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. Homeschool kids go through these things just as fast as public school kids. Check with the family to see what they use or if there are any lefties in the bunch. Children with autism tend to like only certain types of items. Lefties need non smearing ink pens. Asking the family their preference alleviates the problem of them having to return it or not use it.
#2 – Any and all craft supplies for the many projects, such as oil pastels, paint brushes, and sketchbooks . These items tend to add up and get put off for last in the budget. The children will appreciate having access to items that make their studies easier or more fun. This is a great idea that is sure to make you popular with the children, especially in a large family. These are also the items that pushed to the bottom of the list every time.
Artlicious – 3 Sketch Pads 5.5Sakura XEP50 50-Piece Cray-Pas Junior Artist Assorted Color Oil Pastel SetArtlicious – 25 All Purpose Paint Brush Value Pack – Great with Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor, Gouache
#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 first and foremost. The biggest impact you will have on a homeschool family will be to help them give their children a high quality education. Most families don’t receive any assistance to offset the cost of curriculum.
#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 as well as being educational.
#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. You can never go wrong just handing over cash. Sometimes homeschoolers just need some extra money to pay for homeschool physical education classes, therapy needs, 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. Stop by to see if there is anything you can pick up for her at the store. Stop and grab the kids to see a movie. A mom who gets assistance to prioritize self care is a happy mom. Everyone wins in that scenario.
#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. Having the right tools at home helps both the child get the input he needs plus the family remain out of crisis mode. The longer a family can stay out of crisis mode, the better the family dynamic.
#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.
Are you ready for to help your homeschool friends?