Author: Beau Mueller

LIttle Passports Review

Little Passports Review 2019: Is This Subscription Box Worth It?

Little Passports is a subscription box service that offers four fun and creative ways to explore the world for a wide range of ages. Our Little Passports review includes a look at all four of their monthly subscriptions, including Early Explorers, World Edition, USA Edition and Science Expeditions. Is this subscription box service worth it?  We think so!

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now on to our review of Little Passports for you.]

Introduction to Little Passports

Each of the subscriptions starts with the arrival of a suitcase packed with various fun and engaging items.  After that, monthly packages will arrive that include more fun stuff, including activity booklets, stickers for the kids to decorate the suitcase, souvenirs and a whole lot more.

Without further ado, here’s our comprehensive Little Passports review, with details and recommendations for each of the four editions.

Little Passports – Early Explorers Review

Little Passports Early Explorers ReviewFor preschool-aged kids (3-5) Little Passports offers its Early Explorers subscription box. Early Explorers allows young children the chance to explore themes like dinosaurs, oceans or music.

During the first month of this subscription, your kids will receive a cute orange suitcase, a world map, a luggage tag, stickers, and an activity booklet.  After that, the ongoing monthly packages include toys, souvenirs, trading cards and much more!

“My son loves his package every month and so do I! The activities encourage his natural curiosity and excitement about the world around him. We can’t wait to see what all the other subscriptions have in store as he grows up!”

Suggested for Ages 3-5. Learn More About The Little Passports Early Explorers HERE

Little Passports – World Edition Review

Little Passports World Edition ReviewThis popular monthly subscription includes souvenirs and allows kids to learn about a new country every month through hands on activities.

Right away, kids will receive a suitcase, passport, wall-sized world map, collectible country coin and coin board, adorable animal squishies and much more.  Ongoing monthly packages will help kids discover a new country every month.  Each month the subscription packages include toys and souvenirs for each country, new collectible country coins, activity sheets, sticks and a whole lot more!

The Little Passports World Edition is recommended for children aged 6-10. Here’s what one mom had to say about this edition:

“When she sees the little white package in the mailbox she gets so excited and runs inside to get her luggage. This is so great at encouraging her thirst for knowledge and her interest in other cultures. Thank you for this!!”

Suggested for Ages 6-10. Learn More About The Little Passports World Edition HERE

Little Passports – USA Edition Review

Little Passports USA Edition ReviewThis edition is recommended for ages 7-12 and helps children discover the USA with fun and educational puzzles, games and crafts. Among other goodies, this version comes with fun and hands-on activity journals for each state.

The first month of the Little Passports USA edition includes an impressive amount of items to help kids get started.  These items include a field guide, scratch book, wall-sized USA map, super fun photo scavenger hunt and more.

After that, two new states are featured each month with stickers, postcards and a 32 page state journal with a ton of activities for your kids.

“Cheaper than a round trip ticket to explore the great states and so much fun. These hands-on activities help keep them engaged and focused as they watch the world unfold before their very eyes!”

Suggested for Ages 7-12. Learn More About The Little Passports USA Edition HERE

Little Passports – Science Expeditions Review

Little Passports Science Expeditions ReviewLittle Passports Science Expeditions is a great subscription box service for any young scientist. Children who engage with this subscription can learn critical thinking and problem solving skills while also exercising their creativity.

Initially, your children will receive a very cool tote bag, a science lab notebook, a forensic science experiment kit, fingerprint analysis card and an engaging booklet with more games and activities.

After that, the ongoing monthly packages will allow your kids to solve real-life scientific mysteries every month!  Besides receiving hands-on science experiments every month, kids will engage with a 16-page comic book with bonus activities. One happy parent had this to say about Science Expeditions:

“My kids love learning science through hands-on activities.  Kids learn by touching and doing not by memorizing facts.  Little Passports breaks down complex ideas into kid-sized pieces, bringing concepts to life.  It really helps them relate to what they are learning.”

Recommended for Ages 9+. Learn More About Little Passports Science Expeditions HERE

 

Video: “Little Passports Brings our Family Together!”

“It Brings Our Family Together” from Little Passports on Vimeo.

Little Passports Review – Conclusion

Little Passports has our highest recommendation.  For all of the subscriptions, you can subscribe on a monthly basis at a slightly more expensive per package rate or opt for a 6- or 12-month plan. There are also some add-on products — like dolls, books and activity games that you can purchase for an additional fee.  See all of Little Passports products here.

Buy Little Passports today with a $20 off coupon on any subscription.  Use the code EXPLORE at checkout.

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Top 5 Tax Programs for Teachers

The 5 Best Tax Software Programs for Teachers in 2019

One question we get every year around tax time is: what is the best  tax software for teachers?  With this article we try to cover 5 of our top recommended options for educators’ unique tax needs.

These online tax software options range in price and functionality but should have you covered and save you some money too.  Even the priciest options should be cheaper than hiring a professional to prepare your return.  In fact, some of them are truly free, at least for educators with simple returns!

Read on for our review of what we believe are currently the 5 best tax software programs for teachers in 2019.

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now on to our list of awesome tax software for teachers.]

Our Top 5 Recommended Programs for Educators:

1) TurboTax

2) H&R Block

3) Tax Slayer

4) Liberty Tax

5) FreeTaxUsa


 

1) TurboTax for Teachers


TurboTax - Best Tax Software for Teachers

Possibly the biggest name in Tax software, most educators cannot go wrong by choosing TurboTax. It is currently our #1 recommended tax software for teachers.

This year’s version will search more than 400 tax credits and deductions (including the Educator Expense Deduction) to see which you qualify for.

TurboTax guarantees teachers their maximum refund and 100% accuracy.  Learn more about the TurboTax teacher discount and see if you qualify for the free version of TurboTax here.


 

2) H&R Block for Teachers


H&R Block is #2 on our list of best tax software for teachers and also has our highest recommendation.

Benefits of using H&R Block include no hidden fees and unlimited help via chat.

One feature that sets H&R Block apart is the ability to get your all or part of your refund as an Amazon gift card.  What’s more, if choosing this option, you’ll get an additional 5% added to your refund!

Like TurboTax, H&R Block also offers a free version for filers with simple returns.  If you have  more complicated taxes, definitely take advantage of your 25% H&R Block teacher discount here.


 

3) TaxSlayer for Teachers

TaxSlayer is a great choice for educators who want a simple data entry option.  This program’s “quick file” option is a blessing for those who want a simplified filing process.  This program has the distinction of being the highest rated tax software for ease of use.

As with the other recommended tax filing software recommendations for teachers, TaxSlayer has a free option.  The paid options are very reasonable as well.


 

4) Liberty Tax for Teachers


Liberty Tax for Teachers

Liberty Tax is a great option for educators who are savvy and experienced with filing their own taxes. The program allows you to choose what aspects of your return you want to work on and when. It even offers up helpful recommendations along the way, warning you if you enter information that might trigger an audit. Audit protection is even included in the price!

Liberty Tax is not as user-friendly as our top 3 options, but is very affordable and will definitely get the job done for you.

 


 

5) FreeTaxUSA for Teachers

Last but not least on our list of best tax software for teachers is FreeTaxUSA.  FreeTaxUSA is unique in that Federal Tax Filing is 100% free for both simple and complicated returns. Furthermore, state returns only cost $12.95!

One useful feature is that if you filed with TurboTax or H&R Block last year, you can conveniently upload your return from last year.

All in all, this no frills option is perfect for educators who like to save money and who are OK with less bells and whistles.


 

We hope you found this list of our top tax software programs for teachers helpful. We truly believe any of these 5 options will be great for you.  Please let us know what you think of our list in the comments below. If you have a personal favorite tax program for teachers we have missed, please let us know that in the comments as well!

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5 of the Best Teacher Bags on Wheels!

Looking for the best teacher bags on wheels? To help you roll to and from class in style, here are 5 of the best teacher tote bags on wheels currently available!

