10 Things to Buy a Homeschooling Family
#1 – All the standard school supplies like crayons, markers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, and sketchbooks . These things eat up a home school budget pretty quickly. Amazon even has grade level packs you can buy that have everything in them needed for a specific grade; these would be a great gift, even if you only bought one grade level.
#3 – Find out what curriculum they use and/or which curriculum companies they usually purchase from and see if you can get a gift certificate online. Curriculum is expensive. It has to come out of the budget somewhere.
#4 – Gift cards to places like Amazon, Books a Million, Staples, etc. Any store where a homeschool family can buy needed items to go with their curriculum is a great choice. An Audible subscription is an excellent choice for special needs families. The amount of time we spend in the car is inordinate, to say the least. Audiobooks pass the time quickly. Kindle Unlimited is another great one since it allows you to read all the Kindle books you want every month.
#5 – Family passes to local museums, aquariums, zoos, and nature parks. I loved it when my mom bought us MOSI passes one year. The year we had passes to Cypress Gardens thanks to my in laws totally rocked too! We got science and nature study done that year. We have also had Disney passes and that has been a blast. If you have visual learning kids then field trips are a must and passes to these sorts of places are such a great resource.
#6 – Cold, hard cash. Sometimes homeschoolers just need some extra money to pay for homeschool physical education classes, co-op fees, or field trips.
#7 – Offer to babysit. Most often Mom is with the children 24/7/365, as my darling daughter likes to point out. You could give Mom time alone to plan, catch up on chores, or read a book. My personal favorite is to take a nap when the house is quiet.
#8 – Outdoor toys for the children to use to burn off stream before, during, or after school hours. This is especially important if there is a special needs child in the family. Sensory breaks are non negotiable with those children.
#9 – Musical instruments or toys to foster music appreciation. Find out what they’re studying and buy some cds and books on that instrument or composer. Clear this with mom first! She may not want tambourines or cymbals clanging through her house. She will appreciate an instrument purchase or rental for something the children are learning to play. Another musical-related idea is to pay for some music lessons. If the children are already taking lessons, find out who their teacher is and offer to pay for a month of lessons (or whatever works within your budget).
#10 – Join them on their journey. Spend time with the family, joining in on the homeschool fun. Go on a field trip with them. Hang out and help with the exploding science experiment. Just join in the fun. Make sure to call ahead before you show up to join in. Nothing gets me flustered quicker than uninvited guests showing up.
The best thing you can give any homeschooling family doesn’t cost anything at all. Offer encouragement. Tell them you think they are doing a good job. Give them a pat on the back. That’s worth more than gold. Lots of families hear loads of criticism about their choice. Don’t be like those people. Be the encouragement that propels them to continue on what can be an arduous journey.