What’s the best gift ideas for homeschool families and their kids?
After a year or two at it, it’s easy to see how homeschooling can easily become a lifestyle. And while there are certain times in the year that you can predict certain needs (for example, school supplies in the fall), there’ll be many other times throughout the year when both homeschooled kids and their parents will appreciate something special.
There are lots of opportunities like Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Day (yup, there IS such a thing!) that friends and family (and a shout-out to generous grandparents) can show an extra measure of support with a thoughtful gift. But really, who needs an occasion to “gift” someone you care about, right?!
But what to give? Even the most supportive family can be a little stumped by what to buy. Especially when a homeschooling bunch enjoys a flexible style, or thrives on “unschooling”.
So I asked a bunch of homeschoolers I know to give me their dream list. Of course, asking a bunch of homeschoolers – who by their very nature like to live un-labeled – sometimes/often/always means you’re likely to get a wide range of answers!
Fortunately, I was able to distill those answers into a few categories. And I’m hoping that the following list of ideas will help you in the future as you gift shop for your favorite homeschool family.
Keep in mind that while some of these categories don’t sound like fun (i.e. supplies), homeschoolers by nature are a pretty creative lot, and many kids I know get as much fun out of a fresh pack of colored pencils or markers as any artsy adult out there! So don’t be put off by the titles below. When given with enthusiasm and a kind heart, a sincere gift is always appreciated.
One/ Gift Homeschool School Supplies
No, “homeschool” and “school” isn’t a typo here: homeschools and schools are NOT (necessarily) the same thing! Many of us work super-hard to not re-create a traditional school inside our own four walls, even though we may use some of the same materials. Such as:
- Amazon gift cards – These are always welcome, ‘cause when something comes up unexpectedly, Amazon is bound to have it!
- Backpack – Yes, even homeschoolers use these. Many families study at co-ops, or the library, or other locations, and at the very least have been know to take along a book or two when out and about.
- Hands-on science kits and other materials – No matter what science is going on at home, anything hands-on is sure to be super-appreciated. These are the items that are often a bit beyond budget, and add an exciting element to studies.
- Models – Same here, whether they are train, plane, car, or human body models – what fun!
- Pens and paper – Always appreciated because we’re always running out. The “cooler” the variety, the more they are a gift..
- Gift card to Hobby Lobby – or Michaels or any craft store, for that matter. We’ll take it and be oh-so-thankful!
Two/Gift Homeschool Teaching Resources – a teacher’s wish list
Ah, yes, these are the items that for the typical homeschool family might be budget-busters, but if given as single gifts by someone special can be treasured for years to come:
- Telescope or microscope – Remember that comment above about hands-on science kits? Well, there are entire universes (quite literally) that open up to our kiddos by looking through either of these, and you will have the entire family’s eternal gratitude by gifting one of these puppies.
- A laminator – This is like “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie…” to a homeschool mom. There are a gazillion uses for one of these, but sadly, this is not usually on the basic school supply list in the fall. Sigh.
- A ukulele or set of bongo drums, musical instruments – Sure, consider gifting a piano if you have the bucks! Music is one of those gifts that keeps on giving, and studies show that music studies often have far-reaching side benefits, too.
- Gymnastics class or other class the kids would like and don’t fit into the budget – If they already have an instrument, consider paying for a semester or even a year’s worth of lessons. The grandpa of a friend of mine covered the cost of piano lessons for two of her children one year, and went on to cover another year for the student who really “took” to music studies.
- Metal detector – This is SO fun and educational and a great item to have when going on vacation, too.
- Cover (or at least contribute to) travel expenses to somewhere super cool – OK, maybe this might be asking too much, but considering how much we spend on technology, that same amount going towards memories and the learning that takes place while traveling? Priceless!
- Printer – Even mini printers are affordable these days and homeschoolers still print – a lot.
Three/ Gift Other Homeschool Resources – month-by-month
Learning goes on month-to-month, and these resources can broaden the scope of almost whatever subject is being taught! Plus, the passes also help families make the most (educationally) of potential family vacations.
- Magazine subscriptions, homeschool and learning magazines for kids.
- Any kind of zoo pass, National Park pass, nature/science/museum/center pass…
Documentary movies – Netflix, Amazon Streaming, etc
Four/ Fun Stuff that Homeschooled Kids and Families Appreciate
- Pj’s – From a well-meaning family member, pj’s can be a great inside joke. You know how some people think we “do school” in our pj’s all day.(OK, maybe some of us do, but that’s another story)
- Games – Board games for inside and outdoor games for when the weather’s fine are always welcome. If you can gift NON-tech games and/or games without batteries and mom-annoying noises, these will be especially appreciated by the grown-ups.
- Art baskets – Head over to a craft store or big-box craft department and put together a cute little box or basket with fuzzy pom poms, pipe cleaners, clothespins, craft sticks, googly eyes, little erasers shaped like animals. Go crazy! Or send them a fun package to their house.
- Minecraft skins – If you know a homeschooler who’s “into Minecraft” (and believe me there are ways to use Minecraft in a homeschool) pick up a pre-paid gift card for them so they can make in-game purchases. Of course, always check with mom and dad beforehand.
Five/ Homeschool Mom Gifts
Last, but certainly not least, at the end of the day, I can’t think of a homeschool mom on the planet that wouldn’t appreciate a special gift for herself once in a while.
- Monthly massage – This needs no explanation.
- Babysitting – Having time to prep or clean or just have some “me-time” is oh-so-important, and often neglected.
- Housekeepers – And you get extra points if you can arrange for an hour or two before a special family occasion coming up!
- A mani-pedi gift card – Even more fun, go out with her and make it a fun friends-date.
- Words of encouragement – Who gets “real” mail these days? Sending a store-bought, or even handmade card is sure to touch her heart.
- The day off! – Come take over for the day while she goes out and does whatever. You don’t even have to volunteer to oversee school ‘cause even the kids could use a break now and then. But she’ll be sure to remember this day fondly for some time to come.
- Pre-made meals – Don’t wait until there’s an illness or tragedy. Surprise the family with a meal and, if you brought enough, stay and visit for a while.
- Pay a library fine – Oh my, this will speak volumes to a busy mom who may or may not have forgotten to bring a book or two back in time. And I may or may not have personal experience with this one. I’m not saying.
There you have it! But see what I mean? The “perfect gift” for a homeschool family comes in as many shapes and sizes as homeschool families themselves.
Give any of these ideas or anything else you can come up with… from your heart and you’re sure to touch their hearts!
You’ll love these other ideas:
- 5 Gift Ideas for the Homeschool Mom Who Needs a Cooking Reboot
- 15 Gift Ideas for the New Homeschool Mom
- Ten Best Tech Gifts for Teen Boys
- Gifts For Kids Who Are Wild About History
- Homeschool High School Gift Ideas.
Hugs and love ya,