STEM Christmas Gifts

STEM Christmas Gifts

161: STEM Christmas Gifts

STEM Christmas gifts have the advantage of being both educational and fun. Your children are likely to get more use out of them than many other toys. Natalie Vaughn joins me on this episode as we share some of our favorite STEM toys. You can find links to many of the ones we talk about on this post.

Here are our suggestions for STEM gifts:

  • Coding board games
  • Cytosis board game
  • Video games and apps like the Contraption Maker Game
  • Osmo
  • Marble Runs
  • Scientific instruments eg microscopes, telescopesLego Technics – books ideas robotics EV3
  • Building kits
  • Circuit kits
  • Science lab kits – eg forensics
  • Online coding classes

FundaFunda’s programming classes mentioned in this episode:

Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

STEM Christmas Gifts

30 Creative Gift Ideas Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #137, 30 Creative Gift Ideas Dad Will Love This Father’s Day, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

30 Creative Gift Ideas Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

In “30 Creative Gift Ideas Dad Will Love this Father’s Day,” Episode, #137, Meredith Curtis acknowledges that homeschool dads are amazing. Sometimes it can be hard to think of creative ways to let Dad know how much we appreciate him. Don’t worry Meredith has 30 different ideas—there’s one that will work for your father. You will love these ideas! And so will Dad!



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Show Notes

Homeschool dads are the best! They work so hard and sacrifice so much for their wives and children. Father’s Day is a great time to let Dad know how much he means to you. Here are some fun creative ideas. One of these will make his day!

Rent His Dream Car

Get Tickets to a Game

Hire Someone to Mow the Lawn for a Month

Make 7 Favorite Desserts: one for Each Night of the Week

Go Fishing or Hunting Together

Go To A Car Show

Get Him an Introductory Flight Lesson

Go Sky Diving

Interview Dad about His Childhood and watch the Videos together

Invent New Cereals (Add ingredients to plain cereals and see who comes up with the best cereal)

Make Dad a Playlist of Dad songs

Go Bowling

Play Horseshoes in the Back Yard

Binge-Watch Marvel Movies

Go-Karting or Bumper Cars or Bumper Boats

Paintball or Airsoft

Go Boating or Deep Sea Fishing

Hiking or Kayaking

Give Dad a Backrub

Golf or Miniature Golf

Wash the Car & Detail the Inside

Serve Him Breakfast in Bed

Do His Chores for a Week

Go to an Escape Room

Rock Climb

Tell Dad Jokes or Watch Video of Dad Jokes

Your Love & Respect


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Jesus Fill My Heart and Home by Meredith Curtis Lovely to Behold A Wise Woman Builds by Meredith Curtis God's Girls 104: Motherhood by Meredith Curtis


How-to-Homeschool Books if you want to learn more about homeschooling or plan to homeschool 😊

Joyful and Successful Homeschooling by Meredith Curtis Unlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette Quick & EZ Unit Study Fun by Meredith Curtis Seven R's of Homeschooling by Meredith Curtis


These are just a few of our many resources that work well for all ages together!

Newspaper Reporting by Meredith Curtis Travel God's World Geography by Meredith Curtis Travel God's World Cookbook by Meredith Curtis HIS Story of the 20th Century by Meredith Curtis

More Podcasts You Might Find Helpful

Finish Well Radio, Podcast #066, What Dads Need Most in a Family Finish Well Radio, Podcast #084, 25 Movies Families Can Watch Together, with Meredith Curtis, on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #086, How to Care for Aging Parents with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #09 1, Peaceful Family Vacations, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

Virtual Gift Ideas for Homeschooling Families

112: Virtual Gift Ideas for Homeschooling Families

Virtual Gift Ideas for Homeschool Families

If you are looking for a last-minute gift, these virtual gift ideas will help you out.

1. DIY Virtual Gifts – listen to our previous episode for ideas.

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy has a unit study to guide your children through creating digital gifts – you can find that here.

2. Premium Version of apps – Some examples: Strava, All Trails, Spotify

3. Digital Magazines

4. Digital Escape Rooms

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy sells two – Mystery of the Amber Room and Mosby’s Treasure.

5. Annual subscriptions to National Parks, Zoos, Museums, etc

6. Gift Cards – some example: Steam, Uber Eats, H&M

7. eBooks

8. Subscription boxes – Kiwi Crate, Coffee, International Snacks, Makeup boxes

9. Online Classes – some examples: Masterclass, Airbnb virtual experiences
Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy sells an Intro to Game Programming Class that comes with a printable gift certifcate that makes a great option for 4th – 12th graders.

