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Best Teacher Desk

The Best Teacher Desk in 2019? 6 Teacher Desks for Any Classroom!

Do you need an amazing teacher desk for your classroom?  Look no further! Here we have put together a review of 6 of the top desks for teachers 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 desks for you.]

What is the best Teacher Desk Currently Available?

Here are Our Picks for the 6 Best Teacher Desks:

  1. Balt Stand Up Mobile Teacher Workstation Desk
  2. Learniture Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk
  3. OFM Mesa Series Teachers Desk with Laminate Top
  4. Sandusky 600 Series Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk with Maple Top
  5. Sauder Edge Water Computer Desk
  6. Learniture Single Pedestal Teachers Desk

1) Balt Stand Up Mobile Teacher Workstation Desk

Balt Stand Up Mobile Teacher Workstation Desk reviewWe start our list of the best teacher desks with the stylish and versatile Balt Stand Up Mobile Teacher Workstation Desk.

Of all the teacher desks we feature, this one is the most unique and also has the most rave reviews!  This teacher desk on wheels is perfectly suited for the modern classroom.

Balt Stand Up Mobile Teacher Workstation Desk – Sample Amazon Review

“This Stand Up Mobile Teacher Workstation is now being used now in a school setting. The wheels are strong and connected well. The casters should handle several years of wear and tear. The interior of the stand, where a computer tower can go, is vented well to ensure that the device has steady stream of ambient air for cooling purposes.

The design of the top, rounded on on side, does aid in pushing around to a variety of locations in a hall and classroom. This is a well built and well designed workstation that can certainly function as a desk for an instructor as well. Well recommended mobile workstation.

It is perfect for the classroom. I moved it to another part of the classroom every couple of weeks to keep a fresh perspective. The only down-side is that the locks on the wheels will fall into the locked position whenever the desk is stationary. I would rather be able to push my desk around without having to unlock the wheels first. With that said, I love the height and I especially love the locked cabinet to store all my food!”

2) Learniture Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk

best teacher deskSecond on our list is the Learniture Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk. This elegant desk features two pedestals as well as locking side drawers for all of your supplies.

Learniture Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk – Sample Amazon Review

“Five stars. Good construction and good looks! The desk was exactly what we were looking for.”


3) OFM Mesa Series Teachers Desk with Laminate Top

OFM Mesa Series Teachers Desk reviewThe OFM Mesa Series Teachers Desk with Laminate Top is both functional and attractive. With a 16-gauge steel frame it is built to last as well. Features include a scratch-resistant powder coat paint finish, locking pedestal and center drawer as well as full ball bearing center drawers.

Definitely a great option for your classroom!

OFM Mesa Series Teachers Desk with Laminate Top – Sample Amazon Review

“This desk is exactly what I wanted and needed! It’s huge, so I can have my laptop and my college textbooks around me while I’m studying or writing a paper. The color of the metal was a bit darker than expected (gunmetal not light grey) and the color of the wood top was lighter than expected (a very light beige instead of honey colored). It’s still a very striking color combination though. This thing is huge and heavy so it is actually delivered in several boxes from a freight company…. This beautiful desk is definitely worth the trouble!”

4) Sandusky 600 Series Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk with Maple Top

Sandusky 600 Series Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk ReviewContinuing our review of teacher desks is the Sandusky 600 Series Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk with Maple Top.

This desk is built for comfort and safety. It features a laminated wood top surface with vinyl covered edges and rounded corners. There’s a 6″ rear overhang, perfect for student conferencing. Keep your teaching materials safe with the central locking system that locks all drawers.

Highly recommended!

Sandusky 600 Series Steel Double Pedestal Teachers Desk with Maple Top – Sample Amazon Review

“Our teachers loved them! They were just the right size and had great storage in the drawers.”

5) Sauder Edge Water Computer Desk

Sauder Edge Water Computer Teacher Desk reviewThe affordable but sophisticated Sauder Edge Water Computer Desk is another great teacher desk option. This desk has a spacious tabletop for all of your teaching essentials. There’s a storage area that can hold a vertical computer tower, as well as two drawers that roll smoothly on metal runners. The lower drawer holds hanging files and is built to help you organize your papers.

Again, not only is this teacher’s desk stylish but it also easy on the wallet, currently priced well under $300!

Sauder Edge Water Computer Desk – Sample Amazon Review

“Great desk for the price. I was able to fit my full size computer tower in it with room to spare, and hide all the cords behind the back panel. It’s a good sized desk so it takes a little time to put together, but the instructions that it comes with are good and it was pretty easy to follow step by step.”

6) Learniture Single Pedestal Teachers Desk

Learniture Single Pedestal Teachers Desk Review

Rounding up our list of the best teacher desks is the sleek, modern Learniture Single Pedestal Teachers Desk from Learniture. This teacher’s desk has a steel base and laminate top that is easy to clean. The dual locking drawers provide lots of storage space and will keep your teaching materials safe. This desk is sure to have an even work surface with its leveling glides on the legs. This one has the highest teacher recommendation!

