One of the best things we ever did when we started homeschooling was to make our own dry erase white boards. And it ended up being a lot easier — and cheaper — than we thought. Here's all you'd have to do to make your own set of boards.
1. Buy a sheet of melamine. Go to a home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot and purchase a 4 ft by 8 ft sheet of melamine (white board). You can probably find a sheet for anywhere from $12 to $20.
2. Cut it to size. Have the store cut the sheet into the desired sizes — free of charge! You'll end up with several custom-sized, ultra-sturdy dry erase boards that will last for years, and you will have spend a lot less than purchasing them precut at a regular store.
How we use the boards
We use these dry erase boards almost every day in our homeschool. We use them for spelling tests, proofreading sentences, Latin derivatives and quizzes, diagramming, phonics, math, science, history…you name it! They are so handy that I think I'd be lost without them. The boards even make school more "fun" for the kids, especially when I allow them to take their spelling tests on a board rather than on notebook paper.
What about markers?
We did have to experiment for a little while to find a dry erase marker that would last more than a week. The popular Expo brand we found was both expensive and low-quality. But last September we finally found a brand that works beautifully. Target had a 12-pack of dry-erase markers made by Beifa for around $5, and they are the absolute best dry-erase markers we have ever used. They don't go dry and the tips remain firm even after months of use. We've used the pens from that original Beifa 12-pack all year long, and not one of them has gone bad yet, even with the kids using them quite often just to draw on the boards for fun.
What about erasers?
For the eraser, we just use a dark-colored wash cloth. That makes it easy for more than one child to have an eraser at a time, and it's much cheaper than purchasing a real one.
Do you use dry erase boards in your homeschool?