50 Hands-On Holiday Gifts for Homeschoolers

Note - This post has affiliate links to products that we love and would use in our homeschool.  Please see my disclosure policy.

It's December and I am still working on my holiday shopping list, or you, too?  Each year, when my 2e daughter was young, we always filled our list up with hands-on fun holiday gifts for her, that were educational.

My daughter learned so much from doing hands-on projects in our homeschool, especially during the cold winter months, when it was too chilly to play outside. It was nice and cozy inside when my daughter had a fun project to do.  So we always included two or three hands-on kits or projects in our holiday gift buying for our daughter, when she was in the elementary years.

And she loved getting these gifts!  At the same time, doing hands-on projects taught her so much, and with her ADHD tendencies, we saw improved attention span, concentration, attention to task, and more.  And doing these activities or kits together made wonderful memories, too.

Here are 50 hands-on gift ideas for you, including creative arts and crafts, fabric arts, my favorite science kits, and even some construction kits for making things with wood.

Let's start with arts and crafts, which are so great for developing small muscle skills, and more.


Arts and Crafts were always big in our homeschool.  My daughter learned to hand sew early on, and loved making small sewing projects.  We also enjoyed spinning art, origami, and crafting with clay.  And anything project oriented from American Girl.  Here's some creative kits for each of these activities that I just mentioned.

Have you ever thought about teaching your kids how to knit or weave, using very simple projects? Oak Meadow Homeschool curriculum got us started with some knitting and weaving.  These projects were so fun to do together and also helped my daughter with her attention issues and concentration skills.


Each year, in the elementary years, we spent Thursday mornings working on a hand arts projects, using VERY small, VERY easy projects.

Now that we have touched on Arts and Crafts and Fiber Arts, let's turn to hands-on science FUN with science kits...


Do your kids like to do science hands-on?  For science in the elementary years, we mostly focused on simple science projects from Evan Moor, and hands-on science kits that my daughter chose herself. These make great gifts for your young scientists!

One of my favorite companies for science kits is the Magic School Bus.  Do you love using Magic School Bus for science, too?

Then, when my daughter was a middle schooler, we found some great educational science kits from Science Wiz Kits. We especially loved these.  Here is my review of one of them, if you would like more information.

And finally, I'd like to share some wonderful wooden construction kits that I found.   At our house, my daughter started out making things out of cardboard and tape, and here's one that she made of the rides that she took at our state fair.  Then she got into making things with wood.....


Building with wood, what a great way to play and learn on a winter's day!  Making things with kits like these below, improved my child's direction following skills, attention to task, organizational skills and more.  And then, there was the pride of creating something by hand, and a job well done!

I hope that this gives you some helpful ideas for your own holiday gift shopping list. 

 Here are reviews for 5 more of my favorite hands-on gift ideas for your kids.  What would you add to this list?  If you share your ideas below, I am sure that other families would be interested in them.  I wish you a cozy and warm winter, with lots of hands-on learning fun with your kiddos!

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her 20 year old college student whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote a new e-book for College Bound teens.  She offers free homeschool help and messages at BJ's Consulting.

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Copyright, 2016, All Rights Reserved

Homeschool High School Transcripts FREEBIE - A Step by Step Guide

Summary:  Making your transcripts are not hard to do with this guide.  I researched top sites to put this together.  And transcripts are really just a record of what your teen has been doing and studying.  

Are you new to homeschooling high school and wondering what homeschool transcripts are all about?

Or are you already in the midst of homeschooling your teen, and are just looking for some direction on making their homeschool high school transcipts?

You will find many answers to your transcripts questions here. 

When my own teen was starting high school at home, I went about doing some research on that, and came up with a step by step guide for me to follow.  

It was a help to me and I hope that it will be a help to you, too.  My daughter got into each of the colleges that she applied to with her homeschool transcripts.  

Did you know that homeschool transcripts are being very widely accepted across the U.S. by the colleges?  

Knowing what to put on my daughter's homeschool transcripts was a big part of my teen getting into college.  

So today, I am offering my free PDF Guide to Homeschool Transcripts to you, as a FREEBIE download.

It is a step-by-step guide to making your own homeschool transcript for your teen.

I invite you to click here to get yours:  Guide to Homeschool Transcripts.

I offer much more on homeschooling high school and getting into college on my blog here.

That will take you to my high school articles.  Then if you scroll down just below them, you will reach those on college.

Are you wondering what is involved in preparing your teen for college?

My book on that topic is below, and includes helps for setting up your high school at home, as well as how to deal with college.

It is on AMAZON, both kindle and paperback. 

