Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Crew Review: Box of I.D.E.As.


I'd never heard of Box of I.D.E.As. until it was offered as a review product on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. After reading the website, I jumped at the chance and chose to review Salt.

We received a sturdy box full of large zippered plastic bags. Each bag is clearly labeled with the topic and any additional items needed, in almost every case, all that was needed was a pencil. This has been awesome for our busy travel schedule lately! I can just grab however-many of the bags we'll need, at the beginning of each trip and we can work on them whenever time allows. There was one bag that did require a freezer, and water and such, it was probably the girls' favorite bag. We experimented to determine whether salt or "ice melt" melts ice better. Needless to say, that would have been challenging to accomplish in a hotel or somesuch, but was an easy, fun experiment when we were home.
Each module, included a "worksheet" of some sort. Since I only had one box for both girls, we generally improvised and we either used the worksheet as a starting point for discussion, or they wrote their answers on notebook paper instead of on the worksheet itself. This kind of defeats the purpose of providing "items for your portfolio" as is advertised, but since we only have to provide a few samples of the girls' work in their portfolio, and aren't much for worksheets, it worked fine for us.

Many of the modules include a game of some sort, so it's been fun to "have to" play board game type games regularly. In some cases we have modified the games to be less competitive (I'm not in favor of encouraging competition between my children), or just because we like to tweak things LOL.

These studies are designed for ages 9-16 so Sassy & MiniMe are at the bottom edge of the age range. I never found them to be "too young" for anything, and in some cases, we tweaked game to make them more challenging. The information provided, especially with the links to websites with additional information would be appropriate for the stated age range, but I do think some of the games would be too elementary for teenagers. Of course, as with most things, this can be tweaked, and might be an ideal way to get older children teaching their younger siblings, by having them include the younger siblings (I would say 5-8 yr olds would also enjoy many of the games, Little Bit (3 1/2) played one of the games with Sassy & MiniMe, though she was blindly guessing if the questions were "true or false" LOL, still she enjoyed it and it didn't detract from the older girls' learning in any way).

I had the choice to receive the physical or download version of this product, and chose the physical product, anticipating that some modules would include supplies for experiments & such. As it turns out, there wasn't as much of this as I thought there might be, though it was certainly nice to have rock salt & ice melt included in the bag for the experiment, instead of having to hunt it down, as I assume would have needed to be done with the download. But since most modules do include some type of game, you will go through quite abit of cardstock and ink if you were to print all of these games out. The physical box is $79, the download is $49.

When I asked the girls what they thought of it, they said they liked it and enjoyed the games, but "there's not enough experiments" LOL.

I do find the price high for what it is, however, as a "once in awhile" thing, and/or during very busy seasons when you need "grab and go" options, this is a wonderful resource!

Go to the Crew blog to see what other reviewers thought of this or other products from Box of I.D.E.As.


Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are those of myself or my children, as stated

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