[Please note that we might share a small portion of the sales from the links on this page. We only share products that we truly love and recommend. Thank you for your kind support of The Moneywise Teacher! Now on to the awesome teacher bags for you.]

What are the best Teacher Bags on Wheels?

Here are Our 5 Top Recommended Roller Bags Perfect for Teachers:

  1. Olympia Fashion Rolling Shopper Tote
  2. Pacific Coast Signature Large Rolling Shopper Tote Bag
  3. Mount-It! Mesh Rolling Utility Cart
  4. Smart Cart Rolling Multipurpose Collapsible Basket Cart
  5. Lily Bloom Underseat Bag

1) Olympia Fashion Rolling Shopper Tote

We start our list of rolling bags for teachers with the Olympia Fashion Rolling Shopper Tote. The perfect educator’s companion, this rolling teacher tote will make transporting your items easy. Features include a retractable pull handle, as well as a hideaway zippered enclosure. This bag’s reinforced recessed ball bearing inline skate wheels are built for maximum use.

Olympia Fashion Rolling Shopper Tote – Sample Amazon Review

“Great for Teachers! This bag beats all those plastic, clunky box carts that most of my colleagues use. While theirs are relatively ugly, difficult to maneuver, and require duct tape to hold together, this little gem from Olympia is stylish and solid. The wheels are quiet and the handle is the right height for my taller-than-average 5-8 frame. This has saved my back and, if I wanted, I could use it as a shoulder bag.

This product is well made, has a couple of exterior pockets, a sturdy zip-top for rainy days, solid wheels and telescoping handle, and can hold all of my work essentials. Also, the bottom is solid heavy-duty plastic — no worries about over loading! The damask pattern is lovely, not over powering, just plain lovely. Can’t beat the reasonable price (at least $10 less than that crappy Staples box-cart) and the speedy ship seals the deal. Buy this, you won’t regret it. And then you can laugh at the busted up, duct taped boxes that other teachers use!”



2) Pacific Coast Signature Large Rolling Shopper Tote Bag

For any teacher looking for a great bag on wheels, the Pacific Coast Signature Large Rolling Shopper Tote Bag is definitely worth checking out. This teacher tote bag features inline smooth gliding wheels to get you to school and back and a retractable handle that zips away when not being used. A top loading compartment and side mesh pocket makes it easy to locate your items.

Pacific Coast Signature Large Rolling Shopper Tote Bag – Sample Amazon Review

“Love this!!! As a mom of two working in a school I carry a LOT of bags !!! I also have back issues from carrying my bags and carrying around the baby and diaper bags and what not . This bag fits a lot if not all the things I take every day (water bottles , breast pump , lunch,etc) it’s also my favorite pattern and color !!! Very happy I purchased this bag !!”



3) Mount-It! Mesh Rolling Utility Cart

The Mount-It! Mesh Rolling Utility Cart portable mesh rolling tote is perfect for carrying your school files, books, and supplies without causing undue stress on your body. This lightweight, versatile rolling teacher cart folds away for easy stowing. Store it in your car, in your locker, or anywhere else that’s convenient!

Mount-It! Mesh Rolling Utility Cart – Sample Amazon Review

“These mesh carts (purchased 2) are a fantastic addition to our office because some of our staff and students have to transport their materials/supplies to on-campus events (e.g. Orientation) and this cart makes the task so much easier.”



4) Smart Cart Rolling Multipurpose Collapsible Basket Cart

Next on our list of rolling bags for teachers is the Smart Cart Rolling Multipurpose Collapsible Basket Cart. This teacher tote is the perfect rolling tote for educators on the go. This foldable teacher bag on wheels has an extendable handle for easy maneuverability. Features also include a front packet for easy-access items and it is also made of weatherproof material. Highly recommended!

Smart Cart Rolling Multipurpose Collapsible Basket Cart – Sample Amazon Review

“Teacher approved! Very easy to store. I roll it fully loaded to and fro between my car and my classroom without problems with the asphalt. I drive a tiny car with next to no trunk which made conventional roling crates a hassle but this one takes just the right amount of space. I’m also loving how flexible it is, which makes it less likely to break with just a litte bump like it happens with rolling carts and how the bottom hasn’t shown signs of detaching from the sides like it happened to my rolling crate. All in all, I love it and recommend it. Just don’t judge it by its size when you receive it. Fill it up first so you can actually see how much it holds.”



5) Lily Bloom Underseat Bag


Last but not least, our final teacher rolling bag is one educators rave about! The Lily Bloom Underseat Bag. This vibrantly designed bag has a unique lightweight biodegredable canvas exterior. It also features a fully lined interior, a “premium telescopic push button handle system”, large exterior zippered opening plus 4 outside compartments. Storage is easy with this one and as you’ll read from the review below, it comes with the highest teacher recommendation!

Lily Bloom Underseat Bag – Sample Amazon Review

“I’m a teacher and I got fed up with carrying all my supplies in a backpack! It was always super heavy and would fall off my shoulder but, the business roller-type briefcases seemed outrageously expensive. After weeks of searching I came across this guy, bought it, and so far I love it. It holds everything I need to take with me: laptop, papers to grade, lunchbox, etc and it just rolls right behind me. This teacher bag has a ton of well-placed zipper pockets for my pens, pencils, and paperclips. It even has pockets on the side that almost perfectly holds my water bottle. Seems sturdy and well made. Best of all it was inexpensive compare to similar products. I’m happy I bought it!”



What’s Your Favorite Teacher Bag on Wheels?

I hope you will share some of these fantastic teacher totes with the special teachers in your life. If you have your own favorite teacher bag on wheels, please share it in the comments below!

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Money Books for Kids - 5 Top Children's Books on Money

Money Books for Kids – 5 Top Children’s Books That Teach Money!

Unfortunately there is generally a lack of financial education in most schools today. That said, it usually falls on us as teachers and parents to instill money skills. Money books for kids can be a great way to start young kids on the path to a solid financial foundation. To help you and the important kids in your life, here are 5 of the top children’s books that teach money skills!

What are the Best Money Books for Kids?

Here are Our Top 5 Children’s Books That Teach Money:

  1. How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!
  2. Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Children
  3. The Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, Donating
  4. Go! Stock! Go!: A Stock Market Guide for Enterprising Children and their Curious Parents
  5. Finance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to Miss

1) How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!

Could this be the best money book for children? Many kids and parents think so! We start our list with a children’s book on money that comes highly recommended, How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!. This book is billed as being for any parent who wants to raise unspoiled and financial savvy children.

This humorously-written book is packed with lively illustrations and seeks to make difficult concepts easy to understand. Young readers will learn the basics of earning, saving, investing and spending their money.

How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest! – Sample Amazon Review

“I got this to teach my kids about budgeting and saving on their level as part of our homeschool curriculum. The primary learners I was targeting were my 7, 9, and 13 year olds. The book does a great job of explaining concepts, laying out a plan, and giving advice about topics including earning money, getting a job, and budgeting. A lot of the material is beyond the needs of my younger two, but everyone has been interested in the book, and we can always reread it in a few years. My favorite thing about it is the graphic presentation of the material. I also like the emphasis on saving.”

2) Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Children

Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Children is a fun, informative and engaging money book for kids.

As the title suggests, this money book for kids is focused on helping children grow their money. Topics covered include saving, stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Children – Sample Amazon Review

“This is one of the two books that is a required reading book for our children. The school systems seem to lack an education on money and finance, so we found this book. It is a simple read…even our 10 year old was able to read it and understand the concepts. With the knowledge from this book, our kids have all gotten into the stock market and learned how to manage money and have their money, earn money.”

3) The Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, Donating


Next on our list of top money books for kids is The Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, Donating.

This book teaches children how to make the big bucks, invest, create a budget, invest and donate to charity! Importantly, part of the focus of this book is to help kids understand the difference between needs and wants. Entrepreneurship is also covered.

The Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, Donating – Sample Amazon Review

“A great read for kids and a good tool for parents looking to start teaching their kids about money at a young age. I have two daughters and they both make an allowance and also work part time for one of my companies. I wanted to have them start learning about money at an early age, so they value how to earn a living, make a buck, and want to work hard. The book gives a brief history of money from bartering, to coin usage, to cash, etc. It also discusses budgeting and how to spend money. Book also has a couple of quizzes that the kids can take at the end of a chapter.”

4) Go! Stock! Go!: A Stock Market Guide for Enterprising Children and their Curious Parents


Fourth on our list of the best money books for kids is the Go! Stock! Go!: A Stock Market Guide for Enterprising Children and their Curious Parent.

This book utilizes a cartoon-like style to help kids understand the stock market. Children will have fun learning the fundamentals of investing, stocks and bonds with this 5-star rated story.

Go! Stock! Go!: A Stock Market Guide for Enterprising Children and their Curious Parents – Sample Amazon Review

“Super book! Very easy to learn about investing! Makes it simple so you come away with the ability to actually try it out — invest in a few stocks and watch what happens. Demystifies the whole process for me and my kid! I bought the book to read with my son because he was interested in investing. He’s in middle school. We enjoyed reading it together. He could have read it on his own but I wanted to learn how to invest as well. The illustrations make it fun and easy to follow as does the story.”

5) Finance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to Miss


Our final featured money book for kids is Finance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to Miss .

Next in our list of money books for kids is an informative and entertaining book that covers many important topics. It seeks to help kids on their path to making savvy financial decisions. Topics covered include the history of money, earning, saving, investing, giving, credit, the stock market and more!

The Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, Donating – Sample Amazon Review

“Just finished reading this book. Wanted to make sure that it was a good fit for our homeschool and I have to say “ABSOLUTELY!” This book is easy to read, fun to read, and great for working it into any homeschool curriculum.”

Money Books for Kids – What’s Your Favorite?

I hope you will read some of these fantastic children’s money books with the special kids in your life. If you have your own favorite money book for kids, please share it in the comments below! You may also be interested in our list of games that teach money skillst to children

Money Books for Kids Pinterest

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chemistry set for kids

8 Amazing Chemistry Sets for Kids in 2019

Are you looking for an awesome chemistry set for kids? Here we share 8 of the best children’s chemistry sets currently available in 2019!

1) Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Kids

Is this the best beginning chemistry set for kids? Many kids and parents think so! We start our list with a kit that has a ton of positive reviews, the Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Kids. This very affordably priced children’s chemistry set comes with a whopping 50 science experiments.

Along with 16 out-of-the-box experiments, there are 34 additional STEM-learning inspired science activities. The kit comes with very easy-to-follow instructions for kids, but as you’ll see from the review below, kids tend to have a blast exercising their creativity without the instructions! Highly recommended.

Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Kids – Sample Amazon Review

“I am revising the star rating from 4 to 5. The main reason is that the kids are still just in love playing “science”. The directions have been thrown out and they just go to town and are completely entertained. Both the 4 and 8 year old are in love. Complete imagination takes over and it’s lovely.”

Suggested for Ages 7+. Learn More About The Crayola Color Chemistry Set for Kids on Amazon HERE

2) Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit

The Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit is the top rated crystal growing chemistry set on Amazon and allows kids to easily make their own crystals.

The manufacturer even has a “Make your Own Crystals or Your Money Back” guarantee. If instructions are followed, kids will end up with 5 beautiful crystal rocks after working with this science kit!

Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit – Sample Amazon Review

“We have bought countless crystal growing kits-we follow the instructions to a T on every one of them. THIS kit is the only kit that actually grew crystals. BIG crystals!!! We started seeing the crystals come up out of the solution and were seriously excited we had finally found a kit that worked. My 7 year old is really into the science kits-he loved this, but, then again, so did my 3 year old. Okay, and mom and dad had fun, too!!!”

Suggested for Ages 7+ Learn More About The Evviva Sciences Crystal Growing Kit on Amazon HERE

3) Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab


Next on our list of top chemistry kits for kids is the Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab.

This exciting, easy-to-use children’s chemistry set is loaded with value and comes with more than 26 experiments, 41 tools, ingredients and a 36 page activity/lab guide.

Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab – Sample Amazon Review

“SO AWESOME! The quality of the supplies in this kit are top notch and the book is very easy to follow along with. My 7 year old absolutely loves this kit and will be purchasing from this vendor again very soon. We homeschool and have been looking for a quality SCIENCE kit.. We found it!”

Suggested for Ages 8-13 Learn More About Playz Explosive Kitchen Lab on Amazon HERE

4) Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit

The Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit from Thames & Cosmos allows kids to make slime, fizz, crystals and more! One commonly cited drawback to this set is that the experiments can only be used once. Other than that, it comes highly recommended!

Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit – Sample Amazon Review

“Purchased for my daughter for Christmas and she’s loving it! We are taking our time completing the different experiments, but she has really enjoyed the couple we have done so far. Recommend for kids who love to learn and love Barbie!”

Suggested for Ages 4-8. Learn More About Barbie Fundamental Chemistry Kit on Amazon HERE

5) Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry: Crystals & Slime Science Kit

Continuing our review of top chemistry sets for kids is the Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry: Crystals & Slime Science Kit, which includes many items that will help turn your little one into a true chemist!

This chemistry kit also comes with two robust study guides where kids can track the results of each experiment and compare.

Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry – Sample Amazon Review

“What a great science kit! It has everything you need to conduct some really cool experiments; and a few things from home obviously. The guides are colorful and easy to follow – and they even have a section for notes so that you can document results! Great purchase!”

Suggested for Ages 6+ Learn More About The Click-a-Brick Creative Chemistry on Amazon HERE

6) Happy Atoms Magnetic Molecular Modeling Set

This set stands out among the many molecular chemistry sets on the market. The Happy Atoms Molecular Magnetic Modeling Set allows children to build, scan and identify molecules.

Included are both a digital and physical chemistry set, as well as a free “Happy Atoms” app (free download), a scanning mat and more!

Happy Atoms Molecular Magnetic Modeling Set – Sample Amazon Review

“This is a fantastic tool for kinesthetic and visual learners! Out of the box my 8 year old played with this for almost two hours. The magnets are just the right strength, the “atoms” are well made, and they feel good in your hands as you assemble molecules. The set itself is a five-star gem. GET IT. Your kids will learn SO much and have an amazing time doing it! “

Suggested for Ages 10-17 Learn More About The Happy Atoms Molecular Magnetic Modeling Set on Amazon HERE

7) Kids First Chemistry Set

Kids First Chemistry Set Review Another great chemistry set for kids is the appropriately named Kids First Chemistry Set, which gives kids the chance to identify different chemicals through conducting the 25 provided experiments. Your young chemists can safely explore simple chemistry with common household substances and the provided lab equipment such as beakers, test tubes and more.

Kids First Chemistry Set – Sample Amazon Review

“We did some looking at a wide variety of options for a chemistry set before choosing this one. The options ranged between lower-priced (almost nothing useful inside the box and too expensive (some stuff inside the box, but apparently not that much). This one seemed to have good instructions and it provided some chemistry-like utensils and tools – but no chemicals; the girls are learning about chemistry from what’s available in the kitchen.”

Suggested for Ages 8+ Learn More About The Kids First Chemistry Set on Amazon HERE

8) Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit

Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit ReviewOur final product in our review of the chemistry sets for children is fun to experiment with (and eat!) Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit, which combines STEM concepts with hands-on science projects.

This edible chemistry set is loaded with value and comes with 40 experiments, 27 tools and ingredients and a 56 page lab guide! Well worth checking out!

Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit – Sample Amazon Review

“This is a neat little set that is full of educational activities for both boys and girls. Its always a plus when you can eat at the end of the process. I do think for what was included and the price you could do the same by researching online but that would take time and energy which is essentially what we are paying for in the set. The booklet and recipes are easy to understand for an adult, but may be a little confusing for a child. Adult supervision is needed with this. Also some off the recipes do call for other things that are not included in the set and some recipes call for optional items. This is perfect for our homeschool or just for a child who loves science or cooking.”