KINDLE is 25% OFF!
Do you need an accredited transcript?  Or accredited courses?

No, colleges are accepting homeschool transcripts all over the U.S. The colleges also do not ask homeschoolers to complete accredited coursework.  
Your homeschool transcript will show all the credits that your student earned, and none of them need to be accredited.  Some colleges so ask for Course Descriptions, which is a chapter in my book/kindle. 

There are 16 other chapters on high school and how to deal with the college application process for homeschool grads.

Planning printables are included for:

-  Making a 3 or 4 year high school plan

-  Curriculum planning

-  Credit recording form 

-  Transcript form with step -by-step instructions

-  College entrance requirements 

-  P.E. Form

-  Course descriptions recording form and more.

 I invite you to click here for more information on my book/kindle. And consider pinning this article for future reference.

Do your teens like to learn through games?

They might just love this game oriented way to learn all about the college application process.  It is called the HIGH SCHOOL CHALLENGE.

We are also participating in it this year!

My friend, Meryl, owner of Funda Funda Academy, is host and is sharing tons of resources for high school moms plus tips for homeschooling high school and preparing for college.

Teens can win Target or Amazon gift cards - or the grand prize of $150 just for doing fun assignments that prepare them for college
Registration costs $5 - but everyone is eligible to win the $5 back at the very minimum. But there are lots of better prizes for students who put in a little effort.
For more information, click here.

My best to your and your precious kids and teens.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool, 


Betsy is mom to her now college grad daughter, whom she homeschooled since she was in K. 

She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool

Copyright all rights reserved @ BJ's Homeschool

Homeschool High School Freebies - Transcripts, Planning Your High School and More

Would you like some freebies to help you get started with your high school at home?  How about a BOOK SALE on my Kindle GUIDE to HIGH SCHOOL?

Hi, I am Betsy from BJ's Homeschool, a long time homeschooler, who homeschooled my daughter through high school, then helped her get into each of the colleges that she applied to with scholarship offers.

 I am so happy to be offering my homeschool freebies from blog at BJ'S HOMESCHOOL, plus my kindle book sale. 


Have you already been homeschooling your teen?

Does the thought of making transcripts led to overwhelm?  It did for me, when I was starting out.  
That is why I put together my guide to making your Homeschool Transcripts, which I offer as a freebie to you.

Making your transcripts are not hard to do with this guide.  I researched top sites to put this together.  And transcripts are really just a record of what your teen has been doing and studying.  

Are you looking for more information on high school?  Do you wonder what kind of curriculum you would need to do high school?  And how to go about getting your teen going doing it?

2.  FREEBIE High School Helps - No Email Needed!

Are you looking for more  tips and helps for high school?  To give you more of an idea of what is involved?  This download comes to you directly, without any need to subscribe or share your email at all.

 High School Helps 

This FREEBIE is something to check out and save for later reference, too.  More information on this freebie is here - What's in High School Help? - Where the Contents of this Free PDF are explained.


It does take you through all the important things you need to know for high school.

And it really is not that hard!!

It is a easy-to-read guide includes 12+ Downloadable High School Planning Printables, plus chapters on:
  • homeschool transcripts
  • assigning high school credits
  • making your own homemade courses
  • high school curriculum
  • college scholarships
  • my Common Application guide
  • course descriptions

Are you wanting to see what the book/kindle is like? 

4. FREE Chapter of my Book 

For this freebie, no need to sign in.  The link above takes you to the free PDF directly.

It explains how to find and then deal with your teen's college entrance requirements, and also shows you how my book is written.  Easy to read, and full of tried and true tips.

We started homeschooling when my daughter was 4, as she was so ready to learn and we wanted to teach her at home, to give her that extra attention and to teach our family values and more to her.

So my blog also includes articles on the early years, below and also the middle school years, too.

Do you have younger kids in your home, too?

Click the link THE EARLY YEARS for:

  • how to get started homeschooling
  • FRUGAL homeschool elementary curriculum
  • homeschooling kiddos with ADHD, or Sensory Issues
  • and more!
Does your child struggle with handwriting?  Or are you looking for a frugal way to teach it? 

As both a homeschooler and a retired O.T, I put together a bumch of specific, easy to do activities for handwriting.  And they are FUN for your kids!  And made them into a FREEBIE!

Playful ways to help with handwriting!

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool, 


Betsy is Christian, veteran homeschooler, and mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled 
since the early years. 

Betsy shares on  Facebookpins at BJ's Homeschool Pinterest.  You can also reach her on BJ's Twitter.