10. Digital Games – iPad, Steam

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool. We would love to hear how you are using tech in early elementary homeschooling!

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review! Subscribing will help you make sure you never miss an episode.

Virtual Gift Ideas for Homeschool Families

Tech Toys and Games

Tech Toys and Games

Episode 12: Tech Toys and Games

—> Check out our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy’s Scratch Christmas Coding Contest. This contest is for those who can’t program in Scratch yet, as well as for those who can. There are 2 different divisions, and new programmers can learn along with video tutorials as part of their entrance fee of $5. The winners will earn themselves gift cards. Registration closes 23 December 2018.

Here are some ideas of STEM toys and games that are likely to be played with for a long time after they are opened.

If you found this useful, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Tech Toys and Game

Raising our Children in Light of their Gifts – Chris Davis

Raising our Children in Light of their Gifts - Chris DavisChris Davis without a doubt has had the biggest influence on my own homeschooling. God providentially led me to his blog years ago and I have never forgotten his analogy of the acorn in this blog post. It is what set me off in a different direction, with the necessary confidence to go against the grain and simply allow my children to pursue their gifts.

But how do we handle the high school years? Can we continue with a lifeschooling mindset and crowd out all the influences and voices around us that tell us we have to conform? Will we be successful if we simply allow our children to continue pursuing their God-given gifts? The success of Chris’ own children inspires me and should give us all courage to continue lifeschooling!

Most people know Chris Davis as owner of the former homeschool supply company, The Elijah Company or as a homeschool conference speaker. Others know him as the father of 4 awesome children, now grown, who are doing amazing things that give Chris the courage to follow God in ever new ways. Still others know him as owner of For many years, Chris has brought homeschooling families to tour biblical Israel.

Chris Davis’ blog,, is mostly about homeschooling. However, from time to time he shares things God has shown him in his 70 plus years on the planet and 30 plus years being involved with homeschooling families.

If you follow his blog, you may just read something that will help you raise (and educate) your own children. When Chris began homeschooling over 30 years ago, he was quite opinionated on the subject. After all these years, he has become even more opinionated. (bio taken from

And I can relate to that sentiment!

Here is what I ask Chris on the show:

  • As I mentioned, you were probably the biggest influence on my homeschooling and the vision that God put in my own heart…which has ultimately led to my starting the Lifeschooling Conference. To give our listeners a little background, I discovered your blog years ago and it made such an impact on me. I think the first article I read was the one about the acorn. You expressed the kinds of ideas that had been circling around in my head and you really helped me to to solidify my philosophy of education.
  • And then God providentially brought our paths together at one of Rhea Perry’s Home Education for Home Business conferences. My daughter Elleina had her novel with her that she had been working on for maybe a year and you were the first person she allowed to read it, so that was really special because you actually called her up and used her as an example in the presentation you gave about allowing children to pursue their gifts.
  • I have always kept that analogy about the acorn in my head and tried to raise my children to be who God has called them to be, according to the gifts He has placed in them. I think that is revolutionary…though it really shouldn’t be. Can you give us a little more insight about this idea?
  • Give us some background about your homeschooling journey and what things were like when you were a pioneer homeschooler. What led you to homeschooling and what do you see as God’s purpose in this movement?
  • What is your biggest concern about what you see happening today with the homechooling movement? What do you think needs to change?
  • I know that traveling had a huge influence on you as a child. I read your book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally, and I just loved the story you shared at the beginning about traveling with your grandmother. Share with us a little bit of how that impacted your education.
  • While we’re on this topic of travel and how it fits with lifeschooling, tell us about the Israel tours, because I think that helping our children to understand the Bible better and that it is actual history is one of the most important things we can do in our homeschooling.
  • A couple years ago, we actually gave away a copy of your book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally, at the Lifeschooling Conference because I think it’s one of those “must read” books, especially for new homeschoolers. It really helps parents to understand what education is from a Biblical standpoint and it helps to strip away all the ideas that we have grown up with, that are so ingrained in us from experience and culture. Do you want to share with our listeners a little more about that book and tell them where they can get a copy?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

What I Think Your Preschooler Really Needs for Christmas

What I Think Your Preschooler Really Needs for ChristmasOn today’s show I talked about Christmas presents for young learners. Well-meaning adults often focus on the amount of presents under the tree, but this year I want to encourage them (and you) to focus on quality toys and presents instead.

  • Quality Wooden Blocks – I mention Constructive Playthings on the show and they have great products. Honestly, my favorite are Community Playthings and their website is Sooo worth the money!
  • Books – Good books are a must! For little ones, focus on board books with beautiful (real, when possible) pictures. Rhyming books, silly books, read –alouds are great for children, as they get a little older. Check out this link…
  • Kits – Create different kits for a great present that will keep your kids engaged. You can decorate plastic containers with lids for easy storage and cute presentation.