Suggested for Ages 8+ Learn More About The Edible Candy! Food Science Chemistry Kit on Amazon HERE

What’s Your Favorite Chemistry Set for Kids?

I hope you will try some of these wonderful chemistry sets with the special kids in your life. If you have your own favorite chemistry set for kids, please share it in the comments below!

Here are links to the 8 kids chemistry sets we feature on Amazon. Be sure to also check out our list of games that teach money skills!

Chemistry Set for Kids

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Teacher Home Loans – 4 Top Programs in 2019

Are you a teacher looking to buy a home and need help with financing? Please consider some of the special mortgage programs that cater specifically to educators. In this article we are excited to share 4 of the top providers that currently offer teacher home loans!

Our 4 Top Home Loan Programs for Teachers

Our list of teacher home loan providers in 2019 include:

1) LendingTree for Teachers
2) Educator Mortgage Program
3) Teacher Home Advantage
4) NEA Home Financing Program

Why Should you Explore Teacher Home Loans?

First off, these programs were created with educators in mind. They may offer some perks and/or discounts that you may not get from traditional financing options. One of the perks includes discounted closing costs or lower interest rates. Some programs even can make a donation to your school. All this considered, teacher home loans might very well be what you are looking for when you wish to finance the purchase of a home.

Without further ado, here are the 4 best teacher mortgage programs available for professional educators:

1)LendingTree Teacher Home Loans


Our #1 recommended provider of teacher home loans is LendingTree, where you can easily compare up to five educator-friendly home loan offers!

Whether you are purchasing a home, refinancing, looking for a home equity line of credit or seeking a reverse mortgage, LendingTree has our highest recommendation.

If looking at any of the other options that follow, it is highly recommended you take a look at LendingTree first! This will give you the most options. Furthermore, it can help you make an informed decision on which home loan for teachers is best for you! Highly recommended!

Compare offers from up to 5 educator-friendly Teacher Home Loan Providers on LendingTree HERE

2)Educator Mortgage Program

Teacher Home LoansThis is a really interesting program from Supreme Lending that anyone in the education industry is eligible to apply for. The highlights of the Educator Mortgage Program include:

  • Discounted Closing Costs – Supreme Lending is offering up to $800 in reduced closing costs to educators.  If you qualify, you will receive a credit on your HUD-1 settlement statement for up to $800.
  • Discounted Real Estate Agent Fees – The Educator Mortgage Program looks to work with real estate agents who want to give back. As an educator, you will receive a credit on your HUD-1 settlement statement up to $800 from participating Real Estate Agents. These funds can be used for any fees, prepaids, seller fees, or new escrow account set up for your new loan.
  • Fast Loan Process – Supreme Lending emphasizes that educator clients are given highest priority. Educator loans are handled expeditiously so as to ensure “a smoother and more enjoyable experience.”
  • Donation to Your School– With the Educator Mortgage Program, a donation of to $200 will be made to the school program of your choice. If you work with a participating real estate agent, an additional $200 will be donated, for a total of $400, to the school program of your choice!

Visit the Educator Mortgage Program’s website for more info on their teacher home loans. They offer various home buyer mortgage programs including FHA loans, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, USDA, Jumbo and more.

3) Teacher Home Advantage

American Pacific Mortgage Teacher Home Advantage LoansThe Teacher Home Advantage program by Pacific Home Mortgage offers various options for teacher home loans.   These range from:

  • FHA Loans – Federally backed loans with a low fixed rate, great for the educator who is a first time home buyer.
  • Conventional Loans – These are not backed by the government and usually require a larger down payment. However, one advantage of these loans for teachers is that monthly mortgage insurance is not generally required.
  • USDA Loans – 0% down loans that are insured by the government. These loans are only offered in “rural” areas. The fact that these loans require no down payment puts home ownership within the reach of many educators.
  • VA Loans – If you are a veteran, this could be a great option for you. Like the USDA loan, it does not require a down payment.
  • Home Path Program – This program is only available for the purchase of Fannie Mae owned homes. It offers educator borrowers low down payment options, flexible terms, no mortgage insurance and no appraisal fees.
  • “Making Home Affordable” Program – Teacher Home Advantage works directly with this program. Basically, it includes opportunities to help borrowers make their monthly payments more affordable. In other words, it allows homeowners the chance to decrease their current mortgage payments, even if they’re “upside down” in their home.
  • Teacher Next Door – This program (more specifically HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program) offers Pre-K through 12th grade teachers a wonderful opportunity. Make a contribution to community revitalization while receiving a substantial 50% discount on the list price of a home! The limitations of this program are that you must commit to live in the property for 3 years, and qualifying homes must be located in HUD-designated revitalization areas only.

Learn more about these different programs and what the Teacher Home Advantage offers educator clients here.

4) NEA Home Financing Program®

NEA Home Financing Teacher Home LoansOffered through Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the NEA Home Financing Program® is offered as a benefit of the NEA Member Benefits program.

Some of the features of this program include:

  • Competitive interest rates and fees
  • Low down payment options
  • A wide variety of home financing choices
  • Conventional and jumbo loans, with both purchase and refinance programs available
  • As an NEA Member bonus, you’ll receive a $500 award card when you close a purchase or refinance

Learn more about the NEA Home Financing Program® here.

Explore your Teacher Home Loan Options Today!

When searching for your teacher home loan do not forget to compare rates and other benefits. Again, our highest recommendation is to start your comparison shopping on LendingTree today HERE.

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Teacher Freebies 2018

13 Teacher Freebies For EVERY Educator in 2019!

We admit, the title of this post about teacher freebies is a bit misleading.  In truth, this list includes links to THOUSANDS of 2019 teacher freebies.

These 13 freebies are either individual freebies you can claim today, or links to online resources with hundreds (or thousands!) more freebies – worksheets, activities, lesson plans, you name it.

We tried to select a variety of teacher freebies that would suit most, if not all educators.  Besides some great stuff for your class, your students and/or your school, there are some freebies here for YOU too.  You deserve to be rewarded too, right?

That said, on to the free stuff!

1) Audible

Get a free 30 Day trial + Two free premium audiobooks. Great for professional development or entertainment purposes.

Choose from over 180,000 audiobook titles to help make your commute to and from school more bearable! Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. “With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.”


2) ClassCentral

Thousands of free online courses from top universities like Harvard, MIT and others. Great for your own professional development or for ideas/inspiration for your own classes!


3) Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft is offering all qualifying teachers (and students!) Microsoft Office 365 for free! You will also get 1TB of online storage. This one’s a no-brainer if you qualify.


4) Teachers Pay Teachers Freebies

Teachers Pay Teachers currently offers over 500,000 printable teacher freebies, including lesson plans, worksheets, activities and more! Spans pre-K to 12th grade.


5) TeacherVision Free Trial

TeacherVision offers thousands of classroom management tools, lessons plans, whiteboard-compatible books, games, worksheets and a whole lot more.  Currently, they are offering a free 7-day all-access pass.  After that, it’s only $7.95/month for complete access.


6) Switch DVD & More

The “Energy Film & Education Project.” Educators can get a free copy of the award-winning documentary on DVD plus access to a curriculum and study guide, as well as access to more online resources.


7) Free Book – Expert Secrets

Expert Secrets is a book that could change your life. The goal of the book is to teach you how to leverage your teaching expertise to create a side income by creating a mass movement of people who will pay you for your advice. If this sounds complicated or unbelievable, all we can say is watch this video, be inspired and grab your free copy of “Expert Secrets” today!


8) United for Human Rights Info Kit

Get a free DVD, The Story of Human Rights booklet, and a guide you can use to help bring about awareness and understanding of human rights and to start making a difference!


9) Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited allows you to access the best books and magazines currently available.  Whether you want to binge read the Harry Potter series again, need fresh lesson plan ideas or want to check out the newest version of your favorite magazine, Kindle Unlimited is simply a great product from Amazon.

