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It’s Time for Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Day!

By Bill Pride
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #93, 2010.

Let's not take our homeschool's teacher for granted
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Bill Pride

Every year, your local newspaper, TV station, and radio station announce, “It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week!”

This year, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3–7. For those who can’t take an entire week of appreciation, Teacher Appreciation Day is May 4.

So, what is Teacher Appreciation Week (or Day) all about?

According to teacher-appreciation.info, the top-ranked site which came up when I googled teacher appreciation ideas, “there is no better way to show your teacher appreciation for the extra help [than] by buying or making them a teacher gift.”

This could be “a simple note of thanks.”

Or it could be “one of the many personalized teacher gifts available (for example a pen or a watch inscribed with your teacher’s name).”

Or an entire class could band together for a major gift, such as “tickets to a special event, a keepsake piece of jewelry or a voucher for a special experience (anything from a spa-day to a sky-dive!).”

The major gifts don’t sound too bad. But I’m not so sure about the “note” and the “pen or watch” (or any of the other hundreds of highly affordable—to put it kindly—gifts available for this occasion). They sound like just the sort of “back at you” present you’d expect from a kid who has been showered with happy-face stickers and pencil toppers as a reward for hours of difficult schoolwork.

Now, homeschool moms already have Mother’s Day, which this year is May 9. (Question to self: Is Teacher Appreciation Day scheduled right before Mother’s Day for a reason?) So for scheduling reasons alone, any Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Day should not coincide with National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Thinking about this, I came to the following conclusions:

  • Homeschool teachers (moms, dads too if they teach some subjects, co-op teachers, and project mentors) deserve a special Appreciation Day.
  • It should not be Mother’s Day, since homeschooling is on top of normal motherly tasks.
  • It should not be Graduation Day, since that day’s focus is on the graduates.
  • It should not be End of Term Show-and-Tell Day, since that day’s focus is on the kids.
  • It should not be National Teacher Appreciation Day, because of the reasons I have already mentioned.

If your homeschool is run on a school-year basis, I propose the end of May, or at least a week after graduation and/or Show-and-Tell Day, for Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Day.

For too many of us, the school year ends on a flat note. The main homeschool teacher gathers together the projects and papers and packs them away. Often she goes straight from finishing one year to worrying about the next, without taking time for celebrating her accomplishments.

Even if you have finished a school year and are still playing “catch up” (we’ve been there!), I propose that you take a day and celebrate.

  • The kids are still alive.
  • They’re not in jail.
  • They learned something.

Some public-school teachers don’t have even this much to celebrate!

The ideal Homeschool Teacher Appreciation gift should be something that helps you unwind. Dinner out, a day at a spa (that was a pretty good idea), a shopping trip to a favorite bookstore or hobby store, or tickets to a sporting event . . . whatever the homeschool teacher finds relaxing.

I admit I’m not the greatest at coming up with gift ideas, so email us your ideas. Use our contact form at home-school.com/contact.php. We’d appreciate it!

Bill Pride is the father of nine totally homeschooled children, and is very open to receiving tickets to sporting events. In the interests of affordability, he considers mini-golf a “sporting event.”

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