Ultimate Gift Guide for Homeschool Moms

Have your in-laws bought you ugly sweaters too many years in a row? Does your husband think a cheese slicer is an adequate way to show his love at the holidays?  Homeschool Moms, this one’s for you. Feel free forward a link to this post to your family or friends with a note like, “Hey, #3 is really cool!”  

What do homeschool moms need? Gifts for any budget.


{This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and purchase a product, I receive a small commission but it doesn’t cost you more. This post also contains sponsored links. I only recommend products I love to my readers.}

Gifts for Homeschool Moms

1. Laminator  List price: $80.49. Sale Price at time of publishing this post: $31.69. This one is worth watching prices for as it goes on sale several times throughout the year.   I use this to laminate maps, chore charts, math games, and more. It enables us to re-use things and save them from one child to another. Plus, it’s really fun to laminate stuff. 

Ultimate Gift Guide for Homeschool Moms from Creekside Learning

 2.  Laser Printer with Wireless Networking  List price: $139.99  Sale price at time of publishing this post: $93.99.
Superfast and perfect for printing downloaded materials–especially curriculum and ebooks with a lot of pages– and the ink drum lasts FOREVER.  We use this printer daily and we’ve only replaced the ink drum 3 times in 3 years. Hint: If the printer tells you it’s low on ink, take the drum out, shake it and put it back in. This buys me several more months of use each time. 


Ultimate Gift Guide for Homeschool Moms | Creekside Learning

Drawback:  It only prints in black and white.
Solution:  Printing on colored copy paper. I don’t miss color printing nearly as much as I thought I would and the savings on expensive color ink cartridges is so, so worth it.  

3.  Homeschool Planner. $8.00  I’ve been using this planner since last September and I adore it. It’s super customizable. Melissa at Mama Miss Designs used real live homeschooling mommas to give her input on what to include in this planner. Print only what you’ll use. Print it out yourself or take it to a copy store. 

I love this homeschool planner. I'll be using it again next year!


4.  Basket full of office/school supplies:  Put together a pretty basket of Post-It Notes, Sharpies, mechanical pencils, paper clips, an extra stapler and tape dispenser (my kids are always taking my stapler and tape dispenser) and maybe a gift card to a local teacher supply store. 



Gifts for homeschool moms to fit every budget.



 5.  A Gracious Space: Daily Reflections to Sustain Your Homeschooling Commitment.  $9.95  Inspiration from Julie Bogart, homeschooling mom alumni.  In the one-per-day format, this book of 50 essays reminds us of why we do what we do. Although this is the fall edition, the essays are applicable to every season. A truly wonderful resource full of encouragement.

Love this daily inspiration for homeschooling parents. I read it every morning with my cup of coffee. Starts the day right.


 6.  The always loved  Amazon gift card for books, books, books and everything else, too. What can’t you get at Amazon, really? Live shrimp?  Actually you can buy live shrimp on Amazon. {Please note, if you are a husband reading this post for gift ideas for your wife, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy her live shrimp as a gift, unless she specifically asks for it.}

Gifts that homeschool moms love.


 7. Comb Binding System. I use this for many things, including downloaded curriculum that I’ve printed out, my homeschool planner, saving major space instead of using 3-ring binders for anything, and for special projects my kids are working on that contain a lot of pages, such as this book my daughter wrote and had on display in our local public library (I’m super proud of this kid!). 

Using a comb binding system in your homeschool.


 8.  Restaurant Gift Cards.  This is a great response when your in-laws ask you what you want for a gift.  Because saying “a laundress” seems a little over the top, even though it would be quite useful.  But I digress.  Gift cards for family favorite eat-in or take-out restaurants will be very much appreciated by any homeschooling family.  And, you can order them on Amazon. You don’t even have to leave your couch. 

Great gifts for homeschooling families.


9.  Babysitting Coupons. Cost: Your time.  People often ask homeschooling moms how we can spend all that time with our kids.  Guess what? Mostly, we can and we enjoy it and we cope with whatever happens on those not-so-good days but we all need a break.