Educators get a free month to try out this fantastic service.

Best of all, Kindle Unlimited works on any device!  You don’t need to own a kindle to enjoy Kindle Unlimited.  Free kindle apps allow you to access your kindle library anywhere!


10) Free Technology for Teachers

A regularly updated and massively popular blog that features hundreds if not thousands of the newest free
technologies
, apps, etc. that teachers can use in their classrooms.


11) Help Prevent Underage Drinking Kit

SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is offering a free underage drinking prevention kit that includes a teaching guide, poster, worksheets and a family guide.


12) IdentityForce

Identity thieves are everywhere. Last year over 12 million individuals were victims of this faceless crime. Get protected today with a free two week trial of this top identity protection service.


13) Grammarly

Great for educators and students alike. This free, must-have tool corrects more than 250 types of grammatical mistakes, while also catching contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary usage.


You’ve Got 99 Problems and Teacher Freebies Ain’t One!

This is just a small sample of teacher freebies we were able to find, there are 99 more in our Ultimate list of 112 Teacher Freebies! You can download the full list via the “Get the Ultimate List” box below.

Save yourself and/or your school some money and grab that list today. There’s truly something (or a lot of things!) for everyone there.

13 Awesome Teacher Freebies for Every Educator in 2018

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Kids Learning Globes Reviews

5 Top Rated Kids Learning Globes Reviewed

Interactive kids learning globes can be a fun and engaging way to teach geography to kids. Here we share 5 of the highest rated learning globes for children that are both awesome and affordable!

1) Oregon Scientific Smart Globe

Kids Learning Globes - Oregon Scientific Smart Globe

We start our list of kids learning globes with the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe. This learning toy allows kids to learn over 2000 fun facts, listen to national anthems of different countries, history and more.

Included with this smart globe are 19 engaging games that help teach kids about world facts. And recently, Oregon Scientific has built in an augmented reality component to this globe that allows children to use the Oregon Scientific app to bring the globe to life with animals and dinosaurs!

Most reviews for this product are very positive, with a common complaint of this particular learning globe being that the default setting can be too loud.

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe – Sample Amazon Review

“This may be the most wonderful gift I ever bought my grandson!! There are so many functions, ways to quiz yourself, and I’m learning too. He loves world geography and this globe has it all. Languages, money, fun facts,capitols and so much more. I love the USA map on one side, he says the state and the capitol before he touches it just to check himself. It came with the batteries and was ready for play right out of the box. I like that it says goodbye when he turns it off, so no wasted batteries from being left on. He is seven but this is great even for high school kids. The shipping was Amazon Prime fast, and the price was right. I’d recommend this to anyone. What a fun way to learn!”

Suggested for Ages 6+. Learn More About The Oregon Scientific Smart Globe HERE

2) 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe

Learning Globes for Kids - 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe

The 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe is not only a kids learning globe, but also a constellation map and nightlight! This globe also features an interactive globe app.

The 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe – Sample Amazon Review

“This is a wonderful globe! Some of the reviews made me afraid it was going to be cheap or something, but it’s not! It’s bright and colorful, the smaller size is perfect for fitting on a desk or dresser easier, the plug and switch work fine, and the constellations night light feature is just so super cool. At first, when I flipped the switch I thought the light wasn’t working, but then turned off the overhead room light and bam! I realized that the light in the globe lights up the constellations, not the regular globe view. It feels sturdy and solid and it doesn’t feel or look cheap. Great product!”

Suggested for Ages 3+. Learn More About The 3-in-1 Illuminated World Globe on Amazon HERE

3) Learning Resources Puzzle Globe

Learning Globes for Children - Learning Resources Puzzle Globe
Next on our list of learning globes for children is the The Learning Resources Puzzle Globe.

While not as high tech as the other globes, this fun, engaging 14-piece puzzle globe can teach kids the names of the continents, oceans, famous landmarks and more.

Learning Resources Puzzle Globe – Sample Amazon Review

“This globe is fantastic! I purchased it for my kids 4 and 8 as my husband does quite a bit of international travel and I thought it would be a fun way for them understand where in the world he is and the routes he takes to get there and home. It has been a HUGE HIT with both of my kids- and they have been fighting over it since it arrived a few days ago!”

Suggested for Ages 3+. Learn More About Learning Resources Puzzle Globe on Amazon HERE

4) Shifu Orboot: The Educational, Augmented Reality Based Globe

The Shifu Orboot augmented reality globe is among the best kids learning globes for helping to spark imagination and creativity!

Shifu Orboot – Sample Amazon Review

“I was initially in two minds to purchase the Shifu Orboot for my daughter but once I got it, I feel it’s the best Christmas gift I could have given my daughter … she simply loves it … it’s very informative as it tells you details about the different animals in the different countries, culture, maps , inventions and monuments !!! My daughter gets to learn a lot and we happy that she enjoys her gift…. it’s the best gift u can give ur child !!!”

Suggested for Ages 6+. Learn More About Shifu Orboot on Amazon HERE

5) Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe

Our final product in our list of the best kids learning globes is the multiple award-winning Educational Insights GeoSafari Talking Globe, which includes more than 10,000 geography questions!

Up to 4 players can play the quiz game and can select various quiz categories, including the U.S.A, Canada, the World or ALL categories.

GeoSafari Talking Globe – Sample Amazon Review

“I got this globe for my 7 year old niece and she absolutely loves it! We were also very happy to see how much her 3 year old brother was interested in learning along with her (admittedly with a much short attention span). The questions were incredibly wide-ranging and they provoked all sorts of discussions and sharing of family travel adventures through the generations which was great! Would recommend.”

Suggested for Grades 3+. Learn More About The GeoSafari Talking Globe on Amazon HERE

Kids Learning Globes – What’s Your Favorite?

I hope you will try some of these games with your children and/or students! If you have your own favorite learning globe for children, please share it in the comments below.

Here are links to the 5 learning globes we feature here as well as some others on Amazon. If you are interested in using games for teaching, please e sure to also check out our list of the best money board games for kids.


Kids Learning Globes Pinterest

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best homeschool curriculum

Best Homeschool Curriculum – 16 Top Recommendations

Cathy Duffy is the know-all when it comes to homeschooling. She has reviewed hundreds of homeschool resources to help educators and parents shopping for. We reached out to her and asked: “So, what is the best homeschool curriculum?”

Here’s a handful of Cathy-approved homeschooling educational picks available on Amazon. We hope that these 16 recommended resources will save you from countless hours of shopping around for the best homeschool curriculum.

Best Homeschool Curriculum – Elementary Math & Science

Life of Fred Elementary Math

Best Homeschool Curriculum 2019 Life of Fred Elementary Math

If you have yet to hear of Life of Fred, you are in for a treat. Developed by math teacher Dr. Stanley F Schmitt, this story-based math learning series has taken the homeschooling world by storm! In this series, learners follow Fred and his pals through life while learning math concepts along the way. Truly, kids often don’t even know they’re learning something until they are told!

Each Life of Fred book has a single topic, like Apples, Ice Cream, or Money. (Yes, our Moneywise Teacher readers will love that one!) Cathy recommends that you supplement your students’ math learning with social studies or science based around the same topic!


Math Lessons for a Living Education

The premise of Math Lessons for a Living Education is that“content, story, and the ability to show math in real life” is what makes a stellar math curriculum! In real life, there are no barriers between “subjects.” As an example, when cooking or baking, we use reading, logical thinking, and measuring skills. This exceptional series is committed to teaching math in the same organic way!


Math Mammoth Light Blue Series

math mammoth light blue series

A favorite of homeschool parents, the Math Mammoth series constitutes a full elementary mathematics curriculum for 1st-7th grades. With this series, kids can learn on their own with the comprehensive student books.  The focus with these book is on conceptual learning.  They are visually engaging, and chapters are organized by topics and themes.

