to provide meaningful lessons for your children/students.  You can easily make many learning materials for you youngsters with just a few things that you have in your home.  If you combine these materials with a few commercially bought education materials, your child will have many of the same experiences he/she would if they attended a traditional school.  There is so much information out there that any parent can begin educating in the home.  A few of my favorite blogs to help get you started:


This Reading Mama

Hubbard’s Cupboard

Homeschool Creations


Three Dinosaurs

Confessions Of A Homeschooler

Check out these sites and their blog rolls for more fantastic blogs and find your favorites.  Read my post on stocking up your classroom before you go out to buy educational materials when you may be able to get them for free.  Also be sure to check out consignment and thrift stores.  I found all of my math manipulatives at a thrift store for only $25.

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It’s not difficult to make or use educational materials because the internet is chock full of videos on how to use materials to teach a particular skill or concept.  You can subscribe to the Teaching Channel for free.  There are a lot of videos that I find useful when teaching my students.

Here are a few things you can easily make from household items:

Bottle Cap Spelling Words:  Save up your bottle caps and write the letters of your child’s spelling words.  They can use them to  practice spelling their words.


Clothes Pins Sight Word Spelling:  All that you need for this activity are popsicle sticks and clothes pins.  Write your child’s sight words on popsicle sticks and then clip on the letters to spell each sight word.  My kids had a lot of fun with these!


I recieved several great ideas from my friend, Maura, that you can do with adding machine paper rolls.

  1. At the beginning of the year have students rip off a piece measuring how tall they are.
  2. Decorate with drawings, photographs, words, years etc representing their life up until then.  Then bring them back and tell their classmates about their strip.   Use them to decorate a beginning of the year bulletin board.

Ex:       Born.                   Walked.                 Sisters born.                     Started Preschool

Sept. 24,  2008.            Dec. 2009.              Sept. 2010                               Aug. 2012

Here are some skills that can be taught using the adding machine paper rolls:

Public Speaking
Organizing/Mapping thoughts


So before you buy materials, check out what you can DIY at home.  Check out all of the free materials you can get online.  The rewards of seeing your child learning with materials that you made are well worth your time and money saved!

4 thoughts on “LESSONS FROM THE TEACHER: Using What You Have On Hand

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