Do you have homeschooled children on your gift list this holiday season? Or some precocious children who love to learn?
Homeschooling can be expensive or inexpensive, depending on how much parents decide to invest in it. Curriculums can cost a pretty penny, but a lot of homeschoolers do without and use materials that they can find at the library or in thrift stores.
Still, the best way to get a child to learn is to lay some interesting materials around the house – a book on the coffee table, art supplies in an accessible bin, a game on a low shelf. If they think that they are discovering it themselves, they are more likely to want to know all about it! So homeschoolers will appreciate any extra help they can get to offer fun, educational tools to their children.
Here are some ideas they might love:
- Subscriptions – Find out what the children are most interested in, and I bet you’ll be able to find a magazine or journal dedicated to that subject.
- My four-year-old received a subscription one year to Big Backyard (ages 4 to 7) magazine, and he loved it. Other magazines they might like are:
- Ranger Rick (ages 7 to 14)
- National Geographic Little Kids (ages 3-6)
- National Geographic Kids (ages 6-14)
- But you really don’t need to go any farther than this page put together by the Monroe County Public Library in Monroe County, Indiana to find a magazine for that child on your list. What an awesome list!
- Family Memberships – What venues do they like to go to? Most museums, zoos, aquariums and other centers have family or individual memberships that will allow a family/person to have free admission and/or discounts at the facility for a full year. If you know that the family lives close enough to such a place, it might be perfect for them!
- Art Supplies – I’m not talking about crayons and markers that you can buy at any grocery store (though kids love and need those too), but real art supplies that you can buy at art stores can make a wonderful gift. If you don’t think it’s worth buying children good quality art supplies, I suggest you read this post at Camp Creek Blog, “In Praise of High Quality Art Materials.”
- In my hometown of Athens, Georgia, I like to visit the Loft Art Supplies store.
- Educational toys and tools – Make-believe and play are very important for kids to learn self-regulation and other life skills. Don’t underestimate the value of giving gifts that will encourage make-believe. Go to your nearest hobby store, and you’ll find plenty of educational tools. Building kits and chemistry kits make great gifts as well as terrariums, games, globes or magic sets!
- Posters and Maps – My son loves posters. Our current project is making a book about snakes by looking up information about all the snakes on his poster titled “Snakes of Georgia.” We have also found some inexpensive and educational posters at a nearby teacher’s store and in museum gift shops. I am itching to get him some posters from this site because he picked one out that he wanted at a bookstore once. Don’t think these posters will hang on the wall and be ignored. Every once in a while, my son wants me to read parts of a poster to him. We have a small world map and globe that we refer to frequently!
- Equipment – If you have the budget and want to go big, homeschooling families might need and enjoy various equipment such as a telescope, microscope, camera, video camera, computer or what about an iPad? iPads are wonderful for educational purposes!
- Ask what they need – You may just want to ask what they need. Do you know what kind of teaching method they are using? You may find a store that specializes in it. In addition, for homeschooling families who purchase curriculum, they may appreciate it if you could chip in on the cost because some curriculums can be quite expensive. Or perhaps there are certain books or other resources they want but aren’t able to afford.
- Homeschoolers may like to create a room for learning in their home, and if so, they may like some furniture! We were gifted an adjustable table and chairs by my boy’s grandmother, and we use them everyday!
- Let’s not forget books, especially if there’s a subject the children are interested in or studying. And remember, gift certificates will be appreciated too!
Here are some cool online stores that may help you find that perfect gift:
- The Land of Nod
- Bella Luna Toys – Waldorf toys, wooden toys and natural toys to nourish the senses and inspire the imagination.
- nova natural – Natural wooden toys, crafts and more
- Discover This – Educational Science Kits and Toys
- Fat Brain Toys
- Growing Tree Toys
- National Geographic Kids Shop
- Folding Guides
- Schoolhouse Naturals
- Uncle Goose
- And don’t forget Etsy! Support small businesses!
Are you a homeschooler with a wish list? Please tell me what you would like to receive for gifts this year! Or do you know of another cool place to buy educational items? Do you make them yourself? Let me know!