One very happy homeschool parent said about this series: “We have tried three different math curriculum programs but this one seems the best for the teacher and student.”

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A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft, Inc.)

A+ interactive math

This interactive math curriculum can make the homeschool math journey easy.  A+ Interactive Math can do it all–teaching, grading, and tracking! This program allows you to personalize lesson plans in order to target exactly what your student needs. A bonus is that you can choose the best format for you  (and your students) – CD, eBooks or online!

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Mathematical Reasoning Level A

mathematical reasoning

This engaging book presents kids with a fun and colorful explanations, examples, and charts. These wonderful lessons are perfect for teaching your kindergartner mathematical foundations.

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enVision Math

envision math

This visually rich and fun curriculum focuses on one topic at a time, which should allow your child to master a concept before moving on to the next one.

Included with each enVision Math Homeschool Bundle are a Student Edition Worktext and a Teacher Edition CD-ROM.

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Best Homeschool Curriculum – Elementary Reading & Writing

Grammaropolis

grammaropolis

Grammaropolis can be a wonderful tool for K-3 learners as they seek to perfect their English grammar. This set comes with animated shorts, books, quizzes, and music videos. Lots of learning styles are covered here!

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A Reason for Handwriting

a reason for handwriting
A Reason For Handwriting seeks to provide your students with a truly meaningful way to improve their handwriting. Lessons are each built upon a Bible verse which is chosen for encouragement as well as letter combinations.

It’s been proven that when kids retain more and learn more effectively when they are having fun. A Reason for Handwriting definitely brings enjoyment to the task of developing handwriting skills.

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Spelling Workout

Spelling Workout will help create a solid foundation of phonics principles. Included are puzzles, riddles, and activities that will keep your students engaged.

Included in each bundle are a Student Edition, Teacher Edition and Parent Guide.

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Best Homeschool Curriculum – Middle School Math

Life of Fred Intro to Algebra

lof_algebra

Back to Life of Fred! Algebra learners and beyond will love the stories and learn the concepts through holistic learning. It is recommended that if your advanced learner is new to Life of Fred that they start from the beginning. This re-learning of concepts will help them get up to speed and can set them up for success.

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Life of Fred Financial Choices

financialchoices

Considering the theme of this website, we would be remiss to not include a recommendation on a homeschool curriculum that instills strong financial decision-making. The Life of Fred Financial Choices book is definitely a great intro and a great resource for helping you teach money skills.  Be sure to supplement this with these 5 Great Board Games that Teach Money Skills.

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Best Homeschool Curriculum – Middle School Social Studies

myWorld Social Studies

This sets a foundation for students to become engaged citizens by learning about US politics and history.
Includes a teacher’s guide for every chapter, lesson plans, editable tests and even audio podcasts on each subject!

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You Decide! Apply Bill of Rights to Real Cases

With this unique resource, students can learn the first 8 Constitutional Amendments (Bill of Rights). They then have the chance to act as the Supreme Court to make decisions based on those amendments!

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Best Homeschool Curriculum – Science for the Family

Magic School Bus Nature Bundle

MSBNatureBundle

This set comes with four science kits and covers topics like the weather, “going green” (recycling, composting, etc.), solar energy and “wonders of nature” (fun stuff like ant hill building, dissolving an egg shell and more!).

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A Reason for Science

This interactive and inquiry-based science teaches basic life, earth and physical science concepts through super-fun hands on-activities. The whole family can get involved in this engaging series as parents and students are both tasked with problem-solving and engaging in group discussions.

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Science Detective A1

science detective

With this series, your science detective kids will engage in mind-building exercises! Science Detective prepares students for more advanced science courses and also gives them opportunities to build their reading comprehension and reasoning skills.

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Best Homeschool Curriculum – Your Picks?

We hope this selection of 16 recommended homeschool curricula has helped you decide on your own personal best homeschool curriculum. Please let us know in the comments what you think, and also if you have any recommendations for any picks we might have missed!

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Side Gigs for Teachers: Author Interview

“Side Gigs for Teachers: Ways to Actually Make Money” – Interview with Co-Author Jackie Bolen

In the recently published Side Gigs for Teachers: Ways to Actually Make Money  Jackie Bolen and Jennifer Booker Smith seek to show educators how to earn extra money in their spare time. We reached out to co-author Jackie Bolen and asked her some questions about the book and side hustling in general. We hope you enjoy the interview and be sure to grab your copy of Side Gigs for Teachers today!

1) What inspired the two of you to write this book?

Jennifer and I are both “retired” teachers who met while teaching English in South Korea. Of course, we’re not really retired and are still super busy doing a million things! She’s traveling around the world, and I’ve since moved back home to Canada.

We got started with self-publishing books, developing websites, and putting materials on Teacher Pay Teachers while still teaching in Korea. But these days, we’re both making a full-time living off of our side-gigs.

We hope to inspire other teachers out there (ESL and otherwise) to get their own side hustle going on. It’s an excellent way to earn a bit of cash in your spare time, or even make it into a career like we have. If you’re not happy in the classroom, need a break, or just want to have a bit more cash in your bank account at the end of the month, there are options out there!

2) About how many side gigs for teachers does the book cover?

We divide the side-gigs up into two categories: Active, and Passive.

By “active,” we mean things like tutoring, pet sitting, or test evaluating. Basically, you have to work one hour for one hour of pay with these side-gigs. We discuss 14 of the best ones for teachers options in detail. Teachers have a lot of skills like public speaking, writing, and knowledge about certain areas so why not put that to good use to make some extra money?

The second category of side gigs are passive ones. By “passive,” we mean that you have to put a lot of work (or money with investing) in up-front, but that you can earn money for years down the road. Some of the examples are self-published books, affiliate websites, and investing in the stock market. We give you all the details for how to get started with seven of these ones.

3) Can you tell us about two or three of your favorite side gigs for teachers covered in the book?

There are a few that I’m currently using to make a full-time income. Jennifer and I have 20+ self-published books that you can find on Amazon. The first one took a lot of time, effort and frustration! But, we’ve learned so much along the way that the process has gotten much easier over time.

I also develop Amazon affiliate websites. Basically, I review products on Amazon and if people click a product link on my website, and purchase something on Amazon, I get a commission. This side-gig is good for people who have a very, very long-term vision. It can take a year or two of solid work before you ever earn you first dollar. But, there is huge potential to make this into a full-time job for yourself.

Jennifer is the guru of all things Teachers Pay Teachers. You can put your course materials on that website and people pay you to download them. If you already spend a lot of time creating some awesome stuff, why not make a bit of extra money off of it?

4) What kind of teachers do you think can be successful with side hustles?

I really think that just about anyone can start a side hustle. There are a million and one different ones so you’re sure to find a side-gig or two that will work for you. In our book, we talk about 21 of them, and I’d be very, very surprised if you read the book and couldn’t find one that would work!

However, the people that do the best with starting a side-hustle are usually motived, and are also long-term thinkers. It can a while before you start to get some traction in terms of earning serious money. The key is to believe in what you’re doing, work smart, and also be willing to put in some serious effort to get things off the ground. Of course, perseverance helps a lot. You will get some motivation though when you earn your first dollar from your side hustle.

5) For a busy teacher just getting started trying to make money on the side, what kind of general advice would you give them?

The best advice I could give you is to start with one side-gig. It can be tempting to try and get a million things up and running, but in reality, you’ll have more success if you master one thing. Give yourself at least six months before trying another one.

The other thing I would say is to just start NOW! Actually, yesterday was the best time, but it’s not too late today. You can spend months and years researching and thinking and planning, but it’s better to just make some forward progress in terms of action. You WILL make mistakes. Everybody does. Learn from them and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

6) Besides your books, do you have any recommended resources for teachers getting started with side gigs?

I am a huge fan of Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income. He interviews the top people in the online business world.

7) Anything else you would like to tell us or share with our readers?

