"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men." ~Luke 2:14
Homeschool Gift Guide
Homeschoolers like to give (and receive) gifts that are both educational and fun. Since money is tight this year, I've focused on gifts that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family - and which offer a great reason to spend some quality time together on those long winter days. Amazon links are included for quick and easy ordering. See also the previous year’s recommendations:
Pendragon is the epic homeschool family movie of the year. It’s one of my favorite movies, right up there with Narnia and Lord of the Rings. The characters, costumes, sets, musical score, and special effects are all spectacular! The fact that this film was made by a homeschooling family and a bunch of volunteers makes it even more amazing. I've seen plenty of Hollywood productions that aren't this good. Pendragon is a wonderful example of what can be done with a low budget, a lot of hard work and creativity. If you enjoy history, adventure movies, medieval themes, or have a budding filmmaker in the family you will want to get Pendragon. The story of courage, vision, and sacrifice will inspire viewers to stand tall and shoulder the tasks God has given them as they follow His plan for their lives.
Crayola Crayon Maker - A great way to recycle all of those assorted broken Crayons and stubs! Melt them down and make your own wild and crazy color combinations. Young children will need supervision.
Snap Circuits SC-300 - Not for the youngest children, but a great project if you have a family of older elementary kids to teens.
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 - Similar to the above, but on a smaller scale and half the price. (Even though it's labeled "Jr.," it's still for ages 8 and up.)
LEGO City Corner (7641) - This playset contains something of interest to everyone in the family - like a pizzeria, skateboarder, businessman, and bus - plus its infinitely expandable by adding your own LEGO buildings and people.
LEGO® Basic Bricks - If your kids like to design their own LEGO creations - or if they never seem to have enough bricks to go around - get this 650-piece set of basic bricks!
Snowflake Bentley - This Caldecott-Medal winner is a fact-filled history book, a rich science lesson, and an inspiring biography all in one. The beautifully illustrated hardcover book is a perfect winter-themed gift for homeschool families, especially since Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley was homeschooled himself. Although written for ages 4-8, this wonderful book will also capture the interest of older readers including adults.
Pick Me Up - Called a "shuffle-pedia", Pick Me Up is a different kind of encyclopedia - very visual and mixed up. Shuffling through the graphically rich pages is fun and totally addictive. Kids (and adults) learn fun and fascinating facts about history, geography, science, natural history, and other subjects. Readers can look up one subject, read about it, then flip to a related topic by following a bold-faced word followed by a page number. General knowledge groups are color-coded to help users locate areas of interest. A unique gift for families, information addicts, and trivia buffs of all ages.
LeapFrog® Explorer Smart Globe - Use the touch-sensitive pen to explore the globe, learning geography facts as you go. This is an excellent educational tool that's great fun for kids and sophisticated enough to impress adults as well.
ThinkFun Shape By Shape - Based on the ancient game of tangrams, these puzzles develop essential math and problem solving skills. The degree of difficulty is challenging for a 5-year-old, but it's also fun for adults to play. The compact, sturdy case includes a plastic drawer below the puzzle frame to hold the cards.
Wild Planet Hyper Dash - This award-winning game is great for improving math skills and athletic skills at the same time! Multiple game modes and levels appeal to a wide variety of ages and skill levels. Kids hold on to the electronic "tagger" and listen for instructions - which may be as simple as finding a certain color or as challenging as solving a subtraction problem. Then it's a mad dash to find the correct target. Play outdoors, or indoors in a spacious room. Fun and educational!
Up (Single Disc Widescreen) - Go up, up and away on one of the most fantastic adventures of all time! Pixar’s newest movie is the uplifting tale of a 78-year-old balloon salesman who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure to the wilds of South America. But guess who’s stowed away on the trip – an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer scout named Russell. Together, they journey to a lost world full of wild adventure and strange, exotic characters. This movie appeals to audiences of all ages.