Exploration Kit- Nature journal (blank notebook), bird / flower books, pencils, magnifying glass, collection containers, tweezers for collecting bugs and such.

Art Kit- Check out and for quality art products for kids. Paper (large and small sizes), blank canvas’, pencils, paint, brushes, stickers, collage materials, and glue are all great in an art kit.

Bath Kit- Shaving cream, brushes, scrubbers, soaps, squirt toys, and even a new tootbrush.

Baby Doll Kit – baby dolls, blankets, small bucket for bathing, baby wash cloths, baby soap, bottles.

Sensory Kit- slime materials (glue and liquid starch, waterbeads, play-doh ingredients, textured items)

  • Grocery Store and such has a great plan for a grocery store/flower shop/post office/puppet stage… If you are not a woodworker, fill a small grocery cart with a cash register, a receipt pad, and some empty food boxes. My kids loved this cash register and it can be found from a variety of retailers.

  • Tent / Space for One – Creating a cozy space for one in your home is of benefit to you and your child. Many retailers have tents that can be purchased. Also include some cozy pillows, a few books, and maybe a small container of manipulatives or even a simple memory game.
  • Playhouse – Try and find something general enough that children can pretend with people or animals. Check out this treehouse dollhouse from

Also, we’ve been having fun playing but I want to do more read alouds. The only thing is that my youngest is just too noisy. Is that something about discipline or just age? Should I do read alouds when he’s asleep?

  1. Amanda asked, “ Do you, and if so HOW do you find time for yourself to avoid burnout? I feel like I can keep it together for a couple of weeks – getting up early to get a jump on the day, spending much needed time with the Lord, being patient and sweet with the kids (LOL!), saying yes and playing skillfully, keeping up with laundry and cleanup, cooking meals… by 3rd week I start feeling spent and the laundry starts slipping, I’m inclined to order dinner out every night and my best-laid school plans fall behind. Do you have a strategy for self-refreshment?

I loved answering all of these questions on the show. If you have questions for me, submit them via FB or instagram (The Real Kathy Lee) or message me through the website.

Find a way to #sayyes today.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Giving Good Gifts to Your Children – MBFLP 149


Most of us remember the magical expectations of Christmas as children. It’s more thought-provoking when you’re the parents selecting those gifts for your children, nephews, nieces, and all. This episode, we talk about gifts that aren’t heavily advertised, licensed-character products that will fade in interest not long after the wrapping paper goes out. Listen in for some of our favorite presents we’ve given our kids – and we’ve given each other – when money was tight and we wanted to do something special, not something expensive.

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MBFLP 107 – Character Building Gifts

MBFLP 107 - Character Building Gifts - V

So what’s on your Christmas list? No, not “What do you want?” but “What are you going to give?” There truly is a joy of giving, and this week, we talk about things we’ve given our kids – and sometimes, our whole family – that have given lasting enjoyment and good value, too. Join us as we’re discussing how to choose gifts that are fun and build character!


We have a new gift guide for the boys on your list – CLICK HERE to see it!

Making Christmas Memories without Sacrificing Your Sanity – FAH Episode 10

Do you ever feel pressured to create a Pinterest-perfect Christmas? Let go of burdensome expectations and focus instead on creating meaningful traditions that you and your family can enjoy year after year . . . without losing your sanity!

In this episode I share some of my own favorite Christmas traditions: keeping Christ in Christmas, decorating the tree and the house, collecting special ornaments, giving gifts, sending Christmas cards, and enjoying delicious food. I also share my family’s favorite Christmas books, movies, and music, as well as funny stories, like the time our tree fell and why we outsource our turkey to Texaco. Finally, I offer encouragement to those who are alone at Christmas, as well as ways others can help bless them.

For a list of the books, movies, and music mentioned in the podcast, along with a couple of my favorite holiday recipes, visit

I’d love to hear about YOUR family’s favorite Christmas traditions!

Christmas Memories 2

MBFLP – Saving Money At Christmas

MBFLP Saving Money at ChristmasIt’s the most commercial time of the year, the Christmas shopping season. For some businesses, the sales for these few short weeks make up for months of sluggish economy. For many of us, though, our own personal economy isn’t ready for big spending … as much as we might like to! This episode, we talk with Candy Foote of “Strategic Shopping” about fun, creative, and low-cost ways to enjoy the season while still putting gifts around the tree — and not running up the credit cards. You don’t want to miss this one!