You can find me online at www.jackiebolen.com. I’m happy to help you out by answering a question or two. I also offer consulting via Skype for more detailed advice about getting a side-gig up and running. Get in touch!


Author Bio: Jackie Bolen is a former ESL teacher in Korea who turned her side-gigs into a full-time job in Canada. She’s an author, website developer and lover of all things passive income, and online business. You can find her at www.jackiebolen.com.

Side Gigs for Teachers: Ways to Actually Make Money is available now on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions!

 


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Boardgames to Teach Money Skills

5 Great Board Games That Teach Money Skills

Great board games are fun, engaging and can be wonderful learning tools! Here we share 5 of the top rated board games that teach money skills to young children.

1) Cashflow for Kids

Cashflow for Kids for Teaching Money Skills

We start our list of board games that teach money skills to kids withCashflow for Kids. This game was developed by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the #1 selling personal finance book of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad. He considers the game the realization of his vision for an interactive tool for financial education for children.

This highly engaging board game simulates real life situations and financial strategies in ways that both children and adults love. Through this game, your kids/students will gain insight into how money and investing work.

 

Cashflow for Kids – Sample Amazon Review

“Cannot rate this game highly enough. Kids love it, adults learn from it, and the kids get a real concept of return on investment and “doodad” spending (the latter to be avoided…). Have enough now for children, grand/great children(future). As long as I don’t keep giving it away to every child who plays it at my home and wants to take it back to THEIR home…”

2-6 Players, Suggested for Ages 6+. Learn More About Cashflow for Kids on Amazon HERE

2) The Allowance Game

The Allowance Game for Teaching Kids Money Skills

The Allowance Game is an involving, skill-building game where players race around the board while doing “chores” to earn their “allowance”. After earning money, they can then spend it on things they want or save it. As children play, they learn to make change, handle money and more!

 

The Allowance Game – Sample Amazon Review

“We’ve been playing this game from when kids were 4 and still playing it regularly now that youngest is 8. Very fun. Teaches money in ways kids can understand (ie: allowance, buying ice cream vs buying houses, losing your money vs. taking out mortgages). The coins are the real shape and color of coins, so kids really learn the difference between them. And the paper money is real money colored so the same applies there. Parents enjoy playing it too.”

2-4 Players, Suggested for Ages 5-11. Learn More About The Allowance Game on Amazon HERE

2) Money Bags – A Crazy Coin Counting Game

Money Bags - Board Games to Teach Money Skills to Kids

As the name suggests, Money Bags – A Crazy Coin Counting Game offers a fun way to teach children money-counting and combining skills.

The object of this game is to earn money while winding along a cartoon path. Money is earned by landing on “chore” square, labeled with a practical task, such as setting the table or an entrepreneurial endeavor such as opening a lemonade stand.

To collect money, the spinner determines which coins can or cannot be used, an excellent element to the game that encourages problem-solving and critical thinking.

Money Bags – A Crazy Coin Counting Game – Sample Amazon Review

“I use this game in the classroom as a math support teacher and at home with my kids. All of the kids love it and it moves at a good pace. I appreciate how the game doesn’t just let the kids always decide what combination of coins they’ll use to represent a certain value. When they spin the spinner, it will sometimes land on no dimes or no nickels, and so on. So they need to figure out how to make a certain amount without those coins.”

For 2-4 Players, Suggested for Ages 7+. Learn More About Money Bags on Amazon HERE

4) Exact Change

exact-change-board-gameExact Change is similar to UNO in that the goal of the game is to play all of your cards first. You can discard cards by matching the color of the last card, its value, ($1.00 on $1.00, etc.), or by making EXACT CHANGE.

For example, if the last card played was a quarter, and you had two dime cards and a nickel card, you would be able to combine and discard all three of them at once!

This game is among the best board games that teach money skills to young kids.

Exact Change – Sample Amazon Review

“I bought this a few months ago when our middle daughter was having trouble learning about money in school. The UNO-like color/card match aspect of the game has reinforced that for her, while the plays to count out exact change is helping my older daughter with adding up larger numbers (up to $1 and beyond). I think this would be a fun game to play even without kids. The only thing that seems to discourage the kids is the “keep drawing until you play” rule. Sometimes they have drawn 10 or more cards in a row and gotten upset that they would have no way of winning the game. Some reassurance and skillful play of larger denominations has helped them get rid of several cards at once, but if you have a sensitive child, it is something to be aware of.”

2-6 Players, Suggested for Ages 6+. Learn More About Exact Change

5) ThriveTime for Teens – The Money and Life Reality Game

Games that Teach Money Skills - ThriveTime for TeensOur final game in our list of the best board games that teach money skills is ThriveTime for Teens, which can give teens a real look at finances.

During the course of the game, players have to navigate major life decisions such as paying for college, deciding whether to utilize credit cards, starting a business, investing and more. This game even gives teens the option to give back financially to the community.

 

ThriveTime for Teens – Sample Amazon Review

“Just received my ThriveTime game yesterday! ThriveTime is a great educational tool for your family. As a parent you want your teenager(s) to be ready to thrive in life. This will help to get them thinking & moving in the right direction in a language (Fun Play) they will enjoy. Buy into their future today!.”

2-6 Players, Suggested for Ages 13+. Learn More About ThriveTime for Teens

Other Great Board Games to Teach Money Skills?

I hope you will try some of these games with your children and/or students!

Have you downloaded our huge list of 112 teacher freebies yet? Among the freebies are some great games you can download and print for free! If you know of any other great board games that teach money skills to children or would like to comment on the games above, please leave your comments below!


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teacher loan forgiveness programs

Get Rid of your Student Loan Debt Once and for All – 6 Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs

If you are still struggling with student debt, have you looked into teacher loan forgiveness programs?

Here I outline 6 student loan forgiveness programs for teachers.  Please check them out, you may qualify to get some or all of your student loans forgiven!

1) Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was initialized in 2007 with the aim of encouraging more people to work in public service, including at schools.  PSLF forgives William D. Ford Direct Loans (including direct PLUS loans, direct consolidation loans, direct subsidized loans, and direct unsubsidized loans).

However, PSLF will not start facilitating the forgiveness of any loans until October 2017.  The reason for this timeline is that a condition of this program is that you must make 120 consecutive payments on your loans.

Please see the PSLF eligibility requirements here. To summarize the conditions for qualifying for this program, you must:

  • Make the aforementioned 120 consecutive (10 years!), of on-time, full payments, starting no earlier than 10/1/2007
  • Work full-time in the Peace Corps, Americorps, or a public service organization (schools qualify!) for the entire time the payments were made

This is definitely a difficult program to qualify for, but if you are still going to be in debt in October 2017 (or when you have otherwise made 120 consecutive payments after that) and meet the above conditions, than this program is well worth looking into.  See the PSLF certification form here.

2) Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The goal of the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is to encourage people to become (and remain) teachers. It is a generous program that allows for up to $17,500 in teacher loan forgiveness.

Here is a summary of the eligibility requirements for this program:

  • Eligible loan types include unsubsidized student loans and direct subsidized loans
  • The loans must have been established after 10/1/98, and at least one of the teaching years must be after the 1997-1998 school year.
  • You cannot be in default
  • You must work for five consecutive, full years as a teacher, at least one of the years at a qualifying school:
  • The qualifying school must be in a Title I qualified district
  • The qualifying school must have more than 30% of students qualified for Title I services
  • The qualifying school must be listed in the government’s directory of qualifying schools.
  • Teachers at a qualifying educational service agency are also eligible

In most cases, teachers are eligible to get $5,000 of their loans forgiven. “Highly qualified” math, science, and special education teachers may be eligible to receive up to the full $17,500 in teacher loan forgiveness.

Download the application for this program here.

3) Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation

With the Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation program you can get up to 100% of your Perkins loans forgiven, including any interest you have accrued! Teachers only have to teach full time for a year to receive benefits:

  • You will get 15% of your loan cancelled after years one and two.
  • For years three and four, you will get 20% more of the loan cancelled each year
  • In the fifth year, you will get the final 30% of your Federal Perkins loan cancelled.

