First Day of School Surprises that Will Last All Year Long

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Gift-giving is such fun. I love surprising people and finding the perfect gift. Shopping for my kids brings me joy. Truly. Even purchasing homeschool school supplies can be fun!

On the same hand, I don’t want a big pile of “stuff” left around after a holiday celebration or birthday. This forces me to think before I buy.

I want gifts that are fun and practical. It is a possible combination! I don’t want to find myself overwhelmed with stuff for the sake of stuff.

This is where my creativity comes in. I need to find homeschool school supplies and gifts that will be inspiring, useful, and a joy to give.

In the spirit of practical AND fun gifts, I present the following gifts inspired by our homeschool lifestyle.

Purchase homeschool school supplies and gifts that will be fun, useful, and practical.

{This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.}

Making my lists and checking them twice…

Homeschool Poetry Teatime

Special Teapots

I absolutely adore these Tea-For-One ceramic tea sets from the English Tea Store. I bought each child their own solid color set and treated myself to this beautiful set.

Everyone loves drinking from their own special teapot, whether it is filled with hot tea, hot chocolate, or lemonade.

You can find several on Amazon as well. Here are a few that caught my eye:

New Poetry Books

I could list a million poetry books. The sky is the limit here.

But when it comes to gift giving, I like to find unique books that we will return to again and again. In that spirit, I’ll list a few favorite poetry book gift options:

  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost – In this beautiful adaptation for kids, there are hidden animals to discover in the black and white images.
  • Imagine A …. by Rob Gonsalves – We have these books in hardcover on our poetry shelf. The images are mind-bending illusions with accompanying poems. You can read more about my love for these books.
  • Winter Bees or Dark Emporer by Joyce Sidman – Both of these books include poetry and informational text about the animal or topic of the poem. I love the combination of non-fiction and poetry.
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander – A chapter book written in slam poetry style.

More poetry books:

Poetry Fun

How about magnet poetry for the fridge? Maybe the Haiku version? Or the Edgar Allen Poet kit?


Movies create the opportunity for great conversations in the same way that a good book does.

Take advantage of a few family movie nights during the busy holiday season or the gift of a good movie.

Gift a family movie night with a new movie and big gift basket of movie watching yummies.

Make it a bit of an educational experience and watch a movie that you can pair with a book ahead of time:

Grab the Discussion Guide:



I am obsessed with markers and pens, so I am happy to buy a ton of items in this category. And I do. All. Year. Long.

Here are some of my favorites to pull out for copywork fun.

Just for Copywork Fun


We love our special Favorite Lines journals (for favorite book quotes) and our Freewrite journals.

  • A Novel Journal is one of my favorite options. If your child has a favorite title that is featured then this is a perfect Golden Lines journal.
  • A Gold colored journal for their Golden Lines.
  • Grab a simple spiral notebook with a special cover. Maybe a sport or a character?
  • Some of these Harry Potter Journals would delight the kids in this house.
  • Get Out!!! There is a great selection of Stranger Things notebooks.

Game Play: Language Games

Toss the vocabulary and spelling workbooks and grab a game instead. Here are a few of our favorites for wordplay, storytelling, vocabulary, and spelling:

  • In Dixit, players use a descriptive word to describe their artwork hoping that it also describes the artwork someone else is holding. We own Dixit Journey, but it was very pricey when I posted this. I would check out the version pictured below.
  • Codenames forces the players to think about words, their various meanings, and connections. There are many versions to choose from. We have the original, but the neighbor has the picture version. The Duet Version is on my list.
  • Quiddler. Think spelling practice but FUN!
  • Rory’s Story Cubes are a classic storytelling game. They are also easy to take with you in your purse.
  • Taboo and Scattergories are classics from my own childhood. Both involve creative wordplay and work well with your older kids.
  • Apples to Apples is a great follow up to a lesson on adjectives and nouns!
  • Snake Oil is a fun game of persuasive language and laugh out loud word combinations.


What is hygge?

According to Wikipedia, it is a “Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).”

Part of our Homeschool Lifestyle includes bringing coziness to our homeschool environment. Instead of doing school at home, we create a cozy home environment where learning can happen.

Art and Nature

Enjoying art and nature are a regular part of our Homeschool Lifestyle.

In my home, we are much more likely to dabble in the arts instead of nature, but I try to incorporate both. There are so many simple gift ideas that will remain useful for years to come.


Bring the Bard to your gift giving events. There are so many books about William Shakespeare, so I am going to list my favorite “gift-worthy” titles.

Shakespeare Books

  • Wills Words – My favorite kids hardcover picture book to introduce kids to the language invented by Shakespeare.
  • My love for OMG Shakespeare runs deep. This is a hysterical set for your teen. (language warning with emoji and texting acronyms)
  • Loves Shakespeare and Star Wars? Combine your loves with these hysterical Star Wars rewrites.
  • Pop Sonnets are modern-day pop songs rewritten in the language of Shakespeare. I like to read the Shakespeare version and see if the kids can guess the modern song.

Shakespeare Fun

Ready for More School Supply Ideas?

My favorite school supplies that are fun to buy for your homeschool.



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