This will be our 9th year homeschooling. I do think there are some amazing things to use during homeschooling but I think there are some substantial things that are required that you can not buy as well. I think as new homeschoolers and even sometimes us seasoned homeschoolers we get caught up in the stuff. Like a classroom or the perfect curriculum. I'm hear to tell you that most of the success comes with the proper heart!
A Willingness to Learn
Hands down this is the most important thing. This doesn't just apply to students either. Mom and Dad have to have a learning mentality. Homeschooling changes your whole life. The way you thought about learning may shift too. We learn through books and curriculum but also through life. Interacting with friends, family and new acquaintances. We learn from our success and our failure. Without that learning spirit we will miss out on so much.
A Heart that doesn't Compare
One of the biggest mistakes in homeschooling is comparing your family to another. You can easily start to doubt what your doing when on this path. Suzie's family might have musical prodigies, Heather's family might own a farm and homestead, and Cora's family might have attending college classes in high school. Maybe your family sits at the kitchen table and learns. Maybe you have a struggling learner or an nontraditional approach. The key is to not compare. To be content in what works for your family.
No fear of missing out
Give up the idea that homeschooling has to be like public school. Give up the idea that you have to do all the same things and your kids have to have the same type of experiences. Make your own experiences! There are things you can do like homeschool prom, co-op graduations and even group field trips. We've done ALL of these. However we have missed some of the activities our school kid friends have done. At first that bothered me but so many years later I realized how we've done our own things and how happy I am that we could. We've done trips that we would not have been able to do while the kids were in school and so many other things.
Those are the three big things but I know you want a list of things I think are important ... so ..
Get them at the library, used books, borrow them or buy them. Literature is hugely important!
We are in a digital world . Kids need to have some access and learn how to use it. Get a good connection.
A GREAT PENCIL SHARPENER
Classroomfriendlysupplies.com is the BEST on the market. It is one of the only things I highly recommend buying.
A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Find some fellow homeschooling friends! It will help on the good days and the bad days.