 Bonus points if you babysit a homeschooling mom’s kids at your house, leaving her alone in her house to wear her fuzzy slippers and read a book. Make sure you tell her no cleaning, cooking or lesson planning allowed.  Do you know what silence sounds like in your own house?  Me, either, but I bet it is really lovely.  


This gift guide is part of the Gift Guides for Kids series, hosted by the fabulous Erica at What Do We Do All Day? Want to see more gift guides for all ages, interests and budgets? Click the photo below to go to 75+ more unique gift guides.

gifts for all budgets

Or stop by our collaborative Pinterest board and give your pinning fingers a work-out. 
Follow Erica • What Do We Do All Day?’s board Gift Guides for Kids on Pinterest.


Disclosure:  This post sponsored, in part, by Brave Writer. Affiliate links from Amazon and Mama Miss Designs. All photos used with permission. 


Gifts for Minecraft Fans

Minecraft is here to stay. All three of my kids continue to play it but my 10-year-old is absolutely obsessed.  I’m betting you have some young Minecraft fans in your house, too.  From finding that perfect gift to purchase or making a great DIY present, here are my top (kid-approved) recommendations for gifts for Minecraft fans. 

Minecraft Gifts

{This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase any products via the links in this post, I will receive a wee little commission but you still pay the same price. Soon I’ll have enough to go out for sushi. Thanks!}

 Minecraft: Essential Handbook from Scholastic  There are actually four books in this series. Each time my 10-year-old son has received one, he has buried his nose in it for hours and carried it around for days. He continues to use them as reference books when playing the game. I’m like, “Yay, he is reading!”

Minecraft books

Image source: Amazon


LEGO Minecraft There are several LEGO kits available with the Minecraft theme. When my son has used up his screen time for the day, I often find him building with LEGOs. He cannot wait to get Minecraft themed LEGOs.

Minecraft Legos

Image Source: Amazon


Minecraft Retro Creeper Shirt For some reason, all the 8 to 10-year-old boys I know can’t seem to have enough Minecraft clothing. Now that it’s winter, we’ll have to add a long-sleeved version to the wardrobe. Or perhaps a scarf. There are also socks. Endless fashion options, really. 

Minecraft long-sleeved shirt

Image source: Amazon


Minecraft  Action Figures  I’m thinking these creepy looking things would make great stocking stuffers. 

Minecraft stocking stuffers


Minecraft Building Ideas eBook At $2.99, you can’t go wrong with these downloadable instruction books. These Kindle books can be loaded onto any smartphone, tablet or computer. They really helped my son take his creative world to the next level.  He had to pay very close attention to these clear but detailed step-by-step instructions. We bought him the first one as a gift, downloaded it to our iPad mini and wrapped the mini in a gift bag with a note to see what was newly downloaded. He then used his allowance to buy several similar books. 

Minecraft gifts

Image Source: Amazon

Minecraft Papercraft  It’s Origami Minecraft. Yet another screen-free option.

Minecraft Gift Guide

Image Source: Amazon


DIY Minecraft: Gifts You Can Make

DIY Creeper Christmas Ornament from Totally The Bomb.

Minecraft Creeper gifts

Make your own Minecraft Creeper Shoes from Candace Creates.

Minecraft gifts you can make

DIY Diamond Sword and Diamond Pickaxe from Vinobaby’s Voice.

Make your own Minecraft Creeper t-shirts from Jamie of Southern revivals guest posting on L’il Luna.

Felt Minecraft Toy tutorial from Attic 24.

Endless crafty possibilities with pearler beads and Minecraft patterns from What Rose Knows

Follow our Pinterest board, aptly named Minecraft Obsession.  
Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Minecraft Obsession on Pinterest.

Subscribe to the Creekside Learning newsletter for awesomeness in your in-box just two times per month. And free stuff, like our Scientific Method printable cards, for subscribers only.   

Free scientific method printables.


Easy Peasy Gingerbread Houses

Milk carton gingerbread houses.

These milk carton gingerbread houses are so easy to make.  They are quick and fun, an activity that we were first introduced to when my kids were younger and attended a weekly play group. We’ve been making them ever since.

