Find the very best home education gifts for which make Christmas extra special and are fun and educational.
These are my favourite presents as one of the few second generation families taught at home myself. I've included all the top picks recommended by nearly 2,000 fellow home educators in my Courageous Homeschooling Facebook support group.
Many of these presents have been road tested in our home by my children, William (now at Oxford University) and Catherine, who is a talented artist.
N.B. This Christmas list is for the UK; if you are from the USA please click here.
Please note that the image links are affiliate links so if you buy you will pay exactly the same price as you would have done but I get a small percentage of the sale (which usually adds up to a few pence.)
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This list starts with our favorite pastime - playing board games together on Christmas Day!
Board games are a fantastic way of learning everything from taking turns to maths and logic - and they bring the whole family together.
Lots of brilliant recommendations for the best kids games in this page.
Helpful hint: if your child doesn't like losing, try playing with cuddly toys and awarding paper trophies!
You could also make your own board game like my daughter Catherine!
If you're looking for some family fun which sneaks in some maths without anyone noticing I asked the 2,000 members of my Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group to pick the winners.
Here's a list of fabulous games which teach math and everyone will enjoy playing. Check out the top choices for all ages here.
Home education is a wonderful journey and these beautiful notebooks will help you record the many twists and turns so you can look back and see how far you have come.
"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
These journals are the place to dream, write your hopes and fears, and remember the little things which make teaching your child at home so special.
The beautiful 100 page lined notebooks are the perfect place to:
Illustrated throughout with inspirational quotes, affirmations and floral designs, these beautiful journals give strength and courage and remind you what a fabulous job you are doing.
They also make one of the best home education gifts.
Allie from the Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group wanted to add these to the list of best home education gifts as her family favourites:
She particularly recommends No Stress Chess:
Top of the list for best home education gifts has to be David Attenborough's programmes.
Your children will love watching them from when they are tiny.
Our favourites include more recent ones like Planet Earth II and The Hunt, but many are enduring. Frozen Planet is outstanding, Lost Worlds Vanished Lives is a classic from his early days and wonderful if your child loves fossils and dinosaurs.
Blue Planet 2 would give you some lovely ideas for a homeschool Ocean Unit Study.
This is the book and the DVD of the series:
This ia a favourite on many home educator's Christmas list:
And this year he's done it again!
Let's carry on the list of best home education gifts with another hero of mine.
Brian Cox picks up the baton from David Attenborough and is excellent for older children who love space. I won't be the only person in the UK who has a soft spot for him!
Reading bedtime stories is just the way to encourage a love of books.
Shirley Hughes is incomparable for a Christmas bedtime read, and Old Bear is gently delightful.
I've included these books in the list of best home education gifts because they all helped my children learn to read.
Mog is such a delightful cat - if perhaps not the cleverest! One of our Christmas favourites is a wonderful story about Mog and the walking Christmas tree. That pesky Gaul Asterix and his antics can end up being one of the longest lasting presents you will ever buy - William still reads his!
Both my two found the short text balloons a real help to make reading less daunting.
My lovely friend Diana recommends Eva Ibbotson:
"We love her books! I can highly recommend them." ~ Diana, Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group
There are lots more brilliant ideas to encourage kindergarten reading here.
Anni's daughter is age 9 and although this isn't a story book, she really recommends it:
"Just wanted to recommend a great book my daughter chose at the library......she has really enjoyed reading it and wants to find out more about some of them." ~ Anni , Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group
"I think this is the 9th book in the Magic Kitten series she has read now....I love how much my big girl enjoys reading."
~ Alison, Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group
We love these books; finding out about other children's lives in Children Just Like Me is such a brilliant way of making a connection across the world and definitely one of the best home education gifts.
Also, a Christmas suggestion from Simone from the Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group for little ones:
If you need convincing that Lego is one of the best home education gifts ever, have a look at this list of seventy Lego learning activities.
There are so many Christmas sets to choose from, and they are all wonderful!
Building robots from household trash is one of our favourite home education projects.
Monica from the Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group has been having a lot of fun with her children building lego robots. Here is her children's cat:
The lego kit she's using is a bit different from the one in the UK.
It looks like this is the closest we have:
She has built this robot with her kids and says it's great and her kids love it.
"Morgan absolutely loved it. She works on it at night for hours. I'd recommend it. I had actually read that it is the hottest new toy this Christmas."
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 (just remember to put the batteries in!).
There are 9 projects to make including a purse, a pencil case and stuffed characters.
"I recommend it too, Kaitlyn loves it and iv had a sneaky go on it as well xx"
Klutz comes top of the list for making the best and most inventive kits if your child loves making things.
From window art to friendship bracelets, hand art and window art, Klutz has generally never let us down.
It's also great to have a craft at Christmas.
Needle felting is one of our favorite crafts.
