As my children grew up, I always looked for gifts that were more than just fluff. I loved giving them books, educational toys, instruments, sports equipment, and crafts. I enjoyed giving gifts that encouraged us to play and learn together. Now, not all of the gifts my children received were high quality educational activities, but I sure did feel a lot better knowing that scattered among the dolls, video games, and superheroes were opportunities for us to grow, learn, and play together. If this sounds anything like you, Educents has put together this incredible Homeschool Holiday Gift Guide 2016 to help busy parents and grandparents find gifts that we can feel good about giving.
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Homeschool Holiday Gift Guide 2016
Gifts for ages 3 to 8
Life of Fred Math Books
Learning math is the key to endless doors in life. Story-based math learning has proven again and again to be one of the most enjoyable and effective ways to encourage this life skill. Math savant Dr. Stanley Schmidt created lovable characters Fred and Kingie whose adventures are so engrossing that kids don’t even realize they’re learning m-a-t-h. Shhhh! I won’t tell them if you don’t.
Gift a child in your life the beginning series to set them up for success in life. Don’t forget to add a plush Fred doll, adding another positive dimension to learning math. Friends help friends succeed – whether it’s math learning or otherwise. This holistic teaching method is sure to bring joy and success to your homeschool and beyond.
Reusable Wall Stickers
From the wonders of the solar system to the miracle of the human body, these interactive play sets spark curiosity, delight, and learning in every child. Made from reusable, non-BPA decal materials, they can go on walls, car windows and any surface ready to be used for fun, discovery, and knowledge mastery. The durable mini-sets are especially portable which is great for road trips, plane travel, or to pack for a play date.
Mona MELisa is a family owned and operated business, and manufactures products in the USA. Educents is proud to have her as a member of our community.
“The mini sets are perfect…We are homeschoolers and these are a great way to reinforce learning and encourage self exploration/learning…What I love is when they get folded over or dirty can get back to full use and clean….so durable.” – Marlene G
How about one amazing bundle for all of kindergarten? This family owned and operated business created a complete kindergarten kit from Math to Language Arts and everything in between. Why? So you don’t need to curate resources and plan lessons yourself. New-to-homeschoolers will appreciate the detailed plans so you can follow along without hemming and hawing about what to do – it’s all laid out!
So much thought is put into this curriculum set – from the 3 ring binders and the specially durable paper, to flash cards for easy practicing, and calendars to keep you on track.
“As someone who is easily overwhelmed, an all-inclusive curriculum is a HUGE plus in my book.” – MaryEllen
This curriculum is created by a homeschool mom who knows homeschool experience through and through. Renowned and influential homeschool reviewer Cathy Duffy notes “Kindergarten Complete takes advantage of homeschoolers’ ability to interact closely with their children with lots of discussion plus hands-on activities.”
There is nothing quite like that moment when a beginner finishes their first book! Hooked on Phonics is the #1 recommended Learn to Read program in the US, and for good reason: it’s helped multiple generations of learners master reading and phonics. The Learn to Read Kit comes with 28 original stories and 8 bonus books by renowned children’s authors – one of these will be that first triumphant book! The pacing is designed to encourage those who struggle with reading to first gain confidence, have fun, then master reading. It’s so easy to follow along that children can even teach themselves to read with this program.
Literacy opens up the world of literature helping children build upon their imagination, become more empathetic, and improve emotional intelligence. Beyond that, we can recall the Harry S. Truman quote – that not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
“Now every morning my daughter says mom we have to do my school. She loves it and I do too.” – Amanda P
Give the gift of reading this season and open a world of possibilities for your child.
Gifts for Ages 9 to 12
Times Tales – Learn Multiplications Fast
What if you could turn a discouraged learner into a confident master? What if you could make one of the biggest challenges in your child’s academic life not only easy, but fun? That’s what you can do with Times Tales – kids learn their times tables in an hour!
