It's the time of year when many children (or their parents) are thinking about what to get for their favorite teacher. Why should teachers at home be any exception? If you're wondering what to get your homeschool teacher for Christmas, here's a handy guide with 20 gifts for $20 or less! (Note: any links are my personal recommendations only and do not provide me with any benefits.)

1. A Set of Nice Pens

No teacher should be without a good supply of reliable pens. Personally, I prefer pens that come in a variety of colors and have the ability to “click.” (I recently tried to use a pen with a broken clicker, and I almost couldn't grade without my absent-minded clicking!) Of course, this is just me. You'll have to find out what kind of pen your homeschool teacher prefers!

2. New Pajamas or Lounge Pants

This year has probably been extra hard on her favorite pair of comfy pants. Time for a replacement!

3. Nerdy Socks

While you're making your teacher more comfy, why not add a pair of fun, education-related or nerdy socks? A few examples can be found here and here and here.

4. Emergency Homeschool Supply Kit

I'm sure every homeschool teacher has had those moments where someone tragically can't get his work done because he’s lost his pencil, markers, crayons, ruler, notebook, protractor, compass, magnifying glass, etc. No more digging around under couches and through drawers to find the missing supplies! Fill a box with a stash of extras from the dollar store. Then have your teacher hide it from the kids (very important!) and next time something is missing, tah-dah! both Teacher and kids can get right back to work.

5. Headphones for the Kids

What? Shouldn't you be getting headphones for your teacher instead? No, because children are going to talk to Teacher whether she has her headphones on or not. If the children have headphones, however, they may be able to stay better occupied and leave Teacher (and the other students) alone. Compatible devices that play classical music not included.

6. A New Game or Puzzle Book

Your teacher needs to keep her brain sharp! I am personally a huge fan of board games, but if those don't float her boat, perhaps she would enjoy a brain-teaser game on her smart phone or a book of crossword or Sudoku puzzles.

7. A Book on Her Wish List

You favorite homeschool teacher probably has dozens of books on her wish list. The only problem is finding the time and mental energy to read them! As an alternative, you might consider . . .

8. A Book with Pretty Pictures

Here is one example, but you can search for “coffee table books” or “adult picture books” and come up with all sorts of interesting ideas! These can give your teacher a nice mental break even if she doesn't have much time to actually read.

9. Chocolate Bon Bons (or other chocolate)

In this crazy year, many people have finally learned what stay-at-home moms do all day, and it's definitely not sitting around eating bon bons. But that shouldn't mean chocolate is never involved! Chocolate makes everything better. Get your teacher some chocolate.

10. Coffee

Similar to chocolate, but with more potential energy. If your homeschool teacher depends on caffeine to get through the day, she is probably buying the survival level of coffee instead of the especially tasty stuff. A more expensive brand might be nice, or a coffee-related tool such as a coffee grinder or French press.

11. Tea

Your teacher isn't a fan of coffee? No problem. Perhaps she'd like a nice herbal tea: peppermint or raspberry zinger for a little extra pep, ginger or echinacea for an immune booster, or chamomile to help keep her calm in the midst of this crazy world. 

12. Essential Oils / Diffuser

Speaking of which, you can get similar effects from essential oils. (I like this brand.) Some inexpensive options are peppermint or fir needle for refreshment, lemon for immunity, and lavender for calming. Many diffusers are quite affordable as well!

13. Knife Sharpener

Your favorite teacher is probably also your lunch lady, and she may have been cooking even more often than usual this year. If her knives are getting a bit dull, you might be surprised what a difference a basic knife sharpener can make! (I have this one.)

14. Meal Planner Magnet

Along these lines, she might appreciate having this magnetic planner to help keep her home-cooked meals on track. Or perhaps, like me, she might use it as a leftover menu. Instead of writing future meals, I record meals as I make them. It's the best way I've found to keep track of what leftovers we have and how old they are!

15. Make Dinner

If your teacher is the chief meal-maker, she would probably appreciate a night off from this duty more than anything! You could make her some coupons that she can redeem for this offer. Then figure out something simple you can make when needed: spaghetti, tacos, scrambled eggs and pancakes, etc. Or just be prepared to order pizza!

16. “Do Not Disturb” Door Hangers

Sometimes your favorite teacher needs a nap or a shower or to trip to the toilet in peace! If children have trouble respecting her privacy, door hangers like these might come in handy (at least for children who can read). Why yes, I did make these for myself after numerous invasions of my personal space—why do you ask?

17. A “Spa” Treatment

Your teacher will likely love all the personal time she can get these days. A trip to an actual spa might be out of budget, but a few candles, some bubble bath, a playlist of relaxing music, and a free half hour won't break the bank and should do the trick just fine.

18. A Gift Card and Time Alone

Have I mentioned that your teacher might like some alone time? Get her a gift card to a place she might like to go—a coffee shop, a department store, a bookstore, etc.—and then tell her to go spend it and not to come back for at least two hours. 

19. A House Cleaning

This one will require more effort, but it could easily be the most valuable gift on this list. Send your teacher out of the house (this could go nicely with the above suggestion) and then give it a good cleaning while she's gone. Don't worry about getting the whole place sparkling. The more you can clean the better, but even if you only manage to scrub a few sinks and toilets, your efforts should be much appreciated.

20. A Homeschooling Mom Shirt

Even though your favorite teacher would love opportunities to take a break, I'm sure at heart she loves being a homeschooling mom. A cute t-shirt could be just the thing to help her display her homeschool pride! A few I personally like are here and here (made by a fellow homeschooling mom!).

Well, that's a wrap, kids (and Dad)! Which do you think would be your teacher's favorite gift?