Many of you know that I am a home school dad of four little guys who are simply determined to put the “boy” back into “boy”-sterous. My little guys are hands-on mad scientist types so we’re always looking for materials to meet their never-sated demand for bugs, birds, dirt and other boy-friendly science. Today I bring you a review of The Curiosity Files™: Quicksand from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine ( TheHomeschoolMagazine.com ), a delightfully versatile unit study on quicksand and some cool properties of water.
The Curiosity Files™ is actually one of a series. With the aid and guidance of Professor Ana Lyze, expert in outlandish oddities, these units cover things like cicada-killing wasps, MRSA, the blue-footed booby, the dung beetle, the platypus, zombie fire ants and more! If that doesn’t peak your kid’s interest, turn off the video games, make sure you have his full attention this time and tell him again! Each E-book is about 80 to 100 pages and reasonably priced at $6.95-$7.95 apiece. Or you can simply buy the entire set of 9 E-books for $46.00. (If you don’t know what an issue shelf space is, you haven’t been a homeschooler very long, right?) There’s also a CD version if you prefer to have your resources in a more tangible form for $49.00.
If the Quicksand unit is any indication, you’ll want this series. While it’s aimed at children ages 8-13 years, you can adapt it to younger ones as well. It’s that versatile. It’s also pretty comprehensive and has lots of drawing and coloring pages, lapbook/notebook pages, crossword puzzles, review sheets, Bible study lessons and copywork activities. This unit follows an integrated learning model, so you literally have resources at your fingertips to cover not only science, but also math, history, geography, Bible, writing, spelling, vocabulary and arts and crafts. In addition to a really cool lesson on how quicksand works and (for the budding Indiana Jones-type explorers in your home) how to survive if you get caught in it, there’s some great hands-on experiments and internet resources to help you expand and enhance your lesson even further. The labs explore two properties of water: surface tension and viscosity. Unlike some science lessons that claim to utilize “household items,” this one really does make use of simple things we all have hanging about the joint. That’s a definite plus! We haven’t had a chance to try the edible quicksand recipe yet, but there’s gonna be some very unlucky gummy bears in this house pretty soon!
I did think the math on this unit was a bit above my child’s level. Of course, this is primarily an integrated science unit and I do have a math curriculum already. In any case, I hope future editions provide some math on some of the lower levels of the 8-to-13-year old spectrum, because the rest of the material was spot on.
Be sure to check it out The Curiosity Files™: Quicksand at TheHomeschoolMagazine.com.
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair,
Rev Tony Breeden
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through The Old Schoolhouse magazine’s book/curriculum review program <http://thehomeschoolmagazine.com>. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”