Friday, February 11, 2011

Homeschool Review: The Curiosity Files

Just as we were listening to Jonathan Park Goes to the Galapagos, I was asked to review one of The Curiosity Files Unit Studies. And better yet, they let us CHOOSE which of the studies to review.  When I saw that there was one on the Blue-Footed Booby, I knew that would be a perfect follow-up to the CD.

The Blue-Footed Booby is a bird that lives, among other places, in the Galapagos Islands. Jonathan Park and his father discuss the bird in some detail on the CD, so the girls knew something about it going into this study. Needless to say, a 100 page unit study went into much more detail than the CD had though! One thing we loved was being able to see beautiful color pictures of real blue-footed boobies in the e-book, its always helpful to "put a face with the name" so to speak!

One of the beauties of The Curiosity Files is that they are designed to use with the entire family.  Many of the subjects covered include options specifically marked "for younger students" or "for older students", and the rest can be adapted easily for a wide range of ages/abilities/learning styles.

In addition to the "normal stuff" like writing and learning about the birds, and doing cross-word puzzles, and vocabulary and math and geography and history and probably other stuff that I'm forgetting, which was all great, just doesn't make for fun pictures, there was also "fun stuff in this unit study. Stuff that's totally up my craft-loving, kinesthetic kids' alley . . . and with all the cold and snow and ice and "can't go outside, it's all ice out there", we REALLY needed something fun to distract us.

So we did a "Booby dance" (why yes, Daddy DID look at me weird when the girls told him about their day that day . . . why do you ask?)

I found some bright blue slipper socks on clearance, so the girls put them on and did their best to imitate the rather odd courtship dance. If nothing else, they had a blast and it burned off some energy.
Little Bit joined in, but my camera doesn't do "action" well, at least the action shot shows 2 of the 3 relatively un-blurred . . .

Another fun part of this study was the crafts, we all made little Blue-Footed Booby babies out of beads and pipe cleaners.
The big girls wanted to show off their baby birds . . . 

. . . and so did Little Bit . . . but I couldn't convince her not to "cuddle" it, so you can't actually SEE the bird, trust me, it's there :)

The Curiosity Files are e-books available from The Old Schoolhouse Store. You can purchase all 9 as a bundle, either in CD form for $49, or as an instant download for $46. The individual unit studies are also available, you can see their prices here. This unit study provides a wide range of activities to appeal to all learning styles! There are even some suggestions for special needs students! I also liked that there wasn't very much teacher preparation required. I just took a few minutes to reserve some books from the library, and add a few simple craft supplies to our shopping list, and beyond that, we could go through the study as it was written.

I'd highly recommend these unit studies for anyone whose children are interested in the various topics (and there is SUCH a wide variety of topics, and I hear there are more in the works!). The girls loved it, and I think they'll be excited to do more studies in this series (I have a couple others tucked away to pull out when we need a change of pace).

I reviewed this study as a part of the TOS Crew.  You can check out the TOS Crew blog here, to see what other people thought of this, and other studies in The Curiosity Files series.

Disclaimer: We received a free download of The Curiosity Files, Blue-Footed Boobies in exchange for this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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