You can start off with easy projects like the birds we felted.
We went on to make some lovely needle felt projects, particularly all the animals in the Little Felted Animals book.
Monica has a brilliant suggestion: buy a light table as a present for your kids. You can use it for all sorts of activities and, as you can see from her pictures, it really makes things fun!
She suggests all sorts of things to do with the light table, like lighting up pieces of agate, using marbles, beads, and sand.
I don't think any home ed. house is complete without a globe!
I asked for some recommendations to see what people like.
Janet has an Insight globe with animals - great idea for animal lovers.
Sheila and Maddy have political globes - Maddy says she loves the colours.
And my Mum, who taught me at home, wanted to give the kids something extra special so she bought them a National Geographic illuminated globe.
Expensive but fabulous. If you want the one we have from National Geographic, don't go to Amazon as it is too expensive so I haven't put it here.
"Bought this book yesterday for the girls. It will be very interesting learning about the different figures throughout history.
First up, daddy's
favorite: - Aristotle." Alison, Courageous Homeschooling support group
"Those Nat Geo Kids books are amazing! We have the space one, the Big Book of How, and the Big Book of Why. So easy to understand and the colorful photos are a great way to keep the kids engaged." ~ Lydia, Courageous Homeschooling support group
Many children love dinosaurs as we do! Here are our top picks for the best dino books for Christmas presents.
Robert Sabuda's Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs is one of the most amazing pop-ups around. It was published a bit ago now but can't be beaten for uniqueness.
My Incredible Sticker Atlas is recommended by Simone in my Courageous Homeschooling Facebook Group.
And having an interest in dinosaurs is great for encouraging your child to write stories. You can get free story writing worksheets featuring dinosaurs - courtesy of my daughter Catherine :)
And here are some Birthday stories to inspire the writing! Steve Cole's Astrosaurs is a fun series about dinosaurs in space; Z-Rex is more scary and for older readers.
There are some fabulous books which bring science to life. For younger children, the Magic School Bus series is a lot of fun.
"My girls have recently discovered this show ( our doctor recommended it). It's educational and fun. I'd say suitable for 5-8 year olds. X" ~ Alison
"Our kids really enjoyed that show. They have a whole series of books that do with it which are also good!" ~ Lisa, Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group
Robert Winston has produced some wonderful books for Christmas presents that stand the test of time.
Let's start with some that complement a wonderful project learning about the human body.
And if you want to be inspired by a mad scientist, Theo Gray is your man! He really brings the Elements to life.
I thought I'd sneak in a few gifts for you at the bottom of the page so while the kids are busy playing with their Christmas presents you can relax with these lovely colouring books.
Tim Jeffs is an incredibly talented animal artist from America who has been very supportive of my daughter Catherine's homeschool art.
Encyclopaedias are fascinating for children who love facts.
Usborne has a head start in the market as far as best home education gifts; they are generally well presented and great value.
Wow! is a pictorial exploration and offers an alternative approach which would particularly suit your child if they are visual learners.
My two children are pretty expert on this - because they are confirmed animal lovers!
The Animal Ark stories are great for presents for younger readers as the animals always get looked after in the end.
Michael Morpurgo is someone who empathises with home education. Himself a possessor of a failed 11+ and the lowest degree you can get, his story telling is all about the joy of writing; he holds no truck with testing.
Even better, there is always an animal in there somewhere!
And if you want to add some science in a fun way, have a look at these Scanorama books with their virtual x-rays:
"These books are amazing, for anyone that is interested in animals, anatomy, x rays, etc." ~ Monica, Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group
My children William and Catherine loved the 3D models in the UNCOVER series so much we ended up buying the whole series!
Let's start with Warrior Cats, which are my daughter Catherine's favourite. The tales of the cat clans have caught her imagination for years and always comes top of her Christmas list.
Seekers is for slightly younger children.
Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother series is gripping and extremely well written. I've added White Fang as it's always good to have a few classics to add to the list of best home education gifts.
Alex Scarrow's Time Riders sneaks in a bit of history by the back door.
Rick Riordan is a fabulously inventive writer who brings myths to life in a rather larger-than-life way. William loves his books and can now answer any question you'd like to ask him about myths!
The Hunger Games has to be on the list, as well as Divergent.
Harry Potter is big with William in our house; but I preferred the audio version with the inimitable Stephen Fry.
Here are three of my top ten favourites:
My new gift book for home educators is published on Amazon. It's a great Christmas present - or treat yourself!
"Brilliant! Arrived today. Lovely book. A treasure. Thank you." ~ Sheila
Homeschooling > Gifts > UK
"Just had a look through your monthly
newsletter focusing on math. Thanks so much for all the links and
ideas. It's brilliant!" ~ Diana
"Hi....I totally love all your posts and enjoy reading them....the kids love the activities and enjoy them through and through." ~ Bianka