Tag: homeschooling tools

An easy way to help more kids learn from real news, not fake news.

We’re big fans of supporting quality journalism, especially in this age of where fake news is running rampant. Because, facts matter. (Not that this is a big stake in the ground, mamas. I mean, is any normal person really like, “Whoo! Fake news! We need more of it!” Let’s hope not.) So when I learned about The New York Times Sponsor a Subscription Program, I was so excited to share this with other parents and educators who feel the same way. Related: 10 free educational online resources for curious kids that every parent should know. A donation of just $2–4 provides a free subscription...

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7 fun handwriting practice printables for kids, from pre-k to teen. It’s not just worksheets!

We’ve always made it our mission to encourage kids to keep the art of handwriting alive, and to help parents looking to do the same. So we’ve put together some really terrific handwriting practice printables for kids of all ages. Yes, even teens. (We can tear them away from those keyboards sometimes, you know.) Essentially, it’s all about finding ways to get kids to write, whether it’s basic worksheets for preschoolers, or opportunities to write stories, comics, even create a typeface of their own. And we’re so happy to bring you this post on behalf of our partner BIC, who’s been our fantastic...

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Cool, colorful school supplies to make September a little more fun | Back to School Guide 2016

So once you’ve gotten the hand sanitizer, the tissue boxes, and everything else on that classroom shopping list, it’s time to have a little fun with some colorful school supplies! We always recommend getting a little goodie or two for the kids that gets them more excited about going back to school, whether it’s a cute backpack charm, a personalized notebook, a pencil case with their favorite character, or even a set of #2 pencils that are just that much cooler than your standard issue yellow pencils. With that, we had the best time putting together a rainbow of cool school...

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16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going

Of all the toys that have passed through the hands of my three kids over the past dozen or so years, there is no question that LEGO bricks have been the most enduring and versatile. From their first little plastic bucket of mixed bricks, to those 1000+ piece architectural kits that require hours of concentration, LEGO remains a favorite toy — for all of us — even up against the siren song of video games. But even more than just being fun, I love the important skills that LEGOs can teach. I’ve seen so many of them firsthand as a...

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The coolest school supplies to make the year a little more fun | Back to school shopping guide 2015

While there are certain must-haves for school, like backpacks and lunch boxes, we always love finding the coolest school supplies that just make things a little more fun this time of year. Whether you’re helping your kid express his or her individuality with a cool backpack charm, making reading time more special with personalized bookplates, or tracking down file folders in different styles —  so that there is no fighting among your kids about whose is whose — we love these little indulgences that make for big smiles. [click here for our 2016 back to school guide] And so we’re thrilled...

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Getting your kids to practice their handwriting: 16 fun tips, tricks and ideas

Call us the handwriting brigade. Seriously. From day one, even with the advent of technology and the slow decline of handwriting instruction (let alone cursive, gah!) in schools, we’ve always made it our mission to encourage kids not to lose the art of handwriting. And if it’s not asking too much, we’d like it to be as legible as possible, considering we all know at least one relative, co-worker, friend or yes, doctor,  whose handwriting is like some secret code requiring a decipher key. After a season of writing actual letters to our kids at sleepaway camp — and receiving them — it really...

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12 awesome DIY back to school crafts your kids can actually do: Back to school shopping guide 2015.

We are not the parents who are going to put together a list of back to school crafts that require 6 kinds of sandpaper and a drawer full of spare x-rays to turn into DIY stencils. (Seriously. We’ve seen this.) Like most of you, we’re looking for the kinds of crafts we can actually do with our kids, that only require some basic supplies. Or okay, maybe a very few not-so-basic supplies if you count Modge Podge. We think all of these cool DIY projects and back to school craft ideas give you the opportunity to spend a fun hour or afternoon with your family, to help get kids of...

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Life Empowered: How kids can help change the world one light bulb at a time.

Imagine if you didn’t have electricity at home and your kids had to go out and sit under a street lamp on a deserted street, alone each night, in order to finish their homework. That’s exactly what a lot of kids face in other parts of the world, though when we think of “energy poverty,” we don’t always think about such relatable examples of its effect. That’s why, as we turn our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time this weekend, I love the idea of using it as an opportunity to talk to our kids about why having access to energy matters. And that’s what the...

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A terrific new online encyclopedia for kids that will help answer all those kid questions.

I want to answer my kids’ questions and help them with their homework, but I can’t always drop everything to help them find the answer rightthisverysecondplease–nor do I want my younger ones doing a Google search on their own. Instead, I’m thrilled to have discovered the new DK Find Out! online encyclopedia for kids which offers a solid introduction to a variety of topics in an easy-to-understand format. Oh, and without pop-up ads, questionable links, or shoddy research and questionable “facts” that sends readers down the wrong path. Written primarily for kids ages 7-11,  DK Find Out is a free resource covering science, math, English, history, geography, the human body,...

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How fun are these number blocks? Let us count the ways…

With so many amazing modern building blocks out there, it’s not hard to find a set that I’d love to give to my kids. But I’ve just discovered SumBlox, the most incredibly original set of durable beech wood blocks that mixes math learning and block play together in such an interesting way, I think they’d be just as valuable in our kids’ classrooms as in their playrooms. Related: 6 cool sets of wooden blocks for older kids that are anything but square What makes the cool-looking SumBlox number blocks so unique is that each block has its value represented by its height so that kids can...

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