This 1 hour DVD uses stories and mnemonic devices to help kids learn their times tables in a snap – without rote memorization.
“My 11 year old has been struggling to memorize her times tables for years. She understands the concept and can figure the problems out, but it takes her a while because she’s trying to calculate it in her head. We’ve done games to memorize, made our own times tables, used flashed cards, tried xtra math…all to no avail. Within 2 HOURS of getting Times Tables Tales in the mail, she already had a few of them memorized. She is a visual learner and so having the characters and seeing the drawings of the stories made all the difference in the world to her. She has gained so much confidence in her ability to do math in just a few weeks because she had been so discouraged before. Thank you so much!” – Heather B
Give the gift of earned confidence to a little one in your life. It’s one gift that will last a lifetime.
Magic School Bus Science Club 12 – Month Subscription
This is the perfect gift to inspire and encourage the kids who ask “why?” The famous Magic School Bus series took hold in the 90’s and has been getting kids excited about STEM ever since. The Science Club Kit takes the story based learning to the next level with comprehensive, hands-on kits that come right to your doorstep each month for a full year. And each month, you have at least 7 experiments!
This is a great choice for families with multiple children, kinesthetic, and visual learners – and just a fun, educational activity for a rainy day! The kits include experiments related to Volcanoes, Weather, Water, Fossils, Bacteria and Fungi, Star and Planets – the world around us. Best of all, each kit comes with a colorful, Magic School Bus themed manual and a paired guide for adults. You don’t need to be a science nerd to be able to have fun leading and learning as a parent. There’s also an online clubhouse with further information for young explorers. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
“We bought these kits almost a year ago and my kids have been loving them. Each month they arrive, the kids get extremely excited to get together the materials to do the experiments…It gives a good outline and the kids enjoy understanding what is needed to make everything work. I would recommend this to a friend.”
“My children are really enjoying their science now! Any time they get to do hands on, it’s awesome!” – Kristina P
“The kids ages are 9, 7 and 4 and they really like these kids. We unschool so this brings science into the house in a fun way. The first kit we did led to other discussions, pulling out the microscope, books on microscopic things to look at, etc.” – Jennifer G
That feeling when…math finally clicks! The Shiller Math Fraction set is a complete package of lesson plans for multiple ages, manipulatives for hands-on and visual learning, and a truly step-by-step guide for parents. Thinking through and preparing every lesson detail is something you won’t have to do when teaching fractions, because Shiller Math already has.
Based on a montessori teaching methods for a homeschool audience, this kit provides the play by play to teach fractions to children at different levels. And because it’s so drawn out, you not only get more for your investment for teaching multiple ages, but you save gobs of time in prep work, which is priceless. That, and when your child masters this important skill.
Colorful, varied, and well thought out, this is one of the best gifts you can give your children and yourself.
“I’ve been using ShillerMath Fractions for our homeschool with our 4 year old, 6 year old and 8 year old. My kids have learned so much! I’m in awe of how quickly they’ve learned addition and subtractions with fractions and even division and multiplication. They love the fractions disks and I love how easy it is to teach with this material. No preparation required. Excellent product!” – Ana W
Gifts for Ages 13 to 15
LearnToMod – Minecraft
If you have a youngster, you’ve probably heard of Minecraft. It’s one of the most popular games for kids. And this coding game takes it to the next level. Kids learn to modify their Minecraft world with a year-long online “course”, and in doing so, learn computer programming with Java™! This is not just a fun game. This is a game that stokes creativity and guides kids toward technological confidence: how about giving your child two of the most important attributes in the 21st century, wrapped up in a game?
“My ten year old daughter, who had NO previous Java exposure, began the Mod Design 1 course at the beginning of the year. She finished her first Mod within eight weeks. Since the license we purchased said it was good for an entire year, I told her to continue creating mods and asking the teaching staff for assistance. She’s now almost finished with her second, more complex mod and I am very pleased with the team responsible for interacting with the students. They are friendly, encouraging and seem sincerely excited to be teaching and shaping the next generation of IT experts. My daughter, my IT husband and I highly recommend this program and company!”
