Choose the very best homeschool gifts to celebrate your child's Birthday with this guide which picks out extra special presents which are both fun and educational.
These presents come top of the list with our children William (now at Oxford University) and Catherine, or come highly recommended by over 9,000 fellow homeschoolers from my Facebook group.
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Monica recommends Scanorama Books which have movable sliders to reveal virtual x-rays of the animals.
And in our homeschool William and Catherine loved the entire UNCOVER series of books with their fantastic 3-D layered models.
Janet from my Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group has suggested a lovely game you can play exploring the oceans. There are two versions, one for slightly older children and one for younger ones.
The How to Draw series is fabulous for getting your child to understand the basics of drawing.
You can see a page here where we show you how the books work in real life to help your child draw animals.
David Attenborough has hero status in our homeschool. We watched him so often it felt like he used to pop in for tea every afternoon!
And in terms of learning, you couldn't hope for a better introduction to help your child see want an amazing Planet we live on and encourage us all to look after it.
When my children sent David Attenborough some of their homeschool drawings, he took the time to hand write letters to each of them individually.
For an inspirational present, look no further.
We love board games! They are brilliant for a special Birthday present and bring the whole family together.
We can highly recommend all these games. You need to pick the one which suits the time you have; Rob and I recently asked for Ticket to Ride as it is quick to play and easy to explain.
N.B. Recommended ages for playing are something you need to think about depending on your child; we found they were often misleading and, with help, younger children were often perfectly capable of joining in.
After all, most family games end up being played by all the family, from tiny to ancient!
Catherine absolutely loves Settlers of Catan (guide age 10+) and for many years this was her main Birthday present.
You can see from our photo the different land tiles - hills, pasture, forest, mountains and fields. You trade resource cards with the other players to build houses, roads and cities. The resource cards are really nice and swapping sheep is great fun!
Our most recent purchase is Dominion which is a card deck game - great fun!
N.B. Wildcraft is highly recommended by many homeschoolers.
It's wonderful when you can get your children to visit other children across the world! Children Just Like Me and Celebrations are fantastic at making connections between all children, wherever they live.
Always good to have some classics among the list of best homeschool gifts! Wolves often are a child favorite, so White Fang is a perfect choice. Little House on the Prairie is an enduring tale, as is William's favorite Jules Verne 20,000 leagues under the sea.
Coloring books are really popular so I have slipped in a few for you to enjoy while the kids get on opening their presents.
The fabulous animal coloring book is by our favorite artist Tim Jeffs who has been a great supporter of our daughter Catherine's homeschool art. Wonderful book from a highly talented and modest artist.
Sew Cool is a threadless sewing machine.
It is simple to use with no needles to thread and no foot pedal - basically you just push the button and the machine starts.
There are 9 projects to make including a purse, a pencil case and stuffed characters.
We love Klutz craft kits which easily come high on the list of best homeschool gifts. They are all generally very good quality and perfect for a crafty child.
Our special favorites are the ones on how to make friendship bracelets (you can see how to make them here) and window art, but all the kits are good value.
Here is the page we made about hand art using a Klutz kit. Great fun!
Here is a brilliant needle felting kit:
We love needle felting as you can see from these birds!
And you can go on to make some fabulous needle felted creatures, like the ones Catherine made from Little Felted Animals - a great homeschool Birthday present!
Monica explains that there are all sorts of "things
you can do on the light table, all sorts of blocks, shapes, figures,
glass, plastic, colors, transparent things, play doh, sand, painting,
etc." - and her photos show what fun it is!
Dinosaurs have to be one of the biggest hits in our homeschool, as you can see from this giant lapbook we made covering all our living room walls!
We also enjoyed stories featuring dinosaurs. If you think your kids would enjoy dinosaurs in space, check out Astrosaurs - William has the complete series! Z-Rex is for the slightly older as it is a bit more scary.
If you want to inspire creative crafts, have a look at the Dragonology series with its fables, secret envelopes, lift the flaps and even dragon scales you can touch!
You can see some of the dragon crafts inspired by these books on my site.
Here is a great dragon model for you to make.
All the 'Ology series is really inventive and fun.
Usborne has some great encyclopedias - great if your child loves facts like my son!