Here’s what qualifies for the Perkins loan cancellation program. You can:

  • Teach in a school that serves students from low-income families (see if your school qualifies as “low-income” here) or;
  • Be a special education teacher (including for infants and toddlers) or;
  • Teach in a field that your state has defined as having a teacher shortage in, such as science, bilingual education, math, foreign language, etc. or;
  • Teach at a private school that is a nonprofit or;
  • Teach part-time at multiple schools, as long as you meet the other requirements or;
  • Teach preschool or pre-K, only if your state classifies them as part of elementary education

To get the application form for this program, contact the office where you went to college that administers the Federal Perkins Loan program.

4) Stafford Loan Forgiveness

The popular Stafford Loan Forgiveness program provides qualified individuals up to $17,500 in teacher loan forgiveness.

However, it is a very difficult program to qualify for. You must:

  • Work full-time for 5 consecutive years at a Title I qualified elementary or secondary school, with 30% of students who qualify for Title I services or at a school listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools
  • Not be in loan default
  • Not have taken out any direct loans or FEEL Program Loans before 10/1/98.

One big plus of this program is that teachers can take advantage one of the Federal Student Loan Forbearance programs during those five years. If you are having difficulties making payments, this is a great option and could really help your short-term finances.

See the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Application form here.

5) Federal TEACH Grants

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program provides up to $4,000 per year to qualifying college students who will become teachers.

TEACH Grants are unique in that they are the only type of teacher loan forgiveness provided before debt is accumulated. Other loan forgiveness programs, of course, provide forgiveness after you have taken on student debt.

These grants will provide as much as $4,000 per year to college students who:

  • Intend to teach at a school that serves primarily students from low-income families
  • Are enrolled in a teaching credential providing program
  • Plan to teach full-time for at least 4 years
  • Plan to teach in a “high-need” field

6)  State and City Sponsored Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs

Fortunately, there are also many state and city teacher loan forgiveness programs. Rather than list them here, I will share with you an excellent resource.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has put together a searchable database of state and city loan forgiveness programs, classroom donation programs, as well as various awards and grants.

In addition, your district school board should be able to point you in the direction of any city or county funded loan forgiveness programs.

Save Money on Your Student Loans and Get $100!

If you cannot get all of your loans forgiven with teacher loan forgiveness programs, please also consider student loan refinancing. One great company that you can reduce the cost of your student loans with is Sofi. Fixed rates start at 3.50% and variable rates start as low as 2.13% APR (with utoPay). Sofi members save an average of $14,000! Apply here and you will receive a $100 bonus when you refinance.

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30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success - Gina Horkey Interview

Educators: 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success? Interview with Gina Horkey

We are excited to announce that going forward we will be featuring regular interviews with financially savvy educators and other awesome personalities.  It is our hope that these interviews will serve as motivation and inspiration for you!   To kick things off, we share our interview with Gina Horkey, freelancer extraordinaire and creator of  “30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success: A Course for Brand Spanking New Freelancers.”

For this interview, we asked Gina a handful of questions relating to educators and freelance writing.  Without further ado, here are our questions followed by Gina’s compelling responses!

What qualities make a good freelance writer? Do you think educators are (in general) well-suited for freelance writing?

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I think you should probably enjoy writing at the bare minimum.

Being good at it or having decent writing chops is helpful, but can also be learned and improved over time. The best qualities are probably having a thick skin and fierce determination – success from freelance writing comes from putting yourself out there consistently and following up. I.e. marketing yourself and doing the work.

I think teachers and educators are definitely prime candidates for freelance writing.

As an educator you’re likely pretty good at teaching and imparting helpful information on students. Writing as a medium accomplishes the same thing – you’re communicating and educating an audience of readers and ideally helping them to improve their lives in some way.

How much can a part-time freelance writer expect to earn?

Of course I have to say it depends. 😉

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It depends on these factors:

  • Your niche. Some niches are higher paying, like personal finance or healthcare.
  • Your experience. As you gain experience (and samples) as a writer, you can command higher rates.
  • Your confidence. If you don’t believe you’re worth a certain rate, you won’t ask for it.

From my experience, new freelance writers tend to start out around the $30-50/article mark and work their way up. More experienced writers command hundreds of dollars per post.

Using myself as an example, freelance writing is only a portion of my diversified business, so I’d consider it “part-time.” I average $2,000-3,000 from just writing in an average month with just a few key clients.

Can you share a success story of an educator who successfully freelance writes?

There are actually a fair amount of teachers that have gone through my course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success . Many of them have actually started a mastermind together for accountability and because they have so much in common.

Here’s Philippa’s story, for example:

Leaving teaching was not an easy decision to make, and working out what to do next was even harder!

I was an English teacher, so writing seemed like the perfect fit. Except, people can’t seriously write for a living can they?

When I realized that there was a market for writing website content, updating Facebook or creating tweets, I couldn’t believe it! This wasn’t even a career option when I was a school (which really wasn’t that long ago!).

Initially, I started VA work, but soon realised that I wanted writing to be my main focus. I decided to invest in Gina’s 30DOL course and it helped me to no end! It made everything seem so easy, and totally achievable.

As Gina was writing her 30DOL VA course , I had just landed my biggest client to date and I was thrilled when Gina asked me to create a case study about it for the course. It was amazing seeing “Lesson 10 – Philippa’s Story” pop up in my inbox.

That course, combined Gina’s blog posts and the Facebook group have really helped me move my freelancing up a notch. I now confidently cold-pitch regularly (teachers are not known for being sellers, not in our nature) and have this weekend been working on my latest new client’s website content!

I still can’t believe that people pay me to write.

It is a dream come true. I don’t make enough to do it full-time yet, but while working in my non-teaching day job, freelancing is keeping me motivated, satisfied and happy. I am on the way to the balanced lifestyle I want, and am much, much, much closer to it than when I was teaching!

Besides your own course, do you recommend any particular resources (websites, books, etc.) for educators looking to get started with freelance writing?

Yahoo Style GuideOne of the recommended resources that I came across was The Yahoo Style Guide! It’s a great (and very comprehensive) guide to help you learn how to write for the web.

My friend Sarah also has a site called, Life After Teaching, which helps educators that are looking to transition out of teaching find their way. She also has a book with the same name that you can find on her website.

Anything else you would like to say to educators interested in supplementing their income with freelance writing?

Most people let fear (or any number of excuses that disguise themselves as something else, but really are fear – lack of time, lack of direction, needing everything to be perfect, etc.) hold them back from taking action and pursuing a new direction.

Don’t let that be you.

Instead, punch fear in the face and do it anyway. When I started, I decided I was either going to succeed or fail hard trying.

Why not you, why not now?

Punch Fear in the Face

About Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama to two precocious toddlers. Additionally, she’s a professional writer and online business marketing consultant with a decade of experience in the financial services industry. Gina enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time. If you’re interested in starting a freelance career, take Gina’s FREE writing course to kickstart yours today! Click here to get the first lesson sent to your inbox.

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Educator writers wanted!

Educators: Write for The Moneywise Teacher!

Writers wanted!

The Moneywise Teacher was recently founded with the aim of becoming the go-to resource for educators on all things money.  We seek to regularly publish highly useful content that helps educators make and save more money! Beyond providing tips, strategies, and general financial education, we hope to help educators be able to better teach money skills.

That said, if you would like to write for us while helping educators, we’d love to help YOU make a bit more money.   We are hoping to publish articles from passionate and dedicated educator writers on anything related to both educators and money.   Here are a few sample themes we are looking for articles on:

  • Unique ways for educators to make or save more money
  • Great activities, games, toys, etc. for teaching money to kids (or adults!)
  • Educator discount programs
  • Great financial programs for educators – loans, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
  • Technology/software/apps that can help educators make, save or teach money
  • Anything else related to both educators and money!

For more info or to apply, please visit our write for us page HERE.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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