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  1. #1

    Default Help me spend money :)

    I have just about $250 to spend for my daughter's charter school funds. Last day to buy curriculum for the year is coming up so I don't want to waste the opportunity. And of course now that I "have" to spend the money, I'm not sure what to spend it on!

    DD5 loves online learning so we're trialing DreamBox and also considering IXL and BrainPop. The trouble with DreamBox is that we're already really heavy on the math curriculum; she's outgrown Mathseeds so I bought Singapore Math thru the charter which I planned to start as soon as she ran out of Mathseeds. On top of that, we also bought Miquon thru the charter as a supplement. But math is her strong suit and we've gotten SO much math curriculum already (including the Saxon we started off with that was just YUCK) that it seems a bit overkill.

    Reading, in contrast, is NOT her strong suit. She knows all her letters and sounds, just putting them together seems to be not all there. Not sure if it's developmental (she's 3 months shy of 6), related to her articulation issues or her being plain stubborn. Logic of English is on the table as a possibility, open to other suggestions for highly resistant readers aside from just reading, reading and then reading some more. Bonus if it's online. We already have renewed our subscription to Reading Eggs.

    She's a creative and a science lover. She's interested in things like cell stucture, anatomy, etc. as well as robots, etc. She's always talking about making her own robot. She loves physics games on the iPad. I'd love to get her something that encourages her love of building and starts showing her more engineering principles. Not sure if the charter covers science kits but hey if they do, some suggestions would be awesome.
    Michelle | Stormdragon Academy "In chaos we learn"
    Eclectic, tech forward homeschooling with a twice-exceptional learner

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  3. #2


    There are a couple of companies that have sprung up to offer "girl-themed" (for lack of a better description) STEM materials/activities. GoldieBlox is probably the most well known (given their controversy with their use of the Beastie Boys' song "Girls" in an ad), but I just saw Roominate and Little Bits (which I suppose is gender neutral). I'm not sure if this is a positive thing; I'm not a huge fan of gendered toys, especially STEM-related, but OTOH, my niece had zero interest in Legos until she was given Lego Friends. You might want to look into Snap Circuits - we've had lots of fun with them. This list has lots of suggestions for toys/activities for girls, and this one has a wide selection of STEM-focused items.
    I'm not sure if you could spend your charter money on this, but your reluctant reader might enjoy the "Scholastic Videos" - they're very gentle animations of classic children's stories, and you can turn the captions on so that they can read along. Otherwise, I'd say just keep reading, reading, reading, reading and reading.

  4. #3


    Well, it seems like a no brainer to me that if she's 5 and not just zooming ahead on reading (totally normal, by the way, don't mean to imply otherwise) and you have this huge amount of money you must spend on academics that you should throw it down on LoE or AAS. Do it. Don't even think twice. If you stay with the charter, you'll have this money again and down the road you can spend it on science gear and other stuff, but for now, reading, reading, reading. It'll be worth it.

    If you have some left, for science... get a good microscope. Get a Private Eye loupe. Get snap circuits. And look at Zometool. Look at Lego Wedo. I can go into a lot more, but I think you should really put it down on reading for now anyway.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
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  5. #4


    Explode the Code worked for my boy for whatever reason. It activated that "click" that allowed him to put it all together and now he reads with confidence and enthusiasm. Not super expensive so you could use it as a supplement if she responds to it. We also like the Magic School Bus kits. She might like the one on the human body.
    Tina: mama to Eldest DS and Younger DS.

  6. #5


    For reading AAR is really helping us. Reading is just not my daughter's favorite thing but this makes it enjoyable for her, sometimes. I also liked the Magic School Bus kits at first but I think it really depends on the set, the dinosaur one was really good.
    Teemie - 11 years old, 6th grade with an ecclectic mix

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  7. #6
    Senior Member Evolved BakedAk's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    LOL - I read the title as "Help! Send me money!" and I was thinking, "Geez, that's kinda bold..."

    Mommy to Girl-13 and Boy-11, trying to keep my head above water with farm, school, home and art.

    You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.
    (Flannery O'Connor)

  8. #7


    Misreading thread titles is a great form of amusement to me. I'm always doing that.

    What'd you get, Michelle?
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Help me spend money :)