Having a great globe is one of the exciting things about homeschool!
Insight Globes have ones with animals on - even one with dinosaurs!
Sheila and Maddy have the political globe - Maddy says she loves the colors :)
My Mom who homeschooled me wanted to buy a special globe for the children to have and she chose an illuminated National Geographic one.
It's expensive but really beautiful.
K'NEX is one of the best homeschool gifts because it sparks an interest in how things work and constructing simple models. The amusement park filled the top of our garden!
When you're looking for best homeschool gifts you can't go wrong with lego! Here's another example of a toy which teaches so well and so much. My friend's son wants to show off his jet fighter:
Lego teaches so many skills; here is a page with more than seventy different learning activities.
Monica wants to recommend Magformers. Her children have loved them as homeschool presents and she sent this photo to show you what you can do:
You have to blame William for these! We acted as the (sometimes unwilling!) audience. If your child loves magic, a good kit is a really exciting present.
This is a series to collect; wonderfully inventive pop-ups from a fabulous artist.
I am certain that science is easier to teach at home than at school. After all, the main thing you need to awaken is curiosity, which is what lies at the heart of everything.
I haven't included science kits in this list of the best homeschool gifts because we often found them a disappointment.
But what we did find is some fantastic science books:
You'll notice quite a few of these are human body books - but then the place we live in really is fascinating. We turned it into a project making blood from jelly beans as well as our own eye here.
Theodore Gray is mad - in the best sense. He absolutely loves the elements and does some really daft things with them - and in the process he awakens an interest in the Periodic Table which will never dim.
Space is amazing; William is responsible for getting me interested as I have to say I didn't know much about it. But an early project making a solar system with a cotton wool sun and leading on to a Voyager space probe got me hooked.
Brian Cox is a wonderful presenter and - like many of us over a certain age - rather a hero of mine! His books are aimed more at teens.
Mog the Cat will always have a special place in our hearts, Judith Kerr's stories are so gentle and amusing. Asterix and Tintin are all-time favorites; you might find (as with William and Catherine) that the cartoon style of short sentences encourages reading.
Old Bear brings back happy memories of the children being very young; you will love these cute stories with Old Bear the wise one always there to protect and look after his friends. A definite must for best homeschool gifts for little ones!
Michael Morpurgo has to be part of any list of best homeschool gifts. He is one of the most talented story-tellers anywhere and, since his stories always include animals in some way, ideal if your child is an animal fan like our two!
Animal Ark and Little Animal Ark featuring the vets daughter Mandy bring reassurance that the animals will get looked after in the end.
And for little ones, what could be nicer than a homeschool Birthday present of Paddington Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh and Elmer.
My friend Diana recommends books by Eva Ibbotson:
Warriors is Catherine's favorite; we have every single book and I can guarantee the latest in the series will be on her Birthday list this year!
Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother series is gripping and extremely well written; Alex Scarrow's Time Riders sneaks in a bit of homeschool history by the back door.
A few other highlights include the Indian in the Cupboard series and Peter Dickinson's The Kin.
Rick Riordan is a fabulously inventive writer who brings the Greek myths to life. If you can get your child interested, they will be great at quizzes forever - there always seems to be a question on Persephone and Hades, Theseus and the Minotaur or something similar which leaves most of us baffled!
The Hunger Games and the Divergent series are both hits in our best homeschool gifts for older teens.
And Harry Potter has to be on the list!
Finally, my homeschool daughter Catherine has some fantastic animal gifts which she sells worldwide on her Wild Art Treasures Etsy shop.
She is following an unschooling route as a talented artist as you can see from her tiger painting. Here's your chance to give a gift made by a homeschooler!
The best homeschool gifts include those that reaffirm your decision to homeschool.
If you're looking for a confidence boost, my new book Homeschool Secrets of Success would make the perfect gift.
It would be a lovely present for someone who is thinking about homeschooling or already doing it and feeling rather frustrated because things don't seem to be going quite as they had hoped.
Here's Sheila reading it!
This list of the best homeschool gifts is ideal when you are stuck for an idea for an unusual and special Birthday present. I hope you enjoy these gifts as much as we have.
Homeschooling > Gifts