Learniture Single Pedestal Teachers Desk – Sample Review

“Perfect for our school! I bought this desk a few years ago, & even with heavy usage it still looks like new! The desk is strong & sturdy.”

What’s Your Favorite Teacher Desk?

We hope you will share some of these fantastic teacher desks with the special teachers in your life. If you have your own favorite teacher desk, please share it in the comments below!

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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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Grammarly Review 2018

Grammarly Review 2019: Should You Go Premium?

There are different grammar checkers online available online in 2019, free and paid, and Grammarly is one of the best-known ones. The platform offers a free and premium version. The premium version will run you $29.95 a month currently unless you bundle months together to get a discounted rate. Read on for our Grammarly review of both the free and premium versions of this excellent software.

Grammarly Review - Subscription Plans

Subscription Plans from Grammarly

After putting the premium version to the test, here are a few insights on whether it is worth going premium with Grammarly.

Grammarly Review – Pros for Teachers

One tool that could cut teacher’s time in half when grading papers is the plagiarism tool. Grammarly claims that the cloud-based software scans over 8 billion websites to look for plagiarized content. With this powerful tool, I can see this being a much-needed shortcut for teachers when grading student’s papers.

Teachers can use this extra time to focus on helping improve their students overall writing and style.

Also, when using the program in Microsoft Word, you can change the type or genre of the article you’re either writing or proofreading. You do have to add Grammarly to Word by following the prompts from your profile on the Grammarly website.

With genres like essay and research papers to choose from in the academic section, you can move through papers using the grammatical styles associated with each kind of writing. Adding the Grammarly tool to Word and the plagiarism tool are both only available through the premium membership.

2019 Grammarly Review for TeachersGrammarly Review – Helpful Tools for Writing

Another perk of going premium is being able to look at advanced issues in your writing. When using the free version, Grammarly lets you know there are “X” amount of advanced issues that you can see IF you upgrade to premium.

If you tend to write more than the average person and are interested in improving your writing skills and grammar, being able to look at the advanced issues is one of the best tools the software provides.

Personally, I tend to write in the passive voice more than I want in my writing. The premium version of the grammar checker has helped me work towards breaking this habit. Also, it breaks the habit of using any repetitive words and even suggests synonyms that may fit better with your wording.

Also, the ease of use of the software is great. Adding extensions to your browser and Word are simple and using the grammar checker is self-explanatory.

Grammarly checks over 250 types of grammatical issues, spelling mistakes, and enhances the vocabulary of the user in the premium version. What I found using the tool is that they do deliver well on all of these categories.

The Drawbacks

Grammarly does have a few drawbacks.

It’s grammar suggestions may not always make sense regarding what you’re trying to write and get across to the reader. At this point, you have to use your best judgment in going with the suggestion or sticking with your original writing.

An example of this is when the passive voice is necessary, and it wouldn’t make sense to use the active voice in the context of your writing. Grammarly tends to do this in different style tips and suggestions. Just check the context and decide on what sounds better to you.

Also, when using the browser extension, Grammarly hasn’t picked up on how writing may differ on your personal social media. Sometimes when you add new statuses on different platforms, it’ll pick up multiple errors on abbreviations and social lexicon.

Just clicking through these and being able to post can be time-consuming as well as irritating.

Grammarly Review 2019 – The Verdict

Grammarly has a lot to offer to anyone who takes their writing seriously or grades any papers in an educational setting.

With only a few drawbacks, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. The writing enhancing tool, whether in the free or premium version, does help writers create better content and helps break any old writing habits.

If cost isn’t a factor for you and you enjoy improving your writing skills, the premium version may be a tool you’ll find useful.

Overall, if you plan on writing more than the average person or you’re an educator who does need to proofread constantly, I would recommend the premium tool. If you don’t grade papers often or need to write much, trying the free version out would probably cut it for you.  Start with the free version of Grammarly here.

We hope you have found this grammarly review helpful. Have you tried Grammarly’s premium version? What did you think of the grammar checker’s tools?

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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
, 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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5 Productivity Hacks Only Successful Educators Know About

Educators have one thing in common, they all face the same productivity challenges that can affect the learning outcomes of their students. If an educator is unproductive, their class will suffer and their overall rating as an educator could fall.

Boosting productivity is, therefore, an important exercise any educator must embrace to be successful and graduate successful students.

1. Organization

Productivity Hacks - Organization

To beat the hectic last-minute rush of trying to get things done while students wait, organize everything you need for the class in advance. Plan for your class, organize your teaching materials and print whatever material needs to be printed the night prior to the class.

Go through your checklist to ensure you have everything in place. Once you have this done, the next morning will go easier on you and you will arrive at your class calm and with a grounded mind ready to teach.

2. Freelance VA

Productivity Hacks - Freelance VA

Successful educators know they cannot do everything themselves. While hiring a personal assistant may not be financially viable, you can hire a freelance virtual assistant from platforms like Upwork, QuiGig, and Freelancer.