“My son is addicted to Minecraft. It’s is a creative game that challenges him to build ever more complex designs from buildings to creatures. As a homeschooler, this program challenges him to create on a whole new level. He learns basic Java language programming to design totally new tools, armor, ores and other things. He then “imports” his new design into the Minecraft game on his computer. This program has both engaging lessons and excellent tech support. I highly recommend this program.”
Youth Digital is a company with an express mission to empower kids to create with technology.
Math Madness Book Set
If you’re looking for new ways to inspire a child who’s already math whiz, or encouraging one who’s overwhelmed by the subject, look no further than the Math Madness Book set. The set includes two different books, “65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math!” and “101 Things Everyone Should Know About Math” that children ages 10 to 14 find fun and entertaining.
Whether these replace bedtime stories at your house, or your little one reads them independently, these books teach your child how critical math is for their everyday lives. With each book, your child is challenged to solve math brainteasers and answer math questions related to sports, cooking, money, travel and more.
“These books are a fantastic set for children 10 and up that are struggling with math anxiety. They present the problems in a very fun and approachable way that makes sense. It’s math in the real world and helps kids understand how they will use math in their daily lives. I highly recommend starting with 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math. It’s fun to read and extremely enjoyable in the way it’s laid out. Check out these books, you won’t be disappointed.” – Shelley B
This is the perfect gift for kids, parents, educators, and anyone else interested in knowing the difference between an Olympic event score of 9.0 and Richter scale score of 9.0.
Life of Fred Pre-Algebra
“Life of Fred” is quickly becoming a buzzword in the educational world. If any child has ever struggled with understanding math concepts, Fred is ready to jump in and help your child remember those tricky math concepts! How does he do it? Silly stories! The stories about Fred are so memorable, they will last a lifetime. As will the math lessons that are weaved into the stories.
In the Pre-Algebra series, students use math and science to solve quirky, real world scenarios – all while having fun with Fred of course! In this 3-book series, Fred covers concepts like numerals, area of a rectangle, the speed of light, nine forms of energy, Hooke’s law, photosynthesis, metric system, and more.
“My girls have never liked math because it does not come easily for them. I ordered Life of Fred Alg. 1 as review for them this summer. They like the fun and easy way it is presented and are understanding math more clearly. They agreed that they had fun with math for the first time ever!” -Judy
Parents of “non-math” kids will thank you for giving a gift that will help kids fall in love with math.
Gifts for Ages 16 to 18
Life of Fred High School Math
Life of Fred is preparing for college! In this series, students learn algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and a few other lessons from Fred. The Zillions of Practice books are keyed directly to the chapters and topics in the associated book. Each problem is worked out in complete detail to offer additional help for a student who may have gotten stuck along Fred’s mathematical journey.
“My oldest has been going through LOF for a while and found these books really fun. Fred makes concepts really easy to follow and is interesting to read. High school math has never been easier and more fun to learn!” -Kelly H.
Fred is also a great gift for adults who are interested in developing their own math skills. One of Fred’s mom students says, “After buying Fred Apples for my daughter, I bought myself Fred Trig. I tried taking Trig in college, but I had signed up for a 7 a.m. class (big mistake the first semester of college). I could barely stay awake; my professor wasn’t as engaging as Fred. I later took Statistics and stopped with math there. But I’ve always wished I had taken more math, because math is really just a language – it can be learned. I’m currently on page 80 of Fred’s Trig book. With Fred, doing Trig is like completing a crossword or a sudoku puzzle. It’s my new favorite leisure activity.”
Shockingly Awesome Books
From a book to create lego-based Christmas ornaments, to the popular comic book style books about electricity, physics, and even regression analysis, Shockingly Awesome Learning does a fantastic job of curating innovative books that make learning fun. Definitely worth checking out for older kids in your world!