By Maureen Wittmann
Husbands and children, listen up. The homeschool mom in your life could use a little extra attention. No, she needs a lot of extra attention. Let's go out of our way to make her day special. Whether it's her birthday, wedding anniversary, Christmas, or "just because we love you day", get thinking about what you can do to brighten her life and let her know how much she means to you.
Following is a long, long list of ideas to get you started. Gifts range from free (scroll all the way down) to pricey. So no matter your budget you can do this. The only other thing you need is time and desire.
In choosing gifts for the Homeschool Mom in your life, mix it up a bit. First, choose something nice and personal. More than likely she needs to be refreshed. Next, throw in a cool homeschool-related gift. A gift that will make homeschooling more fun and easier. This is especially important if she's been feeling some burnout. Let's get that homeschool fire going again! Finally, a nice kitchen or homemaking gadget is often a good idea, choosing something that will save her time and energy.
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GIFTS JUST FOR HER
Spiritually-Uplifting Book - Something to raise her heart to heaven and refresh her soul. Titles such as:
- The Handbook for Catholic Moms
- The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion
- Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
A Novel - A book she can curl up with in bed and escape from the world for a little while. A few ideas for you:
Jewelry with Meaning - Jewelry is always a good gift. Here are some ideas for jewelry that has extra meaning for a mother:
- Floating Locket - These are all the rage right now. I have one with the birthstones of my children and it is quite lovely.
- Charm Bracelet - Collect charms over time that have a special connection to your family.
- Religious Jewelry - Find something pretty that is also spiritually uplifting. Try searching Etsy for other hand crafted religious jewelry.
A Chapel Veil - You can find a wide selection of beautifully handmade (and to-order) veils at Veils by Lily. Lovely!
Scented Candles - Most moms enjoy scented candles. For some reason they bring a little peace after a busy homeschool day and help create a relaxing atmosphere. Especially if you combine it with praying your family rosary!
HOMESCHOOL RELATED GIFTS
Fashionable Book Bag - This cute bag is a cross between personal gift and homeschool need. Mom can be fashionable while toting around books, tablet, diapers, and what have you.
Laptop Satchel - I love mine, which often doubles as my purse.
Wicker Baskets - Who doesn't love baskets?! They're a great way to keep things organized and neat while making our homes pretty. A large basket for collecting books and a small basket for remotes or game controls will make a nice gift.
Homeschool Equipment - These tend to be larger ticket items. However, they're also very good to own and make homeschooling easier on Mom.
- Copier / Scanner - Number one necessity in the equipment category. Make sure the printer doubles as a scanner. This comes in handy if you take online classes as well as for record-keeping tasks. Make sure you purchase one that is compatible with your computer and can be hooked up wirelessly.
- Laminator - What homeschool mom doesn't covet her own laminating machine?!
- Comb Binder - I've used my comb binder off and on over the years. I originally purchased it for business purposes but soon discovered it's pretty helpful for homeschooling too. I can create books from the children's writings and art work. This is great way to create keepsakes for your children or to give away as gifts to grandparents.
- Electric Pencil Sharpener - Necessary time saver.
- Label Maker - This is on my own wish list. Click on the link and check out all the neat things you can do with this label maker.
Storage Bins with Shelves - This is a cute way to store and keep track of toys and/or craft materials. And, it keeps things looking neat and tidy too.
- Theme parks
- YMCA or other family-friendly gym
- Amazon Prime - Free 2-day shipping, photo storage, music, and more: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
- Audible - Downloadable audio books. Great for car schooling or personal enjoyment: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
- Netflix or Hulu - If she would like to be able to stream movies.
- Costco or other warehouse club - Saves money if you buy in bulk.
Local Gift Cards - Maybe Mom loves the movies, has a favorite restaurant, or could use a day of pampering:
- Spa Day
- Catholic Heritage Curricula
- Emmanuel Books
- Homeschool Connections - Email Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Seton Media
Homeschool Books - Does she need a little encouragement in her homeschool? Here are just a few to get you started:
- Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace
- Why Should I Learn This?
- Catholic Homeschool Companion
Classroom Supplies - Create a gift basket with all those little supplies that we can never seem to find: sharpies; gel pens; highlighters; Post-It Notes; scissors; etc. (See "Wicker Basket" above.)
Cool Classroom Equipment - A quality microscope (plus slide set) is one of my prize possessions. It has come in pretty handy over the years - not just for me but for the co-ops and friends I've lent it out to when a need arose. I'd love to also own a top-notch telescope, and I'm certain your Homeschool Mom would too.
One-Year Subscription to Unlimited Access - This is a game changer that will free up Mom's time and give her a big hand up in the family homeschool: Unlimited Access to 273 recorded homeschool courses for grades six through twelve, all taught with a Catholic ethos. Woot!
HOMEMAKING RELATED GIFTS
Kitchen Appliances - Is there a kitchen appliance or gadget she's been wanting? Choose something she'd use often and that will save time in the kitchen.
- Instant Pot - This single appliance has changed the way I prepare meals. I never thought I'd find something that I loved more than my Crock Pot, but I did, and this is it.
- Crock Pot - Or Hamilton Beach or other slow cooker. This is a must-have in a homeschooling household. Set it on low in the morning and dinner is ready by the time you put the books and science experiments away. Just make sure you get one with a lid that can be latched down -- this makes taking it to the Homeschool Pot Luck easy peasy.
- Bread Maker - Another big time saver. Enjoy homemade bread with little effort. I would use mine to mix and prepare the dough but bake the final product in the oven. Just don't try gluten-free yeast bread in it. Most bread makers can't handle the heavy GF dough.
- Kitchenaid Mixer - My husband bought my Kitchenaid for me for Christmas. It is quite pricey and he had to save for a number of years, but it was worth it.
- The NutraBullet - I use mine exclusively for smoothies. Super easy clean up and it holds up. I got mine for next to nothing at a Christmas sale so there are deals to be found if you shop around.
- Vitamix - Another pricey appliance we had to save up in order to buy. If you buy it refurbished, you can save a good amount.
- Handheld vacuum - I don't know what it is about these things but put one in the hands of a child and a lot of vacuuming gets done.
- Spot remover - Homeschooling is hard on a house. Our children live and school in the same place, so a lot of messes happen! My sister swears by this Bissell and it's on my own wish list.
- The Shark - Light weight and works great.
Last but not least ... the best gifts are often the ones that are free, the ones made with your precious time, talent, and love.
Homemade Card - Every mom loves a homemade card. Get out the crayons and the card stock, and get creative.
Make Dinner and Do Housework - (This is my favorite gift ... in case my kids are reading this!) Do it without being asked and without making a fuss. Do it silently, when she's not even looking.
Bake Her Favorite Dessert - Not your favorite, her favorite. You may have to ask her what it is since it's likely she always makes your favorite dessert and not hers. Oh, and don't forget to clean up the kitchen when you're done baking.
Wash and Detail Her Car/Van - Inside and out! Do a meticulous job, vacuuming every crumb. It'll feel so good to get in the car next time and you'll be on her good list for a long time!
Lastly .... A Coupon Book - This is perhaps the very best gift Dad or children can give to that special Homeschool Mom in their life: Personalized Coupons (click for a free template). You can never fail with coupon books that will be exchanged for your time. You can have a coupon that exchanges for an hour of tutoring a struggling child, making dinner, taking the kids out while Mom plans the semester, back massage, foot rub, cleaning the bathroom, free hugs ... use your imagination. What does your mom/wife need most?!
If I've missed any brilliant ideas, let us all know in the comments.
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