Tag: Reviews

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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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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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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Udemy for Teachers

Make Money on Udemy: An Amazing Opportunity for Teachers

Udemy offers a truly exceptional opportunity for instructors.  In short, you can make money on Udemy by creating on demand online courses on anything imaginable.

Put together and teach your course once; If it’s well-received and otherwise successful you can get paid for that class again and again!

Here is more about Udemy from their website:

We’re the world’s online learning marketplace, where 9 million+ students are taking courses in everything from programming to yoga to photography – and much, much more. Each of our 35,000+ courses is taught by an expert instructor, and every course is available on-demand, so students can learn at their own pace, on their own time, and on any device”

Some Drawbacks…

Before you get too excited please consider some of the drawbacks. This would not be a fair review if we didn’t go over some of the difficulties for instructors using who want to make money on udemy by selling online courses.

First, putting together courses takes a lot of time, in terms of both planning and production. You also need to have the proper equipment, and be comfortable speaking on the camera/behind the microphone.  If you are shy or not willing to put yourself in front of the camera, Udemy might not be for you.

Can I Really Make Money on Udemy? How Much?

One final point, but not really a drawback is that unfortunately the Udemy compensation model is not as lucrative for instructors as it once was. Teachers who got in early were making a lot more money (90% across the board per course!) before Udemy changed its compensation structure multiple times, currently the structure is as follows:

About the instructor revenue share
Udemy operates under a tiered revenue share for paid courses. As an instructor, the two main revenue share scenarios that you can expect most often are:
Instructor Promotion → 100% revenue share (less a 3% administrative processing fee, 4% in the territory of Japan) on sales made by instructors where the student makes the purchase using an Instructor Coupon (either at full price or at a discount), which you the instructor create and control.
Udemy Organic → 50% revenue share on organic Udemy sales where no Instructor Coupon is used.

If you’re opted in to any of our marketing programs, e.g., percentage promotions, fixed price deals, and the marketing boost program, your revenue share can range from 25% to 97% depending on the scenario.

So, basically, you will make somewhere between 25-97% of your course fees, depending on the scenario.  In general, if Udemy is promoting your course for you, it will be on the lower end.  If you promote your own course you can make 100% – the administrative fees.  If you’d like a complete breakdown of what you can make, see the chart on Udemy’s site here.

Make Money on Udemy 2016

Udemy claims that the average instructor income is $8000.  Not bad, right?

Some make less and some a lot more.  Case in point: Jerry Banfield.

Jerry has earned over $300,000 with the Udemy platform, averaging over $6,000 per course he creates!

Jerry is truly an awesome instructor. As one of his students said:

“Jerry’s instruction is the perfect balance of passion, intelligence, proof of experience,
and calculated determination. He is a machine for success and helping other build the
successful lives that they have always dreamed of.”

If you are going to give Udemy a try, I highly recommend that you consider taking Jerry’s course, “The Complete Udemy Instructor Course”. This course will give you a great foundation as well as the tools and the knowledge you need to get started making money with online course creation.  It features no less than 84 lectures and over 10.5 hours of class time!

Learn more about Jerry’s course on how to make money on Udemy HERE.

With over 9 Million students utilizing Udemy, more instructors are needed!  I hope to see your course(s) there soon!

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