Keep It Simple – Say NO to Junk

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Let’s face it. We all have those relatives that just won’t listen when we ask them to send our homeschooled kids educational toys for the holidays. There have been years when we thought about banning our parents from sending gifts and instead asking them to simply send gift cards or better yet, Amazon cards, so that we could spend the money ourselves. But we didn’t want to hurt their feelings. So we didn’t. And now we have more junk than we really want. Add to that the fact that we moved into a much smaller house a few years ago and now we just want to shout, “please send the good stuff!”

What Is The “Good Stuff”?

Okay, so in our eyes, as homeschoolers for the past nine years (or 14 years, depending on how you’re counting. (How DO you count those years?,) we have learned that our kids value educational materials like books, games, robotic kits, chemistry kits, and puzzles much more than they do basic toys. Add something that they can build or experiment with, all the better!

Barbies and action figures have their place and we have those in our home, however, music, musical instruments, books, educational toys and games usually take the forefront. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the Barbies are well-played-with and the stuffed animals are taking over, but generally, music, books and games are the “go-tos” around here. And don’t forget: these often have a pretty good resale value. Homeschoolers are frugal and often only buy when there is a fantastic deal or buy used! We do!

For the Little Ones

If you are making a wish list for the little ones, kindergarten and younger, you will want to add these to your list!

Hooked On Phonics

My experience working with hundreds of homeschooling parents is that teaching reading can be daunting and overwhelming. This blog post will help. I believe that teaching phonics is an important part of teaching a child to read. The price on this is only $99 for the first 50 orders! A very good deal! This program will last you quite a while. Disclaimer: I did not use this program with my girls, because I had many years of experience teaching phonics from my classroom days and had my own curriculum designed.

Magic School Bus Science Kits

 

We had a subscription to these awesome monthly science kits when my girls were younger. It was always a thrill to see our beloved Magic School Bus characters on the pages of the directions to whatever science experiment we were doing that month. These are appropriate for kids in grades 1-5.

This is a fantastic deal at almost 50% off! Grab it while you can! You won’t be disappointed.

 

 LEGO City Advent Calendar

This product is going crazy right now! You still have time to purchase this before Advent. Hurry, while this deal is still good!

For The Older Kids

Chess

My girls adore chess and we love this set. I played when I was young, and I was pretty good, too. Then many years went by and I had forgotten how to play. My girls taught themselves, helped me remember how, and now we have chess matches all the time. The benefits of games of strategy are countless, and would make a good future blog post. This set is not only beautiful to look at, but it’s handmade and has magnetic pieces. We bring ours every time we travel because the pieces can’t fall off and get lost.

Piano/Keyboard/eMedia Play Piano Pack

We are considering purchasing this ourselves. We have a piano, but our fourteen-year-old really wants a keyboard. This has everything a beginner needs, and enough to keep an intermediate student engaged as well. I love that it has so many lessons and that the instructors are from the Juliard School of Music (a school that I once wanted to go to!) From the research that I have done, this looks like a pretty good deal.

SmartGurlz App Controlled STEM Toy

WOW! This doll looks absolutely amazing! Our daughter is going to love this! This educational toy/doll will satisfy her love of doll play and her coding excitement all in one. Here’s the product description:

SmartGurlz™ inspires girls to be tomorrow’s creators and leaders by teaching them to code their dolls and Siggy robots in endless fun combinations. Our Sugar Coded™ app connects to Siggy™ via smart phone or tablet and allows girls to break free from computers and coding camp teaching them coding through game-like adventures and missions.

 

 

For All Ages 

This rock and mineral kit has everything! Doing a rock and mineral unit with your kids is so much fun! Who doesn’t like to play with dirt and rocks?! I have collected rocks for many years and have some rare, beautiful pieces from all over the world. When we studied rocks and minerals (and fossils!) I bought my girls their own to play with. This kit looks amazing.

This is appropriate for all ages.

 

 

The Maestro Classics 12 CD Music Collection

When I taught in the brick and mortar classrooms, I’d play Classical music every day. When my girls were younger, I remembered this. Now, they often choose to listen to Classical on their own.

Studies have shown that listening to Classical music can make you smarter. This looks like a terrific set for those who are new to Classical music, or for those who are Classical connoisseurs!

Hurry, and grab these deals while you can. I’ll continue to look for more as I shop for our own homeschool, and I’ll be sure to add them for you!

 

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