SummaryIt’s the time of year when parents are making their lists and checking them twice. Jennifer Elia presents some gift ideas that will keep giving all year.
Christmas is coming and the season of shopping, wrapping, and checking lists is in full swing.
How is your Christmas shopping going? If your children are anything like mine, not only do they not need more toys, but they hardly play with the ones they already have.
On the other hand, homeschooling is expensive, and we want to give our children the best educational experience possible.
Why not take the opportunity of Christmas to serve that purpose? Here are some ideas that not only make great gifts, but will also enrich your homeschool experience.
As homeschoolers, we all have an affinity for books. How about including some good reference books as gifts or find books to supplement your learning? During the year, I collect books that are both practical and entertaining to give to my children. Their third gift is always a stack of books.
Many times, these books are ones that we use for school, or they pour over to explore and learn independently. High quality, well-written books are gifts that just keep on giving.
So, why not expand your home library with some of these ideas:
- Nature guides
- How-to books
- Foraging guides
- Visual Dictionaries
- Anatomy books
- Historical fiction
- Stories of saints
- Catholic stories/virtue stories
- High quality, leveled readers
- Survival skills guides
- Classic literature
- Foreign language readers
Educational tools, especially for science, can be a significant investment. To buy quality items, it costs money. However, these also make great gifts. When seen as a chance to explore and experiment, it is less about getting the lesson done and more about having fun.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Weather gauge/ weather station
- Chemistry glassware
- Dissection kit
- Insect net and habitat
- Petri dish
- Magnifying glass
- Rock identification kit
3. Experiences as Gifts
Sometimes, the best lesson plan you can have is to get out of the classroom. Doing and seeing in person is always better than just reading about something. I asked our family to gift some experiences to our children instead of toys this year.
My oldest is going to take a cake decorating class, my one son is going for archery lessons, and my youngest will be attending a building event at the local hardware store. These will enhance their educational experiences and create memories to last a lifetime.
Here are more experience gift ideas:
- A field trip
- Membership to a museum, zoo, or aquarium
- Enrichment classes
- Skiing or snowboard passes
- Tickets to a performance or concert
- Summer camp
- Bowling gift card
- Historical recreation tickets (think Colonial Williamsburg)
- A day of fun (movie party, baking day, craft day, hike with a picnic, etc.)
4. Practical Life
Educating our children should not just include the academics of reading, writing, math, sciences, etc., but we must also teach them how to be productive and self-sufficient members of society. I always like to give practical gifts.
This year, my daughter is receiving a “Make Your Own Cheese” kit along with a book of cheese recipes for her to explore. My youngest will be delighted to find gardening tools and gloves so he can help with garden chores in the spring.
Here are some gift ideas that will not only grow your child’s confidence and know-how, but also entertain them simultaneously.
- “Make your own” kits
- Pocket knife
- Survival tools
- Cooking/baking supplies
- Sewing kit
- Gardening tools
- Knitting or crochet set
- Woodworking tools
- Fishing or hunting gear
Our faith is important to us and should be an integral part of our daily life. Receiving special treasure to practice our faith is a great idea for Christmas gifts that will keep on giving for years to come.
Need ideas? Check out this list:
- Holy water font
- Pocket shrine
- Quality Study Bible
- Miraculous Medal or other Catholic jewelry
6. Quality Art Supplies
The study of art is more than learning to draw or recognizing famous painting; it’s about opening your eyes to the beauty around you.
One of the greatest ways to stimulate creativity is to provide materials and lots of unstructured time.
It may seem extravagant to buy anything more than Crayola © supplies for your children, however, investing in quality art supplies enhances the experience for your child and opens new avenues for creative expression.
Over the years, we have built up our collection of art supplies, and though some were a little on the pricey side, I have found they more than make up for the price difference in how long they last compared to cheaper supplies.
Instead of spending $40 or more on the latest toy, put a portion of that money into high-grade art supplies that will provide hours of enrichment for the entire year or longer.
- Oil pastels
- Paint brushes
- Oil paints
- Canvas or canvas paper
- Watercolor paper pad
- A Palette
- Modelling Beeswax
- Watercolor pencils
- Blending pencils
- Art grade erasers
7. Quiet activities
Quiet can be something scarce in a busy homeschooling house full of children, but it is an important skill to learn. Sometimes, mom must work with just one child and needs some quiet so they can both think.
Other times, the baby needs a nap. Then there is read aloud time, which requires concentration and peaceful quiet for all to enjoy.
Here are some quiet activity gifts that will help you through your homeschooling days:
- Coloring book
- Small Lego (C) sets
- Loom knitter
- Audiobook and headphones
- Play dough
- Picture books
- Felt board
- Paint by number
What gift has best served your homeschool? Have any ideas to share?