Hey there! Happy February everyone! At least, I hope it's happy for you. As for our family, it's been a bit of a struggle not only staying on track, but in keeping our attitudes upbeat. If you're facing that too, I think that you will be interested in meeting a new friend of mine, a professor actually...
Allow me to introduce Professor Ana Lyze, "Expert in Outlandish Oddities". Her areas of interest feature the unusual, the silly, those subjects that one might not typically see in the mainstream educational arena. You know, the weird and wonderful stuff.
Well, there is quite a variety of cool subjects to choose from within this series put out by TOS, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out The Blue Footed Booby with my kids over the past month or so.
With nearly 100 bright and beautiful pages to look through, I was immediately intrigued.
The study begins with an overview of this pretty, if a bit unique looking bird. Colorful photos of the blue footed booby in various poses add to the fun. The pages are laid out in a dialogue form, with a very pleasant, easy to read style. So, we learn some fun facts, for example, the reason behind the bright blue feet. Or the silly courtship dance that the males perform. Or, one of my personal favorites, that this bird's qualities defy the theories of "expert " evolutionists. As quoted within the first few pages, you'll "learn things you never wanted to know about the blue-footed booby."
As you read along, you'll find inserted throughout, many passages of scripture. This was a huge selling point for me. I am drawn to material that so easily allows me to connect the subject matter with the truth of God's word.I love that!
It thrills me to see God's word proved true in so many ways through His creation! I particularly appreciated how the creators of this study didn't stop there, but used the qualities of the booby to illustrate and teach on the subject of wisdom. There are passages for the student to look up and read, and then answer questions to help in its application.
Once you've read through the first part of this study, you're ready to move on to the more in depth study. A great feature is that there are pages geared toward both the older, as well as the younger student, so this study may be used at the same time for a variety of ages. Right now, in our home, we're teaching the younger students, so we did many of the questions orally, but we were able to simplify some of the older material to suit us, and we found even the older student vocabulary words interesting to learn about. There are also some really fun math activities here, like comparing the wingspan of an actual blue-footed booby with our own family's wingspan. Blue-footed Boobies have yellow eyes, so we had fun figuring out how many yellow eyes there would be if there were a certain number of those birds among us.
I have to admit that, after we were done with our lessons with our own younger kids, I went back and did the lessons geared to the older kids for the fun of it. There are some great word problems and puzzles, and I have never been a math fan!
So we've covered the science, math, and bible part of The Curiosity Files, let's move on to the reading, writing, and spelling bits of it.
Using various short sentences featuring facts of this bird, students put them together to create more elaborate paragraphs and short stories. There are also fill in the missing letter activities to improve spelling skills, and even mad libs to reinforce the parts of speech.
Are you looking for fresh ideas for copywork? How about some pages that include the spanish and english words together, both in print and cursive. There are also scriptures to trace and copy that pertain to creation, birds, etc., again, both in print as well as cursive.
And now, for my very favorite part of this resource...arts and crafts!! Love,love, love it! It's so great that with every little project, there are bits and facts presented, whatever the age. Build a blue-footed booby habitat, like one from the Galapagos Islands, using sand, shells, and whatever else you can find. Older kids will enjoy making their own quill pen. Younger ones will love making blue bird tracks and making their own "booby feet" with blue flip flops and leftover scrap material. (Now that's one I can't wait to do with my kids, we're just waiting for the flip flops to arrive in the stores again for the upcoming spring and summer season- right now any flip flops are almost impossible to find.) Another favorite of ours was the homemade bird feeders, made with peanut butter, sunflower seeds, shortening, and oatmeal.
Hmmm... have I left anything out? Yeah! There is so much more in here. You can see already that this is a very well rounded product. It covers most, if not all, of the subjects we teach. I've covered many, but not all of them. What else is there?
Geography, for one. You'll find cool activities and maps to learn about the climate of these tropical birds.
Music. Learn a cute song, and dance for that matter, to sing with, and move with your little one. My youngest performs a very entertaining Blue-Footed Booby dance. For the older students in your family, enjoy a crossword puzzle or a fill in the blank spelling activity sheet. Both young and older will enjoy making some mini books and writing or drawing various facts about this bird in it.
At the very last part of this study, choose from an extensive list of books, websites and more for further study.
My job here is to provide my honest opinion of this unit study, and I have to tell you, neither I nor my children have anything but good things to say about it! Those lovely creators at TOS have truly done all the work for you, so all that is required is to open it up and learn!
I think we can all agree that one of the tests of whether our children understand a specific subject, is their ability to teach it back to you, and my children have so enthusiastically done so. This resource does a nice job covering all of the learning styles that a child has, providing something for everyone.
Some final thoughts about this unit study...
I love the fact that this study allows you the option of printing out the whole "book" or just those pages that you need. As for myself, I 'm still old fashioned I guess, in that I like to hold a book in my hands, so I printed it all out and put it in a binder.
The colors are so nice! I know I mentioned that already, but I really like them.
As we added this to our studies this past month or so, we decided to stretch it out and do several activities per day, thus extending our study a little longer. And it worked out great for us in that way. You can do the same, or use it over a week or so exclusively, it's up to you. For us, it was a great little burst of fun sprinkled throughout our regular studies to jazz up the winter blahs.
I hope this has encouraged you to go over to The Schoolhouse Store to check out this, and other great titles in The Curiosity Files series. You and your family will really love it!
The Old Schoolhouse
The Curiosity Files - E-Book The Blue-Footed Booby
Price: $6.95 if purchased individually, but there are also some great bundles available at the TOS website. Get a 9 pack bundle for $46.00 which includes other titles such as Zombie Fire Ants, Quicksand, and Puffer Fish. A great bargain!
Also, check out other great products and reviews by heading over to TOS Homeschool Crew page.
* Please note* I received a free copy of The Curiosity Files E-Book The Blue-Footed Booby in return for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.