To keep your costs down, you can hire the VA for just a few hours a week. They can help you with minor tasks like inputting your lessons into Planboard, passing your students submissions through CopyScape, or organizing your notes in a PowerPoint slide.

3. Surveys

Productivity Hacks - Surveys

Surveys help companies understand their employees’ needs better. They can also help you understand your students’ needs better. Google Forms is a free form-building tool that can easily double up as a survey tool.

Create surveys and publish them to your class. Ask them how the lessons are, how the lessons could improve and so on. By understanding their students better, successful educators can achieve above-normal results with their students.

4. Lesson Planning

Productivity Hacks - Lesson Plans

If you fail to plan you are planning to fail, so goes the old saw. Planning your lessons in advance is one way you can maximize your productivity when teaching. Use tools like Planboard to organize your lessons so you know how everything will play out when you implement the lessons.

When planning, focus on high-impact activities and lessons that can be easily measured. Planning like this will also help you account for your time better and visualize how each week’s lessons will occur.

5. Student Engagement

Productivity Hacks - Student Engagement

Engaged students are students better positioned to learn. Successful educators exploit this correlation by introducing engaging activities into normal learning to ignite the learning spark. Using tools like Smore and Socrative, such educators add a different dimension to learning that helps students understand principles better.

Other tools that you can use include learning gamification platforms like Minecraft and Kahoot and quick assessment tools like Unplag and Edmodo Snapshot.

Becoming a successful educator means embracing these productivity hacks and other hacks to have a greater impact on your students. Using learning tools like edX, Udemy and other Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms can also help you learn more productivity hacks, sharpen your skills, and give you an edge over your peers.

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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.”


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!


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.


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.


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Elementary Reading & Writing



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!


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.


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.


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Middle School Math

Life of Fred Intro to 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.


Life of Fred Financial Choices


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.


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!


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!


Best Homeschool Curriculum – Science for the Family

Magic School Bus Nature Bundle


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!).


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.


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.


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 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

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


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Teacher Bankruptcy

Teachers: The 5 Most Common Causes of Bankruptcy and How to Protect Yourself

As educator wages struggle to keep up with rising costs of living, teacher bankruptcy unfortunately is far too common.

Teacher Bankruptcy – What are the Causes?

While in the past bankruptcy was a means of evading creditors, today the pandemic has a more sinister basis. Ranging from poor money management skills to personal calamities such as divorce and medical emergencies, financial pressures today are pushing many Americans to file for bankruptcy. Here we look at the top 5 most common causes of bankruptcy. How can you avoid a teacher  bankruptcy and becoming a part of the bankruptcy statistics?

Medical Expenses

Teacher Bankruptcy - Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcies in the United States today. Rising medical costs coupled with deteriorating health due to poor lifestyle choices combine to exert extraordinary pressure on individuals and families in the US today.

To avoid going down this road, try the following. Take care of your health. Fewer visits to the doctor mean fewer expenses. Find an insurance plan with low deductibles and other extra payments that fits your needs. Are you eligible for the deductions? Finding out could save you money.

Losing a Job

Teacher Bankruptcy - Losing a Job
Whether through downsizing, retirement or resignation, losing a job always comes with a financial shock. The regular paycheck may be gone, but bills keep coming in. If you cannot find a job fast enough, this pressure can exhaust your savings and leave you with few options.

If you are still employed, avoid this bankruptcy trap by building up your emergency fund. Put aside 6 months to a year of living expenses. If you do lose your job, you will be able to survive for this period without the need to touch any of your other investments or savings.

Poor Use of Credit

Teacher Bankruptcy - Credit Card Debt
Excessive use of credit is the third trap that leads many to bankruptcy court. Splurging on expensive things bought using credit is a poor financial choice. Yet many will do this without a second thought. The trap here is the fallacy that credit cards offer free money.

To avoid this, limit your use of credit cards and other forms of credit. In fact, go as far as only having one credit card, which you can easily track. You may also consider using a debit card instead of a credit card, so you know you are only spending what you have.


Teacher Bankruptcy - Divorce / Separation
Divorces and separations come with serious financial ramifications that leave many a divorcee bankrupt. Legal fees coupled with other costs such as child support and alimony may leave one or both partners financially strained.

Considering in some cases the court can decree back payments, this is a common reason for bankruptcies in the US. To avoid this, maintain a good handle of all your assets and obligations so that if this does happen, you are prepared.

Unforeseen Expenses

Teacher Bankruptcy - Unforeseen Circumstances
These occur through loss of property from natural disasters, theft, fraud and a host of other reasons. When this happens, the affected party is usually unable to recoup the loss. If the loss was tied to some form of lien or income, they may find themselves financially overwhelmed. To protect yourself, maintain insurance on all properties that you deem crucial to your financial wellbeing.

While some of these reasons for teacher bankruptcy are unavoidable, in most cases sound planning, judicious fiscal discipline, and adequate preparation can mitigate, if not avert, these financially-ruinous events.

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