Copyright all rights reserved @ BJ's Homeschool

Life School Your College Bound Teen

Summary:  Life schooling added so much to our homeschool.  It allowed us to follow our child's and teen's interests, helping her to find her gifts and even decide her college major! Life schooling, that is what it is all about! #homeschoolinghighschool #lifeschooling #homeschool #getintocollege

We believe in life schooling. That is one of the reasons that we decided to homeschool.

Through natural activities, we helped our daughter followed her interests and, over the years, find her own unique gifts.

Even in high school, we did life schooling.  

Through high school activities and high school electives, my daughter explored her interests, which even led to her decision re her major in college!

  • to do lots of teen-led learning!
  • make your own homemade courses
  • do lots of high school electives
  • and activities!

Did you know that you do not have to do the public school graduation requirements?  As homeschoolers, we have a lot more leeway.

We just have to follow our state homeschool regs, and most states leave that up to the parent to decide for the most part.

More on that, and college admssions is in my book below, which is offered as a KINDLE GIVEAWAY below.

But first, let's talk life schooling!


In the early years, our daughter was all about art and making things.
Painting, fingerpainting and making things with cardboard and tape were her favorites. 

And that helped her handwriting, by developing her small muscle skills.

Our little one was always dancing around the house and soon asking for a ballet class, like she saw her friends attending. 

She was a shy one, so we thought a little dance class might help her develop her social skills and confidence.

Through ballet, she learned to follow directions, make friends, and yes, develope confidence, too.


We were always at the library, going to read-alouds there and such.  My daughter always chose her books herself.

She loved to pick out books about animals and other science topics.

And she still loved making things! So, after field trips, she often made something out of cardboard, to share with her dad.

One time we went to a local country fair.

Afterwards, she made this structure, to the left, showing all the fun rides there.

And at that fair, we found a children's contest that my daughter wanted to enter.  It was mostly for art, crafts, baking, etc. 

Did you know that many states have these contests at their state fairs, or through 4H?  

Country fair contests often include competitions even through high school in:

  •  animal care
  •  cooking
  •  art
  • writing
  • poetry
  • photography
  • and even knitting.  

My daughter continued with this fair all the way through high school.  She loved it because of the competition and earning awards for her work.  Life schooling....


In the middle school years, my daughter entered a lot of different contests at the country fair, like photography, baking, and even middle school homeschool writing 

Then one year she  entered a knitting contest. 

In that contest, the kids competed to see how could knit the fastest. 

To do this, they were up in front of an audience.

Would our shy daughter want to do that?  She did!

This was a real surprise to us.  It led to her reading her poem aloud, the next year.

Through this country fair contest, my daughter learning that she liked public speaking!  

Little did I know that she would want more. 


My daughter loved science, especially at co-op.  One year, her science teacher asked her if she would like to help teach the class.

She jumped at the chance!   

She learned that she liked talking in front of the group as she helped in that class.

Then in 10th grade, when we were studying government in our homeschool, she heard about a program called Youth and Government.

Did you know that most states have a Youth and Government program, through their YMCA?

It is an activity that teaches speech, debate and state governments.  

They act as if they are legislators and learn all about that, by acting it out!  

Speech and debate is so great for our teens.  More on that is here.

And that is a great way to show leadership in college applications!

Following our daughter's interests through life schooling even helped her decide on her college major!

She decided to study Communications in college.

What do you think your teen may want to study in college?  


Get your FREE PDF
full of tips and articles on 

Don't miss this High School FREEBIE: 

FREEBIE includes top articles on:
  • Frugal High School Curriculum
  • Graduation Requirements
  • 100 Best High School Resources
  • Nature Study for Teens
  • Favorites for High School Math
  • Teaching Textbooks vs Monarch
  • Make Your Own English Course
  • and more!
I helped my daughter get into each of the colleges that she applied to and my book tells you how to deal with college admissions.

  • what is needed for college admissions
  • homeschool transcripts
  • assigning high school credits
  • make your own homemade courses
  • scholarships
  • my Common Application guide
  • reference letters
  • course descriptions
  • lots more.
Are you homeschooling a strong will teen?  That can be a challenge.  My friend, Vicki from 7 Sisters Homeschool has lots of ideas for that in her post Homeschooling a Strong Willed Teen.   

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad daughter, whom she homeschooled since she was in K. 

She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool

She shares on  Facebookpins at BJ's Homeschool Pinterest.  You can also reach her on BJ's Twitterand she hosts an encouraging High School Facebook Group.

NOTE: All Rights Reserved @ BJ's Homeschool Revised 2021

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