You will need:
***A pint sized carton (or cut a quart sized carton in half)
***Graham crackers
***Spreadable frosting

Start with a half-pint carton and a stack of graham crackers.  [Read more…]

25 Days of Character for Families

A simple tradition. A valuable connection.

Gratitude.  Patience.  Courage.  

These traits, and many more, are the focus of our Character Advent.  I wrote that post two years ago and this year, I had an idea. I wanted an easy way to incorporate this into our days in December and I wondered if other families might want to join me, to share together how we can encourage character in our children and ourselves.

So here’s the plan:  Each day, on the Creekside Learning facebook page, I’ll post one of the character traits, starting December 1st and going through the 25th.

The facebook posts will be a reminder to you for the day, to share with your families.

Share it any way you like:
*discuss it over dinner
*add it to a list on the fridge
*include it in another Advent calendar tradition
*write it on a window with dry-erase markers in festive colors
*any way you like

25 days of Character:  A Trait a Day on Facebook from Creekside Learning

When you talk about it…
***Define the trait.
***Together,  come up with an example (or 2 or 3 or as many as you like) of someone you know that embodies this trait. Maybe it’s a historical figure you’ve been learning about, a character in a book or video game (one year we used Harry Potter characters for most of our examples. Whatever makes it relevant to your child, do that.), a person in your extended family, a way your child showed that trait recently. Maybe your child showed perseverance by learning to ride a bike, even when he fell off over and over again.  Maybe you admire a world leader, who shows the quality of leadership.

If you want the daily Facebook reminders, here’s what to do:

  1. Like Creekside Learning on Facebook.
  2. While there, hover over the “liked” box  and click “show in news feed”. This will ensure that all the Creekside Learning posts are shown in your daily feed.
  3. Each morning at 7 a.m. EST I’ll post that day’s character trait and perhaps, a quote or an example.

I’d love it if you’d share in the comments on facebook: “We talked about how Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrated peacemaking.” or “We remembered our Great-Grandpa who was so very brave when he left his country to make a better life in America.” Share once or daily or as many times as you like.  You can share photos, too.

Don’t get to it each day? No worries. This is designed to be a peaceful and easy addition to your day, not another taxing way we all do too much during the holiday season. Do it on the days it fits in, let it go on others.

I so look forward to hearing how this goes in your families, the things you come up with, the insights your children have.

Pin it to share it, or so you won’t forget it:
25 Days of Character A Simple Tradition. A Valuable Connection.

If you’d like to do the Character Advent on your own, rather than follow along on Facebook, you can find a list of character traits in my original post.

Mason Jar Hot Chocolate with Dipping Spoons

mason jar hot chocolate with dipping spoons
My family is on a big hot chocolate kick lately so I’ve been having fun experimenting with new homemade mixes as well as fun fixings, like chocolate dipped spoons.

I made some mason jar winter hot chocolate layered mixes (recipe link below), packaged with curling ribbon and a couple of hot-glued buttons. A circle of scrapbooking paper covers the lid. I hand-wrote the tags and cut the tags using my scrapbooking tag punch.

The challenge was making these, as well as the fixings (see below) without having to go to the store because I didn’t feel like getting out of my pajamas for a few days between Christmas and New Year’s.  You understand, don’t you?

The spoons were leftover plastic spoons from various packages from birthday parties and such. I melted about a half cup of chocolate chips in the microwave, dipped the spoons in, let them dry on wax paper. Then I melted 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips, put them in my icing decorator and drew the squiggly lines.  To package them, I snipped off the zip-lock portion of a zip-lock baggie, trimmed it a bit to fit, then used some silver twisty-ties to close the bag around each spoon.

I made these to give to some friends and family that we will see on New Year’s day. Each person gets a jar of hot chocolate mix and two spoons. I hope to make some Valentine themed jars soon.  I also made a big batch of the hot chocolate (doubled the recipe) in a giant container to keep in the pantry for the kiddos.

The recipe for the layered hot chocolate is here.  I halved the recipe since I was using smaller mason jars.  I used mini-marshmallows instead of peppermint candy canes.