Wasting hours struggling to find the best homeschool gifts for Christmas this year? Christmas shopping is sadly going to be a totally different experience and many of us will be stuck trying to pick from a bewildering array of small online images with reviews that aren't always ones you can trust. So I asked 2,000 homeschooling families to help out with their top choices that are both fun and educational.
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We love board games! They are brilliant for a special Christmas present and bring the whole family together over the festive period.
Here are the Top Three:
Hard to beat a Classic!
Simone from my Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group was excited to discover there is a Christmas version of Monopoly.
Board games are top of the list for best homeschool gifts; they are a wonderful way of bringing the whole family together over Christmas.
If you want to slip math into Christmas without anyone noticing, board and card games are the way to do it!
If your child is dreaming of becoming a vet, I have the perfect gift for you.
It's highly recommended by Jodi from my Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group. Because she knows it's hard to decide whether a book is any good or not she's posted lots of sample pages for you to see.
If you have a friend who is struggling worrying about whether they can cope and how they are going to go about teaching their child, I have the most brilliant gift you can give.
Full of inspiration, reassurance and encouragement from 2,000 homeschoolers, the Courageous Homeschooling Handbooks will bring a sigh of relief to anyone who is struggling.
Christmas isn't Christmas without some seasonal books to celebrate!
Here are some of Bianka's favorites:
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.
Blue Planet 2 was a blockbuster:
Animal Dynasties was a great favorite of ours:
If you are like me, you've watched all his amazing nature programmes along with your children. This year he has something he feels obliged to tell us about how he's seen the Planet suffer.
If you as an adult, like many of us, are worried about climate change, forest destruction, animal loss and the dying of the seas and want to find out what to about it, this is his Witness Statament.
Kelly from my Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group has been enjoying Crystal art:
It looks great as a Christmas craft that both adults and children (age 8+) can do.
You use the magic pencil (included) to lift up the coloured resin gems and place them on the corresponding numbered dots.
Allie from the Courageous Homeschooling group has picked out her top choices for best homeschool gifts.
She owns all of these and particularly recommends No Stress Chess.
They all look fun to me!
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.
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.
It's also the perfect time to learn about festivals like Christmas across the world.
Always good to have some classics among the list of best homeschool gifts for Christmas! 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 Christmas 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.
Crafts over Christmas are such a good idea to calm things down and give the children time to get creative.
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 Christmas 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.
"I highly recommend the animated series Avatar the Last Airbender. It is the best animated series we have ever watched. The story is powerful, as is the messages of love, friendship and forgiveness. This show is loved by kids and adults alike at our house."
~ Lisa, Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group
Usborne has some great encyclopedias - great if your child loves facts like my son!
National Geographic have a series of these which would make brilliant Christmas presents:
Having a great globe is one of the exciting things about homeschool!
And it's the sort of present which fills Santa's stocking.
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.
Monica from the Courageous Homeschooling Facebook group found this microscope which has less reviews so far but seems to be the more modern version of one which has great reviews on Amazon.
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. Every year a lego set was top of the Christmas list for my son William. And 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:
Snap Circuits are a fantastic way to get hands-on with science and have fun with buzzers and bells.
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 Christmas present.
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 Christmas 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. You have to read Mog at Christmas to find out about the walking Xmas tree! Asterix and Tintin are all-time Christmas 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 vet's 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 Christmas 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 Christmas 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!
My gift book for a homeschool Mom is published on Amazon. It's a great Christmas present - or treat yourself!
The best homeschool gifts include those that reaffirm your decision to homeschool.
This list of the best homeschool gifts is ideal when you are stuck for an idea for an unusual and special Christmas present. I hope you enjoy these gifts as much as we have.